Archive for the ‘Metro’ Category

An Open Letter of Thanks To Random Girl at the Naylor Rd. Station (and Metro too)

Manu Script

image found here.

Dear Metblog readers, indulge me in a brief personal story and the use of this forum to say thank you to someone.  Hopefully you’ll just find it a heartwarming little story about how good people can be in our area.  

Dear Random Girl who eventually got off at the Naylor Rd. Station:

Thank you for finding my Iphone.  Although I’ve never met you or saw you or know anything about you-I appreciate your finding my Iphone.

See, I was heading home to drop off the comic books I had bought at SPX and to get changed to go out for the evening.  In my fervor of comic book delightedness I must have only half-heartedly put my phone into my sweatshirt hoodie pocket after checking it (like I always do) coming over the river on the yellow line bridge.  Questions of whether to go all the way to Clarendon or not coupled with handfuls of newly signed books must have distracted me as I left my train at Crystal City because it wasn’t until I got outside and reached for my phone again that I realized it was gone. 

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Metros Get New Signs, Riders More Informed

Metro platform signs will now contain four lines of information instead of the annoying scrolling text currently used. Now we’ll get more information about things like “delays, what to expect, and travel options” according to the AP.

The Bear Facts

Bomb Squad Investigating Abandoned Greenpeace Stuffed Bear At Columbia Heights

Bomb Squad Investigating Abandoned Greenpeace Stuffed Bear At Columbia Heights

Not that the topic needs to be dragged through the news any more on the DC blogs, but homeless polar bears holding signs that say “SOS” are not the works of random activists. Ready for the surprise? It’s Greenpeace at it again. Man, those guys are so clever.

It has been an amusing protest of off-shore drilling and we all get the message, but can’t we continue without wasting the valuable resources of DC? On Tuesday a suspicious package shut down the Columbia Heights Metro station during the morning. It turned out to be a gigantic stuffed polar bear that Greenpeace left by a garbage can outside of the Metro without informing authorities. The taxpayers paid to send the bomb squad out, but Greenpeace got their message on the news, so we can be happy about it without complaining.

Yesterday another bear was placed by the Reflection Pool, leaving park rangers to spend their time, energy, and most importantly their attention dealing with the bear and getting Greenpeace on the news again.

Politics are all over Washington, DC. I point to the nuclear proliferation protesters who sit in front of the White House as an example of a good protest. The authorities know that they are there, and they do not leave their protest materials unattended for police to deal with at the taxpayer’s expense.

By all means Greenpeace, get your message out there by putting people in bear costumes on the side of US-50 (see post below by Frank), but don’t think for a moment that Washington will take your message seriously if you delay their Metros and basically use police resources to get press. Not cool.

9/12 In DC: Sketchy Packages, Metro Delays, Education Spending

  • This morning the busy Orange and Blue lines were shut down for more than an hour and a half after a suspicious package was reported to Metro officials. Though the all-clear was given at 7am, delays have persisted throughout the day.
  • Expect delays on the Metro system to only become more numerous this weekend, as the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac River will be closed for inspection and maintenance. Though all riders are encouraged by Metro to use Blue Line and the fancy extra trains it has been given to handle the demand, Yellow Line will be available throughout the weekend to handle local traffic from Huntington to Arlington Cemetery.
  • Mayor Adrian Fenty just unveiled a new $1.3 billion dollar plan to upgrade DC’s schools. The plan is aimed at improving natural lighting, air quality, and acoustics. Since that costs more than a billion dollars to do. “Researchers” say that the improvements could lift test scores, I say that the $1.3 billion dollars would be better spent trying to increase DC’s appalling! 56% graduation rate.

Five Line Flush

DSC_1124

First off, if you’re a Nats fan headed to the game with the Orioles on Sunday, good luck. You’re hosed.

Heads up to everyone travelling across the District this weekend: every single Metro line is seeing major track work and rail testing from Friday night through early Monday morning.

Blue Line
Sad to say, this one’s been hit the worst. First, customers traveling between the Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street Metrorail stations should add up to 30 minutes of travel time for their trips because of track maintenance. Inbound and outbound trains between these locations will share one track from 10 p.m. to closing (3 a.m.), Friday, June 27, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., Saturday, June 28, 10 p.m. to closing (3 a.m.), Saturday, June 28, and 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., Sunday, June 29.

Additionally, if you’re traveling between the Pentagon City and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metrorail stations, you should add 15 minutes of travel time for your trips because of track maintenance. Inbound and outbound trains will share one track between these locations from 10 p.m. to closing (midnight), Sunday, June 29.

Yellow Line
You get to piggy-back on the Blue Line’s woes. See above for sharing issues between Pentagon City and Reagan National.

Orange Line
Riders traveling between the Stadium-Armory and Cheverly Metrorail stations should add up to 20 minutes of travel time for their trips because of bridge repairs. Inbound and outbound trains between these locations will share one track from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, June 28.

Green Line
If you’re traveling between the Greenbelt and College Park Metrorail stations, add 15 minutes of travel time for your trips because of rail car testing. Inbound and outbound trains will share one track between these locations from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, June 28.

Red Line
And finally, riders traveling between the Friendship Heights and Medical Center Metrorail stations should add 15 minutes of travel time for their trips because of track maintenance. Inbound and outbound trains will share one track between these locations from 9 p.m. to closing (midnight), Sunday, June 29.

Orange Line Derailment between Rosslyn and Courthouse

Washington Post Express has the details on an afternoon derailment between Rosslyn and Courthouse, that’s likely going to flummox your attempt to head out of the District. Trains are single-tracking between Foggy Bottom and Clarendon as it stands right now.

