People cause me great consternation on my commutes in and out of the city. I have this vision in my mind of how everyone should behave on the metro in order to make a perfect commute. People would be kind and considerate, they would move briskly, no one would tote rolly book bags, and those two teenagers at the end of the car would stop their shouting. But no, it’s not like that. Maybe I’m just growing cynical, but the longer I take the metro, the more it seems like a virulent trap of obnoxious types intent on making commute as unpleasant an experience as possible. It’s gotten to point where I’ve started grouping people into certain personalities. There’s the “stand in the doorway” guy, the “pole dancer“, the “I’m sorry my bag is sitting here” guy, and so on and so forth. It’s really been weighing on me for the past few days. I’m sure this is something that you rehash this with your peers every so often, but let’s share: who is your least favorite metro personality? Mine: rolly book bag person, without equivocation.
The DC area, this weekend, was something of a post-apocalyptic landscape. Driving down 395 on Saturday, one would have seen abandoned cars spun out at odd angles and their stranded drivers trudging towards some nameless help. Most residents stayed holed up in their homes, living off of the provisions they had dutifully stocked the day before. Basic commodities were impossible to come by and the majority of services simply shut down. As the snow storm abated, DC residents peered from their homes at the changed landscape, and painstakingly began the cleanup, trying to return to normality.
Ok, sure, that is a bit of an over-dramatization, but seriously, 395 did look like something out of 28 Days Later. This snow, like any snow, threw into sharp relief how woefully unprepared DC area citizens are for wintry weather. So, as a northerner, I take it upon myself to save you all from yourselves before the next snowpocalypse.
Update: More details on the accident from WashCycle.
I walked by this scene at 31st and M in Georgetown last night: squad cars and yellow tape around a Washington Flyer taxi, its windshield badly cracked, a mangled bicycle under its tires. Vnangia tweets that the accident was fatal. MPD had officers directing traffic around the scene (which got a bit confusing for drivers and pedestrians alike as the traffic lights were still running at the time, nearly causing more accidents), and M Street was backed up significantly. (But then, when isn’t it?)
The Metro employee who was struck by a train between the Braddock Road and National Airport stations last week has died, according to this WMATA press release. The employee, John Moore of Arlington, had opened a door that led to the track right-of-way and was struck by a train on Thursday. Metro and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating this incident.
It’s been a terrible year for Metro, as this is the third Metro employee who has died while working this year. The first was the driver of the train involved in the June 22 Metro crash, Jeanice McMillan, and the second was a track repairman, Michael Nash, who was struck by equipment on August 9th. A Metro subcontractor also died earlier this summer when he was electrocuted at a Metro bus garage.
The Washington Post calls this death “the most recent fatality in a series of tragic events afflicting the system’s operations in recent months.” Do you think this is just a tragic coincidence, or is there something seriously wrong with Metro’s safety regulations?
This weekend was a deadly one for Metro riders as two people were struck by trains in separate incidents. The first took place on Saturday at the Potomac Ave station when a man was run over on the orange line. He was alive when rescue workers arrived but later succumbed to his injuries. The second incident occurred on Sunday at Bathesda where a women intentionally jumped in front of a train. Both deaths delayed service for several hours as police investigated.
From WaPo: Open Top Sightseeing, purveyors of double-decker bus tours, has suspended its Nationals shuttle service after two people were killed standing on the upper deck as the bus went through an underpass.
Condolences go out to the families of those killed.
It’s unclear if there was sufficient clearance for the bus, or if the two guys who died were standing on the floor or on their seats, and the whole thing is being investigated; but I think we can all agree: don’t stand while riding the upper deck, and if you are standing, for heaven’s sake please sit down if you see a tunnel or bridge approaching.
Jerome Jones was the first African-American superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools from 1983 to 1990, hailed by many as one who extended new opportunities to women and people of color in the SLPS. More recently he left retirement to teach here in DC, at Howard University, where he founded the Department of Educational and Administrative Policy. He was about to move on to become Dean of Academic Affairs at University of the Virgin Islands at St. Croix — when he was hit by an SUV while crossing a street on June 26th. He died on July 4th, just three days after his 71st birthday.
I mention this because it turns out that all this time, Mr. Jones was my neighbor and I didn’t know it. He lived in my apartment building, and I would greet him frequently, though I knew him only as “that guy I see in the lobby who’s always going out jogging.” Only the day after he was hit by that SUV did I learn who he was, and only yesterday did I learn of his death.
Sad, sad passing of a neighbor whom I would have liked to know better. May he rest in peace.