Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Transportation Home  |  Discussions  |  Traffic  |  Columns  |  Q&A     |      Twitter |    Facebook   |  phone Alerts
Posted at 9:58 AM ET, 03/ 4/2011

Union Station could add stairs

By Luke Rosiak

A Metro study of ways to relieve congestion at Union Station has been completed, with two possible solutions under consideration. The more extensive one would take a simple step that has increasingly been clamored for by riders: Adding a flight of stairs where currently there are very short and often broken-down escalators.

Both solutions would include a passageway to H Street, currently accessible through the parking garage, and where several large-scale developments are planned. Ground will break on a new apartment building in the 300 block of H Street NE this spring. The passageway would also serve as the intermodal connection for the streetcar.

The entrance from First Street NE would also be moved and widened, adding space for a few extra fare gates.

With escalators to the Amtrak/MARC/VRE concourse under long-term construction, that passage has become a severe bottleneck as multiple trains carrying some 1,500 people unload at once. Intercity and commuter rail travelers account for most of the traffic in the north mezzanine, Metro planners said.

By Luke Rosiak  | March 4, 2011; 9:58 AM ET
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Metro, Red Line  | Tags:  Escalators  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Red Line delays due to malfunction
Next: Person struck by train at Rockville


Just a heads-up, the direct links to this blog are gone from the front page. You have to go via the 'blog directory' button.

Posted by: wiredog | March 4, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

The construction on those escalators has been crazy. Its taken months. And they've been misleading.

They began construction/repair on the escalators with a sign that said 'To Be Completed by March 2011' What they meant was that only one side would be completed by March 2011 (they had to leave one open in order to allow foot traffic).

That one side completed, after two months, in March 2011. Then they started on the other said, which I assume wont be completed to May 2011.

What a joke. Just add the stairs!!!

Posted by: MadmanDrummerBummer | March 4, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

As my 3-year-old says every time we pass them on our daily journey, the escalators are "for decoration."

Posted by: LadyCat11 | March 4, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

There is a direct link to this blog at the top-center of the Local page...

Posted by: bmp246 | March 4, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Finally. If world class transit systems in London, Paris, and New York can work with stairs, then maybe **MAYBE??** it would work here in DC? Duh.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | March 4, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Stairs won't work everywhere in the system but if there's a short section where one of the escalators can be replaced with stairs I say go ahead and do it! Metro did study this previously but decided against it due to the cost. Maybe Dr. Gridlock can link to the study or the reporting on it.

Posted by: Razor04 | March 4, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I recall reading several years ago that Metro already built a passageway to H Street. When speaking w/a Metro customer service employee -- not one of the information booth personnel -- he stated that there is an unused passageway. Is there really a passageway? If so, why was it never opened? Also, how will be kept safe feom crime?

Posted by: RockvilleBear | March 4, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

These escalators have been failing for months and it has taken forever to get them repaired. I realize Metro has financial issues but they raised the fares and included an escalator surcharge at places like Union Station. This is a sad and badly mis-managed situation, the whole set of escalators could be repaired in a weekend yet it drags on and on, often with nobody working on them at all during the day, even with one shut down for repair. Come on Metro, hire a subcontractor or more people but stop creating a safety problem for people go use corridor to get to the MARC/VRE and Amtrak train level.

Posted by: wwood | March 5, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Yes there is a passageway. It was built by WMATA when the metrorail was built at the request of the District of Columbia on the belief that District of Columbia or some commercial developer would build an arena or similar venue north of H Street east of North Capitol Street. I was never opened because said development never materialized.

As the how it would be kept safe from crime, it is similar in length and width to the passageway at Forest Glen that connect the fare collection area to the bus terminal and parking lot.

The passageway is presently being used as a field storage area and escalator / elevator maintenance base.

Posted by: SandBoxJohn | March 5, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I use Union Station frequently and I have no idea what escalators this article refers to. I looked at the diagrams at the link and I am still disoriented.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | March 5, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company