There’s no word on the number or type of injuries aboard the train, but it was a passenger-carrying train that derailed between Rosslyn and Courthouse.

Check out DCist’s pictures from the derailed train!

Tonight, It’s Metrofail.

metrofail.png If you’re downtown still, get ready for a screwed up commute if you’re on the Orange, Yellow or Green line. Right now you can’t get further west that East Falls Church due to a power failure at that station. According to the service alerts from Metro, “Due to a power problem outside of East Falls Church, trains will terminate at the station. Shuttle bus service has been established. Expect delays in both directions.” The delays on the Green and Yellow lines are mostly related to a power failure at Georgia Ave/Petworth where all the escalators and elevators are out of service, but trains seem to be okay.

I’m reminded of Mitch Hedberg’s comments on escalators…

An escalator can never break. It can only become stairs. You would never see an “Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order” sign, just “Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.”

Or, perhaps this video is more appropriate. Either way, something to do at the office if you haven’t left yet and need to get beyond East Falls Church.

[youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=FSIkjNaICsg[/youtube]

This can’t be good: Metro All Lines alert

This just in from the Metro Alert system:

Disruption at All Stations. (Expect delays in the Metrorail system due to a system-wide signaling problem.)

Signaling problem? Yikes… I can’t wait to get on for the ride home!

Update:

New alert:

Disruption at All Stations was cleared. Thank you for riding Metro.

I don’t think I feel much better about this. What do you think? Eager to get on a train today?

Nationals Open New Stadium in Dramatic Fashion

I couldn’t help but think, as Ryan Zimmerman rounded first, his fist triumphantly thrust in the air, that I would not have written the ending quite as well as it had come out. With the remaining crowd on their feet and cheering, despite the bitter cold and wind, the new ballpark became the Nationals new Home.

Left Field Crowd (Tight)

I arrived at the Stadium in 40 minutes today, some hour and twenty minutes more quickly than our Saturday debacle, and after making it through a thorough, yet friendly, search of my person and camera bag, it was onward into the stadium. The Braves were taking batting practice. The concourse was full of Nats Pack handing out game booklets and stadium information, as well as a number of photographers taking fan photos and capturing the new ballpark.

I settled into Section 108 to watch the Braves put on a hitting show. The ball was carrying well into the outfield, and several lucky fans got souvenirs to take home. Around 6, I headed up to get a Kielbasa and a Coke from the stand at the top of our section. There was a bit of a line, but 15 minutes later I had dinner and was a happy guy again. Tiff went for sodas around 6:30 and had a bit of a wait, but everything was happy for the most part. My frustration came at 7:15 when I waited 40 minutes for a Half-smoke All-the-way from the Nats Dogs concession. While the Ben’s Chili Bowl line was horrendous, the other hotdog stands still carry the signature half-smoke with Ben’s Chili, but the line was bad. It moved, sure, but sporadically, and it seemed that concession workers were still getting a feel for their roles, as I saw many people bumping into each other. The only thing they seemed to be short on was popcorn. Tasty as the half-smoke was, it wasn’t worth a 40 minute wait.

I hear the other lines were pretty long as well, but I suspect much will get better as we get further into the season.

The Nationals, despite a solid first inning of offense, went 24 batters out in a row, between their last hit in the 1st and Zimmerman’s homer with 2 outs in the 9th. I was hoping for a bit more offense out of the club. But, the pitching held true, and kept the Braves from doing little to catch up to the 2-0 lead. Lo Duca’s passed ball in the 9th was a real heartbreaker, and at least one guy in our row wondered what Rauch was doing on the mound instead of the Chief. But in the end, it didn’t matter. Part of me wondered, as my friend Ben said to me later, if we weren’t all in some shared hallucination, seeing what our minds wanted to happen, instead of some sadder truth. I’m thankful it was real.

Row of Seats Asking for a Ball Beer Man Darryl Waiting for a Ball

Let Teddy Win! Nats Pack Girl Warehouse Bunting Left Field Concessions

Read on for a status report on the ballpark
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(Pre) Opening Night at Nationals Park

It was cold, but man was it worth it.

My friends and I who share a 20 game package all gathered in the upper level of the outfield seats tonight for the 3-0 exhibition win over the Baltimore Orioles. The whole stadium is such a massive improvement over the decrepit and dilapidated RFK Stadium

Clock (Closeup)

I was amazed, also by the efficient concessions (though they were out of hot chocolate by the fifth inning) and by the wide concourses and the comfy seats. I was not so pleased with my transit experience on the way in to Nationals Park. We had a bear of a time getting down to the new park amidst the Cherry Blossom and Kite Festival traffic. We got to Courthouse about 2:40, had to wait 10 minutes for a train that was packed to the gills. We waited 15 minutes for the next train, which made it as far as Foggy Bottom before some idiot held the doors open and caused the train to break down. Then, once we got to L’Enfant Plaza it was close to a 20 minute wait for a green line train.

I love that people are taking public transit this weekend, it’d just be nice if there was some for us to take.

Once we got to the stadium, though, I do have to say I was floored. There are parts of the stadium I am going to love and love and love and love (I refer, here, to the aforepictured clock, and other photos I took of it…) and the incredible high-def scoreboard that feels more like watching a game on TV (the good parts of course) and the ambience that makes me glad to be paying money for good experiences.

There’ll be more on the ballpark in the coming days, but for a moment, enjoy just some photos of baseball in the Springtime.

Nationals Park Logo Clock (Closeup) Dusk Outfield Toward the Scoreboard

Welcome Home! Opening Week! Getcher Programs! Ben's at Nationals Park

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