We love to hate escalators here in DC, particularly when they’re broken down or when tourists are blocking your path as you just miss your train. And since Metro can’t post signs telling people to stand right and walk left (remember why?), this escalator frustration was just something we had to learn to live with and silently stew over.
Enter howtouseanescalatorindc.com. Offering such brilliant tips as “DC escalator = think politics: Left = move forward, Right = obstruct path, Middle = no one likes a centrist make up your damn mind”, this site is the perfect outlet for escalator frustration. I can’t count how many times I’ve wanted to shout at a tourist, “YOU KNOW ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO GOT ON BEFORE YOU AND WALKED UP QUICKLY? THEY WERE NOT IN AN EXERCISE CLASS. MOVE OUT OF OUR WAY” and now someone else has finally said it for me.
It’s probably the number one gripe about tourists: they stand on both sides of the escalators on Metro, blocking the left side that is generally understood to be for walking. We Washingtonians understand that you stand to the right and walk on the left– there are even Facebook groups and t-shirts supporting the concept– but there are no formal signs on or near the escalators that say so. Why not? Rumors range from the theory that having people walk on one side and stand on the other leads to an unequal balance of weight and causes escalators to break down more frequently, or the theory that Metro doesn’t want to formally endorse a ‘stand right/walk left’ policy for liability and safety reasons. But what’s the real reason there aren’t signs telling tourists to stand to the right?
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.
It’s been a fun (i.e. not fun) morning on Metro, with backups from multiple sick customers on Orange/Blue and Green/Yellow Lines at Rosslyn and L’Enfant Plaza, broken escalators at Dupont Circle, and the standard parade of nonworking air conditioners. Update: Oh, and a switch malfunction at Rosslyn. And a family stuck in the Cleveland Park Metro elevator. Update, 6PM:And an escalator fire at Dupont! Today is the gift that keeps on giving. And by gift we mean not a gift.
For extra enjoyment, here’s a video of people yelling at the Dupont Circle escalators, courtesy wfpman: (after the jump) Continue reading →
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?