ZOMG METRO CLOZING 3 STATIONS DURING TEH HOLIDAY!!!1!one11!
Now, normally I’m one of the first detractors of Metro’s policies of late and yes, that was close to my initial reaction as well. It put a crimp into my own weekend plans, including a beloved relative flying in/out of DCA. But then I stopped to think about it.
It’s actually a good thing.
The extent of repair work across those three stations is extensive. Four switches are being replaced along with the entire interlocking series at Pentagon City, plus concrete and deck joint repairs along Reagan’s overhead structure. Over 2,000 feet of rail and 735 feet of ties are also being replaced as well as extensive fire line maintenance. It’s quite the laundry list of repair work.
Work that necessitates three days to complete. The best time to do it, as I can see, is now, rather than over the Thanksgiving day extended weekend – easily the busiest travel time of year for those who fly. Or better yet – can you imagine the uproar if Metro decided to close those three stations during normal work / rush hours? Inconceivable! (Which is probably why Columbus Day weekend wasn’t chosen, as it’s not a federal holiday for many and would be more painful for area workers.)
While the work might be permissable during regular weekend hours, most likely we’d be seeing a series of weekends with one or more of the listed stations closed. Which would be worse – a mix of these stations closed several weekends in a row, or done in one fell swoop, like ripping off a band-aid at high-speed?
So while it’s easy to slam WMATA for what many are calling a ginormous mistake, I’m not joining in. Considering I ride the Blue line across those rails at least ten times a week, I can deal with a weekend without service so I don’t end up a casualty in a Metro “rail disruption.”
For those of you who are affected by it, I suggest you study WMATA’s suggestions for alternate travel at the bottom of their press release. Or better yet, rent a ZipCar.
Metro certainly has made some serious gaffes lately, but I’m not counting this one against them. They get a ‘free ride’ from this blogger – for now.