When they were installed in the 1980s, the bus shelters on 16th Street were part of a bigger effort to turn the downtown street into a hub of shopping and social activity.
Instead, they became one of the most visible signs of the area’s decline.
Frequently tagged with graffiti and damaged by vandals, the shelters have been a headache for the city’s parks department, which has tried to keep them in good shape. But now, in a first step of yet another rehab project, the shelters are disappearing.
Beginning as soon as next weekend, city crews will be tearing out the old shelters. Once that work is done, they’ll likely be replaced with more modern-looking bus stops. And over the next couple of years, the city plans to swap out 16th Street’s wide sidewalks in favor of more parking. It has $800,000 in this year’s budget for engineering work, and another $450,000 next year to get construction moving.
A transit center that was once envisioned for downtown will move to the north, near 16th and Cass Streets.