Commuter Blues

Jonathan Shurberg   September 20, 2016   1 Comment on Commuter Blues
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I haven’t regularly commuted to work in DC since early 1996 (yes we had cars back then), but for the tens of thousands of those who do, things have gone from mildly frustrating to rage inducing things like this 1-2 punch in the face in today’s Post.

First, there was this recurring nightmare scenario:

A series of breakdowns, malfunctions and medical emergencies during the morning rush hour Monday combined to cause major Metro service interruptions that affected almost every line.

By 8:45 a.m., Twitter was afire with complaints from commuters sharing photos of packed subway platforms, screen shots of exorbitant Uber fares and vows that they would never use Metro again.

The commuting woes served as a not-so-subtle reminder: Even as SafeTrack aims to improve Metro’s reliability, there’s still plenty else that can go wrong and ruin people’s commutes, including mechanical problems on trains or random disruptions caused by passengers.

So you’re thinking about driving into DC instead? Think again.

District officials Monday outlined the city’s plans to help ease congestion during the upcoming closure of Beach Drive, including adjusting signal timing on key corridors, deploying traffic control officers and using electronic message sings to communicate traffic conditions and detours.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city also will continue extended morning and evening rush-hour parking restrictions in busy north-to-south corridors where Beach Drive traffic will be detoured starting Thursday.

But she emphasized the likely impact of the closure as the route that runs through Rock Creek Park undergoes a full reconstruction over the next three years. The first phase of the project starts Thursday, and will close the busiest portion of the 6.5-mile-long road, from Tilden Street to Rock Creek Parkway. That will be the first of four closures along the route, with each lasting about six to eight months.

“Let me say this as clear as I can, if you normally use Beach Drive for your commute you should think of alternate ways to commute and avoid this area altogether,” Bowser said Monday at a news conference near the area where work is set to begin. “Commuters will face significant traffic backups and delays,  especially during the first weeks of the project.”

This is going to last for THREE YEARS, folks. 16th Street, Connecticut Avenue, 13th Street, North Capitol Street, all are already heavily congested and all will be getting major influxes of traffic congestion.

Our regional traffic “solutions” are officially a tautological embarrassment.

Metro problems? Drive.

Driving problems? Take Metro.

Gosh, thanks so much for that, guys. 🙄

Me thinks we need some new ideas.

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