“You’re odd-I-see, true to your name!”
-the goddess Ino to Odysseus, from The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse
The construction went on for a surprisingly short time: less than two months. I assumed it was one of the local companies that had torn up and closed off a section of the sidewalk, blocking off pedestrian access because that is what’s happening all over town. And there was already a perfectly good bus stop there—and by “perfectly good bus stop” I mean a metal sign stuck to a pole. But then when the construction was done there was this…thing.
Okay, it wasn’t exactly like that, but it was a monolith next to a bus shelter where there had never been one before. Because of the construction I’d been catching the bus at a different stop so its appearance was a bit of a surprise.
What is it? What is it supposed to do? Based on a single picture I found on the Nashville MTA website it looks like it will eventually have a large route map, but the information is scant and for now it’s just this big blank thing standing on the street next to the bus shelter. It’s probably something to do with the project to install 100 new bus shelters, but what are the proposed “amenities” and how does the signal work? I contacted the MTA and got this answer:
When the button is pressed a small light flashes atop the bus shelter. It is best used when the bus can be seen in the distance.
Which is fine, except in those places where the hills or turns or construction that’s torn up the sidewalk make it so the bus can’t be seen in the distance.