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THE BUS BLOG – BUS WORRIES & LITTLE ROCK’S PAST

13 Oct

Monday was pretty quiet. We had another in house lunch at work but after work, Nicole and I biked down to Dugan’s Pub on 3rd St. to meet up with our friends Troeger and Chris to watch Monday Night Football. We stayed till about half time before biking back. Biking out there we took the River Trail behind our place to the Rivermarket area. But heading back we rode Markham. Markham is pretty fun to ride on a bike because it is well lit, there are a lot of pedestrians and drivers are pretty cautious. You just have to watch out for those dang trolley tracks!

The Bus Stop

Tuesday after work I had to go grocery shopping again. Rather than biking part of the way this time, I just decided to take the Bus the whole way. I walked from the office to the stop on 2nd St. and the bus arrived at 5:55, about the same time as last week. And the only people were on it were the same two women as last time. I rode all the way up Markham and to Kavanaugh to the Beachwood intersection where I got off and walked to Kroger. Since I didn’t have to worry about fitting everything in a backpack I was able to get as many groceries as I could carry. I walked out of Kroger and expected to get there a minute or two before I figured the bus would come. But apparently the bus was actually running a little early this time because I had to sit there and wait for another half hour for the next (and last) bus to come. The Heights neighborhood is probably the best example of a healthy and functioning neighborhood in Little Rock and maybe even Arkansas. There is a great diversity of mixed use and some great streetscapping, And there are also a lot of bikers, jogger and walkers, everywhere on the street. But even in this vigorous urban environment, I still fell out of place sitting on the bench with my sacks of groceries, staring down the street for the bus. Why though? In Seattle, I never felt embarrassed to ride a bus. But in Seattle, I was usually in a crowd of other people waiting as well. But sitting there, I just had the sense that everyone glanced at me as they walked by thinking, “I didn’t know anyone actually used this bus stop.” I was probably just being paranoid because I know there are people in the heights neighborhood that do use the bus regularly, but it brought up an interesting point for me. Is it embarrassing to ride the bus? In smaller cities like Little Rock, where getting around by car is easy, people have the perception that the bus system is used only by those who can’t afford their own car or are disabled. Is this true? But even if it’s not, does it keep people from riding the bus for fear of being seen? And how would you even begin change this perception?

555 Inc

This afternoon, I biked out to the Pulaski County Administration Building on Broadway and 2nd  It’s a pretty ugly building in my opinion. A big brick box pretty much. But I had always been curious about the building because I had heard that it was built around an existing concrete structural system that was all that remained of the 555, Inc Auto Center. When it was built, the 555 Service Station was the largest service station in the world. It took up the entire block between 2nd and 3rd on Broadway, which used to me the main thoroughfare through Little Rock. I believe it was 4 stories tall when constructed. The top floor even had a ballroom and was a venue for big acts in Little Rock. But today I went inside to pay my county taxes. However, as I was leaving, I noticed the huge drawing of downtown Little Rock from the 50’s. It was so cool to look at and see how Little Rock had changed over time! Here are some of the pictures I took but if you get a chance, walk in off of 2nd St. and take a look at it yourself. It’s right by the front door.

Bird's Eye View of Little Rock from the 50's

 

Little Rock City Hall with the dome, Robinson Auditorium, 555 Inc, and the Broadway Bridge without the steel arch span

 

The old Main St Bridge, the marion Hotel and I'm not sure what the tall building is on the right but it's not there anymore

 

The Federal Post Office and Courthouse, The YMCA building and numerous houses still were around in the neighborhood

 

Not a parking lot or parking garage anywhere downtown, yet people still complain there isn't enough parking downtown today

 

 

Today is also my mom’s birthday (Happy Birthday Mom! Because I know your reading this.) and I had planned to take the bus out to their house for her birthday dinner, but my aunt decided today that we should all come up to Conway tonight and she would make dinner. So I’ll be riding up there with my parents tonight but I still plan on making it out to my parents house on a weekday next week.

 

One of the Bike Racks at CAT

On a side note, I had a comment from Anncha on October 5th’s entry, saying that she found out there are actually two bike racks at the River Cities Transit Station. I actually spotted one of them last Friday while I was biking around and did not include it in that day’s blog entry. It’s off to the far side of the complex and easy to miss but they are there!

 

 

 

 

And Finally, I’m working on a spreadsheet to keep up with all my travel. Heres a view of it. I need to find a way to upload the excel document so I can keep it up to date though.

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4 Comments

Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Bus Blog

 

4 responses to “THE BUS BLOG – BUS WORRIES & LITTLE ROCK’S PAST

  1. Katie Kummer

    October 13, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Love your comment about the fact that there are no parking lots or garages visible in the photo. I hate seeing buildings taken down only to be turned into parking spaces. The area around 3rd and Center Street is now nothing but a sea of parking lots; it feels more desolate walking by this area now than when the empty buildings were there.

     
  2. Alda Ellis

    October 13, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I would really like to know what the tall building is! I do not remember it at all….

     
  3. Shannon S

    October 17, 2011 at 7:58 am

    This page has some really good shots of downtown LR in the ’50s and ’60s –
    http://www.rrmerritt.com/mabelvale/MHS_Mem_Downtown.htm

     
  4. Shirley Schuette (your neighbor)

    October 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    The other building to the right of the Marion Hotel is the Grady Manning Hotel. It was also imploded to make way for the convention center

     

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