Downtown, Entertainment, Media, Penn Quarter, Special Events, The District, We Love Arts

September at SAAM

Photo courtesy of
‘Kogod Courtyard’
courtesy of ‘BrianMKA’

So now that the tourists are (mostly) gone, time to get out and hit our various museums and their great programs and exhibitions! There’s a lot going on this month at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and we’re going to run down the list for you. Programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated; the SAAM is located in Penn Quarter at 8th and G Streets, NW. Note that some programs are at the Renwick Gallery at 17th and Pennsylvania and are noted accordingly.

Intersections/Intersecciones (Sept. 10, 6:30 p.m.)
Artists Kathy Vargas, María Martínez-Cañas, and Martina López discuss the intersection of Latino culture and gender identity in their work. Moderated by Muriel Hasbun, associate professor of fine art photography at the Corcoran College of Art + Design. No tickets required; seating available in McEvoy Auditorium on a first-come, first-served basis.

Art à la Cart (Sept. 12, Noon – 3 p.m.)
Travel throughout the galleries to find interactive carts where kids can handle brushes, palettes, bison hide, bottle caps, and quilt squares. Ages 7-12. Pick up your Art à la Cart map and passport at information desks located in the F Street and G Street lobbies.

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The Daily Feed

Smoke at Dupont Circle Metro

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.

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The Daily Feed

Red Line Delays Due to Track Fire


An “arcing insulator” has caused a fire on the Red Line tracks (Shady Grove direction), outside Dupont Circle. At the same time, a track circuit issue is giving Metro problems at Farragut North. Single-tracking is currently in effect between Dupont and Van Ness. Expect major delays in both directions this afternoon. Official WMATA release here.

Update: “Normal” service has been restored.

The Daily Feed, WMATA

Holiday Weekend Service Changes on Red Line

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

Red line riders beware — this weekend is not going to be pretty, so start planning now.

NBC Washington reports that there will be some major service changes over this holiday weekend.

For those of you trying to get anywhere between White Flint and Medical Center, guess what — you can’t get there via rail. But there will be a shuttle service running. You can check out times for that on WMATA’s website here.

What’s Metro up to with the red line? They’ll be splitting the line into two parts. Grosvenor-Strathmore station closes at 10 p.m. tonight and will reopen until Tuesday at 5 a.m.

For more information regarding the closures, visit WMATA’s release about the changes here.

The Daily Feed, WMATA

Red Line to Stay Slow

Photo courtesy of
‘June 22 2009 – Red Line Delay’
courtesy of ‘Anything!’

According to a WMATA  press release, customers on the Red Line should continue to expect slower service and more crowded trains for the next ten days.  They expect the NTSB investigation of the June 22 metro crash to wrap up on July 19, after which service should return to normal. Until then, the situation on the Red Line will remain as is.

Essential DC, Talkin' Transit, The Features, WMATA

Talkin’ Transit: SmarTrip Getting Smarter!

Photo courtesy of
‘Metro SmarTrip Card’ courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting for the day when I’d be able to reload my SmarTrip card somewhere other than a Metro station.  For those of us who ride buses regularly, it’s really frustrating to have to go to a Metro station to add value to a card when you’re just trying to take the bus somewhere.  But there’s great news coming from Metro: later this year, we’ll be able to add value to SmarTrip cards online!

In an effort to improve customer service, Metro will create a self-service SmarTrip website, which will allow us to load value onto our SmarTrip cards electronically.  There will also be a fantastic ‘autoload’ feature that will automatically reload the card when the balance drops below a designated amount. The new website will include a way to see recent transaction data for your SmarTrip card (currently only available through a formal Public Access to Record Policy request, or by stealing a glance at the screen when the station manager scans your card in the kiosk).

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The Daily Feed, WMATA

Red Line Delays Due to Person Struck by Train


Metro’s Red Line is delayed this morning in the direction of Shady Grove, with trains on that side terminating at Twinbrook station due to an “emergency situation at Shady Grove.” Delay announcements were followed by notices to station managers to “not call Central unless your station is also having an emergency.”

