Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Will Vote for the Mayoral Candidate Who Promises to Install These at Bus Stops

Posted by on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Popsci says:

Days will keep getting shorter as we approach the winter solstice, which means fewer and fewer hours of sunlight. That can be depressing at normal mid-North American latitudes, so imagine how bad it gets in a place like Sweden. To fight the winter doldrums, a Swedish utility is installing UV lights at bus stations.

The company installed lights at 30 Umeå bus stops last week, removing the normal bus-stop lamps and replacing them with specially designed phototherapy tubes.

Light therapy at bus stops is something that the city of Seattle should definitely look into. The worst thing about late March in the Northwest is dealing with the seasonally affected people who are going buggy because they haven't seen the sun in 90 days or so. Something like this would be a small-but-important step toward improving the public's mental health.


Comments (35) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 1
If the public's health were the main priority then you'd want to install UV lights in cars first, where most of the public is.

What the bus riders need is beat cops to keep you from getting mugged.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on November 29, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Gordon Werner 2
put them in the actual buses as well
Posted by Gordon Werner on November 29, 2012 at 4:45 PM · Report this
People ride buses longer than they wait for them. I agree, @2: put the bulbs inside. I think the people who wait outside at a bus stop long enough for light therapy to make a difference are also standing outside long enough for sunlight to make a difference (in Seattle at 47N; not in Sweden at 59N). Most people aren't outside so long.
Posted by G g on November 29, 2012 at 4:58 PM · Report this
Paul - the Seattle mayor does absolutely nothing, nothing, when it comes to bus stops. Or bus routes. Or bus design. Or bus advertising policy.
That would fall to Metro, which is run by King County, not Seattle. So if you had a mayoral candidate promise to install something at a bus shelter, then you'd have a class one case of pandering.
Posted by TJ on November 29, 2012 at 5:04 PM · Report this
8Way 5
Awesome unintended consequences. Bugs love UV light!
Posted by 8Way on November 29, 2012 at 5:22 PM · Report this

Seattle...the future ghost town.

No tenants. No transit riders. No...children.

U.S. birth rate plummets to its lowest level since 1920

The overall birth rate declined by 8 percent between 2007 and 2010, with a decrease of 6 percent among U.S.-born women and 14 percent among foreign-born women. The decline for Mexican immigrant women was more extreme, at 23 percent. The overall birth rate is now at its lowest since 1920, the earliest year with reliable records.…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on November 29, 2012 at 5:24 PM · Report this
stirwise 7
@6: yes, because nobody ever relocates to a new town, ever. We all stay where we're born and that's where we die.
Posted by stirwise on November 29, 2012 at 5:49 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 8
Sweden provides cheap affordable health care to all its citizens. First things first please. I want health care BEFORE I want bus stops with lighting.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on November 29, 2012 at 5:57 PM · Report this
Dougsf 9
"Damn your tan, did you just get back from vacation?"
"Naw, I was waiting for the 43."

(For the purpose of that joke, UV lights give you a tan. Still sucks? 'Least I didn't make a pot joke.)

Also, Sweden has money to grow their commuters hydroponically. In Seattle (and elsewhere), streetlights are going LED— It's hard to imagine these existing in the same landscape.

Still, I'm for it.
Posted by Dougsf on November 29, 2012 at 5:59 PM · Report this
Fnarf 10
@3, worse than that -- Umea is in the north of Sweden, 64N. Almost at the Arctic Circle, roughly comparable to Fairbanks, AK.
Posted by Fnarf on November 29, 2012 at 6:09 PM · Report this

Take 50 marbles and 50 pots.

Put 1 marble in each pot.

Now take a marble from the first pot and put it another pot.

Same number of marbles.

Eventually a marble cracks and gets thrown away.

Now a pot has no marble.

