Security Measure Changes Commute Pattern
Are any of you commuters who use Union Station experiencing what bothers this traveler?
Dear Dr. Gridlock:
Just when you think the congested pedestrian traffic at Union Station couldn't get any worse, Amtrak places a barrier that forces MARC passengers through Gate A (instead of detouring to the lesser used Gate G). This setup also prevents VRE commuters from getting to/from Metro without passing through Union Station (via McDonalds, the luggage carousels, and the ever-crowded and overflowing Starbucks) .
This morning especially highlighted the problems with this setup as three MARC trains were discharging passengers nearly simultaneously at the same time a large group of northbound commuters were also trying to use
Gate A to get to their train. It was pedestrian gridlock!
MARC notices stated that this new setup was for security reasons. I fail to see how this setup improves security at all, unless Amtrak is subscribing to the 'people only feel secure if they are inconvenienced' philosophy. I'd like to see some detailed explanation for these changes, rather than the generic responses we've already received.
This change was initiated by Amtrak, for security reasons. This is how MARC explained it to passengers:
Amtrak Police are changing foot traffic patterns at Washington Union Station. These changes will go into place in phases and may have an effect on the routes you normally take to and from your MARC train.
On April 16th, a barricade will be erected between tracks 16 and 17 restricting the flow of foot traffic on the upper level in the track area. Once this barricade is in place, trains arriving on tracks 17-20 will only be able to exit to the station via Gate G. Trains arriving on tracks 7-16 will only be able to exit to the station via Gate A. Trains departing from tracks 17-20 will continue to board through Gate A.
For those few trains that arrive on the lower level, access to the station will be via Gate G, which will become one-way from the lower level concourse into the station. The doors that connect the lower level concourse and the upper level train area will no longer allow entry to the upper level train area. Passengers from VRE will not be able to traverse the track area while going to Metro.
The afternoon Penn Line train that departs from the lower level will no longer board at Gate A, but will instead board through Gate L (Gate G will not allow entry to lower level concourse.) near McDonald's. Because of limitations to the gate board signs, this train will not appear on the Gate A board where you usually find MARC trains. Please refer to the Amtrak departure monitors to verify what gate and track your train will board from.
Posted by: Rich | April 19, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse
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