Pullman community brainstorms bus stop enhancements

By Taylor Nadauld, Daily News staff writer, Jan 27, 2017

Local city officials, student engineers, artists and designers are paying attention to Pullman’s bus stops and brainstorming ways to make them a vibrant reflection of the city.

“Pullman transit bus stops are not engaging or attractive,” Wayne Thompson, Pullman transit manager, said at a community meeting at the Neill Public Library on Thursday evening.

Members of the public attended, as well as Thompson and students from the Washington State University schools of engineering, fine arts and design and construction. Ayad Rahmani, a WSU professor who wrote a business column in the Daily News in October criticizing the city’s bus stops, also attended.

Thompson read aloud from Rahmani’s column at the start of the meeting. The bus stops, Rahmani wrote, “say nothing of the character of the community in which they sit.” Thompson said he took the column – which called on the city to seek out student groups willing to design something different – as a challenge.

Thompson said he, Rahmani and other WSU professors began meeting in December to discuss plans for improvements. Nothing was off limits in Rahmani’s initial slideshow of bus stop design ideas, which included both wooden and sleekly curvilinear modern structures, plus full rooms made of glass and apple-shaped sitting areas.

The group discussed whether a bus stop could be musical and interactive, connected to a building or feature a charging station powered by a bicycle. “Essentially we want to make a beacon in the community,” Squeak Meisel, chair of the Fine Arts Department at WSU said.

Rahmani, the student teams and professors will meet every Tuesday for the next four weeks. At the end of that point, Rahmani said he hopes to have four or five design options to present to the city.

Taylor Nadauld can be reached at (208)-883-4630, by email to tnadauld@dnews.com and on Twitter @tnadauldarg.