The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority announced Tuesday night it would move a contested Baltimore Avenue bus stop back to its original location — away from Schwarz Food Market, the scene of an April double shooting.
SORTA board chair Kreg Keesee said the decision had been made in response to Roll Hill residents’ safety concerns about the switch, which Metro initially characterized as an attempt to make the stop more accessible to people with disabilities.
In fact, according to multiple people familiar with the area, it made the stop more dangerous for everyone. Two people were shot outside Schwarz in April, and longtime resident Frances Carnes said police were frequently present to handle other incidents at the store.
“We moved from a stop that was comfortably safe, we didn’t have any problem,” Carnes, who used the old stop for 12 years, said Monday night. “Now, me and the kids, we have to walk up there, and we don’t know what danger we’re running into. The police are always taking care of something that’s going on.”
Lisa Hyde-Miller, who works for the company that manages the Villages at Roll Hill apartment community, said she believed changing the stop had an outsized effect on the neighborhood because most families in the apartments rely on public transportation and don’t own cars.