You might have missed it in all the kerfuffle yesterday, but Unsuck DC Metro broke some major news yesterday: Metro knew that its escalators could fail under heavy weight and freewheel to the bottom, sending all those on the escalator to a pile at its feet. The money quote? “Obvious signs of conditions requiring immediate maintenance/service address are being overlooked.”
Specifically, the report is concerned that numerous brake pads were worn beyond usable life expectancy, and out of adjustment, numerous switches in the safety circuits were dirty, out of adjustment and ineffective, and major amounts of oil and lubricant on the steps which are symptomatic of major leaks at the drive motor.
The date on these documents? September 30th, well in advance of the Rally for Sanity that saw the escalator at L’Enfant plaza fail and send patrons tumbling to the foot of the escalator, causing multiple injuries. Better yet, Metro’s now claiming that they’re engaging in “proactive precautionary measures” at stations throughout the system. Guys: It’s only proactive if you do it before the escalators develop “brake pads worn beyond usable life.”