No Time to Behave Normally
It's just not normal out there. The laws of commuting behavior that applied back in the days when it was 85 degees are not suited to these times. Even a little walking -- even a little standing for a bus or train -- is enough to wilt a person in this 100 degree weather.
If you're driving home from work, check the Web site's Traffic Page before you go. Ease up on the gas pedal. Things get annoying in a hurry on a day like this.
This afternoon, I-66 westbound looks sluggish out beyond the Beltway. There's a Jimmy Buffett concert tonight at 8 at Nissan Pavillion. They're going to let people bring bottles of water into the seating area. The Legg Mason tennis tournament continues this afternoon and evening at the Fitzgerald Tennis Center at 16th and Kennedy Streets NW.
It's a Code Orange day, meaning the air quality is predicted to be a bit better than yesterday and the suburban buses are charging fares again.
With the temperatures this high, Metro is imposing its rail slowdown again this afternoon, so trains will be spaced out more and will travel more slowly above ground to conserve power. Take a cue from Metro and conserve your own power.
Any vehicle -- bus or subway -- that has to open and close doors frequently is going to put heavy stress on its cooling system today. Wednesday afternoon, I rode the DC Circulator bus from 16th Street NW to Union Station, and it was hot. Not too many passengers to share body heat, plenty of seats available, but the bus has big windows and stops every couple of blocks.
Do things you wouldn't normally do: Don't walk up station escalators to get to the top a little quicker. The only thing at the top is a blast of amazingly hot air as you exit the station.
Wait under an overhang or canopy until the train or bus arrives. Move up or back a car if you're uncomfortable on the train. Try to sit on the western or northern side of the rail car if you're above ground.
If you're so bummed by your commuting experience of the past few days that you're thinking of changing your pattern, there's a lot of good advice on The Commuter Page, as well as schedules for many forms of transportation in the region.
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