Maybe more...over time.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on November 29, 2012 at 6:09 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 12
@6 - Cities are a lure for anyone who grows up in Nowheresville. Let the parents in Topeka have 6 kids.
Posted by Free Lunch on November 29, 2012 at 6:11 PM · Report this
so why did Danny's letter for Thursday get pulled?
Posted by Transphobia on November 29, 2012 at 6:16 PM · Report this
theophrastus 14
Remember the fancy autocleaning outdoor toilets? trashed, used for drug deals, and prostitution. In France they worked out because none of the above was done with them. Same deal with fancy UV-light Bus Stops. here they'd be trashed, bulbs stolen for growing marijuana, and if a use can be figured out to involve them with prostitution that'd happen as well. In Sweden they'll continue to be useful. We live in a quite heterogeneous society here; in Sweden they're all mellow clones. No judgements no "that's betters", but there ain't here.
Posted by theophrastus on November 29, 2012 at 6:39 PM · Report this
By late March the sun should be strong enough to avoid seasonal affective disorder, if you put any effort into it. Clouds don't block as much light as you think.
Posted by minderbender on November 29, 2012 at 6:46 PM · Report this
One wouldn't want UV lights. That would cause cataracts and skin damage/sunburn/cancer. Rather than a full spectrum light - including UV - one wants a broad spectrum light, with all the good wavelengths without the damaging one.
Posted by jmikel on November 29, 2012 at 6:53 PM · Report this
Cracker Jack 17
I scrolled too fast and went from the headline to the picture of the puppies below. Please install those at each bus stop, instead.
Posted by Cracker Jack on November 29, 2012 at 7:00 PM · Report this
JonnoN 18
@16, you are correct. Allow me to quote the article:

The light walls simulate sunlight but don't generate UV radiation

UV Light Therapy Swedes at bus stops in the far north will get a dose of UV light to help ease seasonal affective disorder.

To fight the winter doldrums, a Swedish utility is installing UV lights at bus stations

...specially designed phototherapy tubes.

The lights are powered by solar, wind and hydroelectric sources, and they are designed to filter out any UV radiation

clear as mud, popsci
Posted by JonnoN on November 29, 2012 at 7:27 PM · Report this
I will vote for the candidate who promises to fix the lights already installed so I don't feel like I'm going to be kidnapped in Beacon Hill when I catch a bus before 8am.
Posted by piratesmile on November 29, 2012 at 8:21 PM · Report this
Uhhhh, this is SEATTLE DUDES, Put in the HPS and metal halide grow lamps at all the bus stops. They are THE SUNSHINE for Seattle indoors anyway....;-D
Posted by pupuguru on November 29, 2012 at 8:54 PM · Report this
@16, @18 it is not 100% clear that eliminating UV light is a good idea. UV light may help suppress melatonin production during the daytime, allowing for a more normal cycle (high at night, low during the day).
Posted by minderbender on November 29, 2012 at 9:14 PM · Report this
seandr 22
@11: Population statistics show that Seattle is gaining marbles, whereas you seem to be losing yours.
Posted by seandr on November 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM · Report this
Christampa 23
@11 - You are the stupidest person alive, and it is not surprising to me that as a child you were unable to even correctly play with marbles.
Posted by Christampa on November 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM · Report this
JensR 24
yes and here we are all wearing clogs, talk a strange sort of oldy-worldy english with an accent so you dont have to read subtitles and its just like someones grandparents say it was when they emigrated. Everyone's blond, no immigration has ever taken place and we make sure that we only sleep with people from the same country.

The myth that a nations genetic make-up (hidden under terms like "cultural" or "ethnic") defines its level of stability is nonsense. Plus here the racists say the same thing about you as you said about us: That you force your culture on those who emigrate to the US which means that all those "horrible brown people" are kept in place and their weird customs doesn't "ruin your society like they have ours". That your culture is more homogeneous and ours more heterodox.

Its bullshit. Make-belief and over simplification of a complex subject.

This is why I love the internet. Up to the middle of the 90's I believed that all Americans where lazy, cruel, armed, religious zealots that hated everyone different than them. Because thats the fairy tale that gets repeated in the news. You hear about Westboro, police brutality and homophobia. But then I got to talk to people from for example the US and you realize that you guys are just like us. The differences are tiny in comparison with the similarities.