Current Metro alert says Disruption at Shady Grove in both directions. Expect delays in both directions due to the report of a person struck by a train. NBC Washington says the person was struck on the inbound rails at Shady Grove at 9:50AM. WJLA reports the man was pinned under the train but survived and was taken to a local hospital.

WTOP reports the man has died of his injuries; witnesses saw him jump.

News, The Daily Feed, WMATA

Guy Falls On Metro Tracks

Washington Post reports that an unidentified male has fallen on to the Metro tracks at Friendship Heights Station. WJLA says he is “unresponsive” with “minor injuries,” and that he has been removed from the rails. WMATA Service Disruption alerts still have delays on the Red Line in both directions due to the incident, as well as an earlier switch malfunction problem. WTOP says Metro has turned off power to the third rail at the station and are single-tracking trains between Cleveland Park and Bethesda.

The Daily Feed, WMATA

Monday Morning on Metro

Another fun Monday morning for transit, and by “fun” I mean “not fun” — and on Car Free Day too!

At around 8:20 AM, a train with mechanical difficulties caused delays on the Orange Line in the direction of New Carrolton. Around the same time a switch problem backed up the Shady Grove-bound Red Line. Trains were holding for 10-15 minutes (an eternity in transit terms) at stations from Farragut North upward, and platforms packed quickly with rush hour crowds. Right now a “situation that has now been resolved” (earlier, a “sick customer”) at Rosslyn has left residual delays on the Blue and Orange Lines, which are still slowed by the earlier rush hour backup.

To Metro’s credit, once the switch malfunction between Farragut North and Metro Center was resolved, the Red Line got back into a smooth flow pretty quickly, and we had no problems transferring to an Orange Line train afterward.

To cap it off, a friend informs me that MARC trains on the Penn Line were delayed by a conductor suffering a heart attack and needing evac at Bowie State station.

Did the delays hit you on your morning Metro ride? Leave a comment.

The Daily Feed, WMATA

Red and Orange Line Delays

Crowded Metro Platform

If you’re riding the Red or Orange Line today, prepare for delays. The following service disruption alerts are currently up:

Orange Line: Trains are sharing the same track between Federal Center and Eastern Market due to a train experiencing mechanical difficulties at Eastern Market station. Expect delays in both directions.

Red Line: Trains are sharing the same track between Rhode Island Avenue and Fort Totten due to police activity at Brookland station. Expect delays in both directions. Expected duration 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Update: Alerts have been cleared.

Downtown, Talkin' Transit, The Daily Feed, WMATA

Red Line Delays Due to Track Fire

A small track fire on the Red Line at Metro Center prompted single tracking between Dupont Circle and Judiciary Square earlier this morning (around 7:30 AM), causing a cascade of delays down the Red Line in both directions all through the morning rush. The fire has been put out and trains are moving, but between 8:30 and 9:00 AM things were still a fair mess, with crowds of people filling trains and platforms to capacity.

To WMATA’s credit, communication with passengers from train and station PA systems was clear and thorough, and the rush hour crowd, though thick, flowed with tolerable courtesy and smoothness. (As quickly and safely as possible, as they say.) At least, that was my experience getting to work this morning. Does anyone else caught in the crowd feel differently?

(NBC4 reports that the fire started in a “stud post.” What are those?)

News, Talkin' Transit, The District, WMATA

Talkin’ Transit: Four More Years!

Photo courtesy of brianmka

Metro Center, courtesy of brianmka

No, no, this isn’t about the current administration.

We’re talking WMATA and their plan to rehabilitate the Red Line during a four-year stretch. Meaning that aside from rush hour, the most-used line in the system will see off-peak and weekend delays for an entire presidential term.

And if approved, it’ll come right at the time when daily ridership records are falling left and right like so many dominoes. Continue reading