DC magazine Metroweekly reported late yesterday an incident that occured between two local men and a cashier at the new Safeway store in Southwest DC. The new location on 4th Street has been a real boon to the neighborhood, but apparently the staff hasn’t undergone any kind of real customer service training. The two men, purchasing groceries last weekend, were subject to harassment from the cashier.
It’s hard for me to imagine why this cashier still has their job five days later, even with a weaksauce apology. Then again, given our recent trips to the Starburst Safeway (famous for selling unrefrigeratedexpired ground turkey), attention to the needs and wants of their customer base isn’t exactly priority one over there, is it?
DC Fire/EMS on Twitter reports smoke at the Q Street NW entrance to Dupont Circle Metro on the Red Line — also site of this morning’s Escalator Fail. That entrance to the station is now closed and emergency responders are on the scene.
Update: Update from DC Fire/EMS: Dupont Circle Metro – Metro Mechanics on scene – situation under control – Station Open – DC F&EMS clearing scene – no injuries
In the attached video, courtesy Twitterer jaredev (view it larger after the jump) we have people being evacuated from the south station entrance, vaulting over the handrail due to a barricade in the way.
Built to closely resemble DC’s own White House, Senator’s Park is “committed to providing visitors with an authentic and luxurious American experience without ever having to leave Ukraine!” There’s even a Barack Obama cutout by the door to make the experience even more authentically American.
Via The Washington Independent, we have news of the arrest of nine militiamen for conspiracy to overthrow the government. Among the arrested: Kris “Pale Horse” Sickles, who about a year ago posted — and then quickly pulled — a YouTube video calling for a “Million Militia Man March” on Washington, in which large numbers of Second Amendment advocates would march on the National Mall openly carrying firearms, but doing nothing violent.
Sadly, with the arrest of Pale Horse, it looks like the Million Militia Man March may never come to pass. And that’s how America died and the Illuminazi Muslim Communist New World Order took away everyone’s guns and replaced them with healthcare death panels. Forever.
“We need a doctor,” came the yell. Some of the last words you want to hear on Metro; they indicate that somewhere on the train, someone may be suffering or dying — and of more callous concern, that WMATA’s “Sick Customer” policy goes into effect, stopping the train and triggering cascading delays down the line.
It was Wednesday evening, rush hour. I was at Rosslyn, on the Orange Line to Vienna. The operator announced over the train P.A. that he would be leaving the cab to attend to a sick customer, emergency services had been summoned, and that we would be holding at Rosslyn indefinitely. In the second car of the train, an elderly man in a suit had collapsed from what appeared to be a heart attack, and lay on the floor, unmoving, a doctor examining him while another passenger checked his cellphone for emergency contacts.
Outside, the station P.A. announced delays on both tracks of the Orange Line due to a sick customer at Rosslyn, single-tracking in progress. Then, another announcement that the train at Rosslyn was being offloaded — but no such announcement had been made on the train that I was on. Passengers looked around doubtfully. Shortly after, the operator returned to the cab and announced that, yes, “this train will be offloaded, please board the train that is now arriving upstairs.” Continue reading →
A man shivvied out of his clothes yesterday, over near the White House at 5pm, to go for a jog around the White House. The Secret Service were rather upset that the man just left his clothes in a bag, which had to be deemed as a suspicious package, at the corner of 15th and E Street to run around, and for his troubles they took him in for indecent exposure, but he has not yet been charged.
No word on how badly 25 degree windchill affected the jogger’s suspicious package.
After the Washington Post’s exposé on the problems with HIV/AIDS funding in the city, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has decided on a course of action: unless there are changes in DC policies, there won’t be any more federal money. The threat amounts to $12.2M in lost funding unless the city allows HUD to monitor the spending. HUD has been attempting to monitor the spending since 2003, with little to no cooperation between the DC CFO’s office and HUD’s grant investigators. The situation violates over 60 policies within HUD’s grant structure, according to the Post’s coverage.
Here’s hoping that with monitoring from HUD, the money might get spent on something useful, instead of job centers that never open, and substandard care.
Update: WMATA is slowly bringing back services. Metrobus fareboxes and bus radios are back in operation, MetroAccess dispatch and online reservations are working, and this morning I heard a public address system test. More info from this WMATA release.
Metro has announced station closures and train detours for Columbus Day weekend (which extends through Monday, a federal holiday that not everyone gets to take off) while they replace large pieces of track and inspect and maintain others. They provide a tiny and poorly-compressed map of the closures that might be helpful if you’re willing to squint and compare it to the regular map. (Metro! I do this for a living! Help me help you!)
The short version is, the Yellow and Green lines will be a nightmare, and you should avoid them if you need to take them through the eastern part of the city.