As one of the "mellow clones" I'd like to suggest that you come here or somehow try to get to know us better. There is some living in Seattle as well - you won't recognize them as Swedes because they may not be blond, blue-eyed and stoic fictional Swedes - we come in every skin-color, eye color and personality from african-looking swedes with a mellow disposition to really furious asian-looking swedes.
Posted by JensR on November 30, 2012 at 2:58 AM · Report this
@24, awesomely put.
Posted by gloomy gus on November 30, 2012 at 7:51 AM · Report this
wilbur@work 26
@22 wins!
Posted by wilbur@work on November 30, 2012 at 8:31 AM · Report this
#6 I'll start worrying when the world population goes back to what it was in 1960: 3 billion. By the way, that is less than half what it is today. The lowest UN estimate says we'll still be above 6 billion a century from now. Needless to say, I'm not worried about people not having enough babies.
Posted by Dave0 on November 30, 2012 at 8:48 AM · Report this
theophrastus 28
@24 I lived there recently for 2.5 years. you're very nice folks. but you're very much more similar and calmly civic-minded than most folks here. that's ok; and it's ok here too. these are only statistical observations, they aren't intended to be judgmental. relax and enjoy the diversity. and i deeply miss the way you celebrate Christmas there and the sense that you aren't all carrying guns.
Posted by theophrastus on November 30, 2012 at 9:01 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 29
What @3 said. Metro should have UV bars under the bus ads at the top of the bus. It will make them cheerier too.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 30, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
Umea is a wonderful city where they have path-size snow removing equipment, the downtown streets are heated it about 4 blocks) to melt ice and make walking easier, and cross country and down-hill skiing (emphases on 'hill') in town. The airplanes land on ice most of the year. It is snowy and dark for 9 months. When I visited one September, it snowed three feet in two days. My host started to cry. She had hoped for another couple of weeks of clear weather. The people of Umea do a great job making their environment livable, but they do have a suicide problem. If they think UV lights might help, more power to them.

We just have rain and a few months with little sunlight. I don't know about you, but I spend most of November through February waiting at bus stops in the dark (&AM and 5:30 PM). UV lights might help. And for you car commuters. Hey - you should wish more people took mass transit. It makes your commute easier. It is in your best interest to promote anything that makes that commute just a little easier. I for one would appreciate the one-bus-away screen at more bus stops. That and getting my bus refunded so that I did not have to transfer and wait 20 minutes for a bus mid trip.
Posted by SouthSeattleCommuter on November 30, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
Jens @24:

Thank you so much for writing that!

One of my simmering pet peeves about the American education system and (mis)understanding of the world is the impression that the rest of the world maintains static, easily digestible, hermetic, "pure" cultures in contrast to the American story of immigration and assimilation.

Migration and cultural metamorphosis is the story of human history, start to finish. No culture is frozen. Americans should be reminded of this incessantly.

Isn't Sweden significantly (5%? 10%?) of East African and North African descent at this point?
Posted by d.p. on November 30, 2012 at 10:36 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 32
I concur with @26 on @22.

By the way we Scottish-Welsh outnumber you Norse in Seattle nowadays, and our hot Irish-French ex-wives.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 30, 2012 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Kinison 33
Id rather see the money spent on providing rain shelters for various bus stops on the east side. This will be a huge waste of money, but then again Seattle isnt a stranger to pissing away money.

Want happy riders? Fix the system, not the side effect of a broken system.
Posted by Kinison on November 30, 2012 at 1:05 PM · Report this
@11 -- Eventually a pot cracks, and spends the rest of its sorry existence trolling on The Slog.
Posted by RonK, Seattle on November 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
If you want to do the light therapy thing, line a closet with tin foil, screw in a halogen lightbulb, and go inside for 20 minutes a day. It's a cheap solution, and it works, or so the SAD sufferers have told me.
Posted by Mister G on November 30, 2012 at 6:41 PM · Report this

Add a comment


All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy