Escalator fix moved back again
The date for restoring the escalators between the platform and the mezzanine at Bethesda Metro station has been moved back again. Now, according to Metro's list of out of service elevators and escalators, the fixes should be completed by Friday.
In my Sunday Dr. Gridlock column, two Metro riders stated frequently asked questions about the escalator system. One rider echoed what I've heard from many others in calling the situation at Bethesda a "first-class mess."
It's a bank of two escalators. One is undergoing long-term (really long-term) rehabilitation. So the other is turned off to serve as a stairway, with people walking up and down. It's been like that for months.
In another Dr. Gridlock blog posting this morning, I asked if you thought Metrorail cars should be redesigned to cope with crowding, which will only get worse.
The escalators also are an important part of Metro's people-moving system. Shouldn't that part of the system also be reviewed in light of crowding? We have similar tensions: On the rail cars, we talk about seat hogging. On the stopped escalators, like the one at Bethesda, riders complain about jostling and people cutting into the line.
One solution would be a redesign at the very crowded stations where there aren't enough exits. There is a plan to put a new entrance on the south side of the Bethesda Station. You can see a study for the Bethesda entrance on the Action Committee for Transit Web site. The cost estimate there is $60 million. Metro also has plans to put in a stairway at Foggy Bottom Station, another escalator trouble spot. The Arlington County Board recently approved a $32.6 million plan for a new entrance at Rosslyn.
That's a slow and expensive process. Meanwhile, we have situations like the one at Bethesda, where big crowds trying to get to and from trains at rush hour are funneled into that one stopped escalator. There has to be another way to maintain the escalators. Metro needs a maintenance plan that takes into account the serious problem of crowding at such stations. Turning one escalator into a walker while the other is out for months of maintenance just won't do at busy stations with limited access.
Posted by: iolaire | July 19, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: iolaire | July 19, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nocando | July 19, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MartinLocraft | July 19, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jiji1 | July 19, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nativetexan2 | July 19, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mika_england | July 19, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.