The two ends of the Green line will be operating, but the segment in the middle, between Navy Yard and Gallery Place/Chinatown, will not operate AT ALL. So if you’re someone dependent on the Green Line to get into the city from the Branch Avenue end… you’re screwed, because there are no transfer stations along any part of that segment. If you’re using the other end of the Green Line, you’ll still be able to switch lines at Gallery Place to get around.
Since the Yellow Line’s bridge over the Potomac is part of theInstead of heading toward Fort Totten from L’Enfant, the Yellow Line will basically be doubling a portion of the Blue Line route until Stadium/Armory instead of coming over the river from the Pentagon, and will come into L’Enfant on the lower platform with the Blue/Orange lines. So you’ll still be able to get around if you’re dependent on the Yellow Line, but with some hopping around and transferring multiple times if you want to get to Fort Totten.
The photo above is not of the door in question, but the Washington Post and NBC Washington tell us “the left panel in the middle door of a middle car came open and that the door closed as soon as the operator hit the brakes” on the Orange Line at rush hour yesterday, while the train was moving between stations. Fortunately no one fell out, and Metro is “investigating.” (Hat tip to UnsuckDCMetro Twitter.)
Snow. It turns us into adventurers. Some of us bundle up to walk the chill, white, stormy landscape like Arctic explorers, braving wind and cold for photos or milk and bread.
And others among us get adventure by roaring out of parking spaces and skidding over slush so that our big black Nissan Pathfinder SUVs end up jumping service road traffic islands in Foggy Bottom, skidding further to straddle the traffic islands like a large, obnoxious, diagonal monorail, before finally triumphing over traffic regulations and common sense.
Snow. It also turns some of us into bemused spectators.
Piled on top of this morning’s Red Line woes, this train on the Red Line appeared to have its horn stuck in “VERY LOUD ON” mode, constantly blowing without stopping. (Insert clever ‘your mom’ joke here.) I got on at Union Station, got off at Metro Center, and that horn never stopped blaring through the tunnels and stations the whole time. Anyone else get to ride on the Eternal Horn Metro train this morning?
With most of Union Station’s Grand Hall reserved for tonight’s inaugural ball, and the Metro station and rail concourse already packed to capacity, the crowd entering Union Station had to be divided into Metro, Amtrak, and MARC/VRE riders. Confusion reigned outside as the Columbus Circle road was closed off, forcing people to circle around sidewalks and fences and clumps of National Guard and MPD personnel.
Here’s a video I took Tuesday night on the Metro of an electrical locker swinging open and shut as the train moved. Looks like someone didn’t close the doors properly, and I was wondering just how dangerous it was to have all these sensitive electronics and switches and leads exposed. This was on Blue Line train #3262AC. I’ve read enough about WMATA rolling stock to know that this is one of the Alstom-rehabilitated Breda cars, but I need a WMATA engineer or some other DC transit railfan to tell me what kind of systems are in this locker, specifically. Anyone know?
(And should I have hit the emergency call button? I don’t know if it was safe, but no one was touching it, and I was already at my stop and didn’t want to put the train out of service and cause cascading delays up and down the Blue and Orange Lines.)
As of December 15th and till today, two out of three street-level escalators at Foggy Bottom Metro station are closed. Only one narrow escalator serves double duty as up/down stairs for rush hour crowds. It’s an outrage and an unmitigated catastrophe in progress, but still nothing new to this beleaguered Metro station. This means more lines, more crowding, more walking down broken steps. Avoid it if you can: use this handy map to find alternative Metro station entrances. More on this from Dr. Gridlock.
Update: As of about 7PM, the middle escalator has been opened, but only as stairs, with escalator #3 going up. There was no backup or bottleneck; how was it for you?
This is from yesterday afternoon. Hey Superior Tours of Baltimore, MD, thanks for blocking the K Street crosswalk to Washington Harbour so thoroughly that I had to walk about halfway to Key Bridge just to get around the back, where I was promptly blown with hot bus exhaust.
I was about to comment on this earlier but Life Outtacontext beat me to it: doesn’t this guy in a stock photo on the DC Dental Spa billboard ad in various Metro stations look just like a white version of Barack Obama? I do a double-take everytime I see it.
The Metro Zamboni is back, this time at Foggy Bottom! This isn’t quite as crowded a platform as before, and at a slightly later hour, but while it’s not entirely clear in this fuzzy mobile video, he does plow straight towards a crowd of tourists standing by the escalator. I’m surprised these cleaners haven’t pushed anyone off the platform yet.
I don’t even remember what date WMATA originally put on the repair notice when they closed the middle escalator of Foggy Bottom back in summer. I just knew that there was a 100% chance of them changing that date as soon as it came close. Sure enough, they changed it to Nov 29th. And when Nov 29th rolled by, naturally the repair deadline became Dec 19th. Will they make that deadline?
Of course not. Watch for when they bump that date to late December or early January, as the on-again-off-again nightmare of Foggy Bottom traffic bottleneck management continues.