Lengthy repairs for Dupont Circle escalators
Hi, Dr. Gridlock:
What up with the Dupont Circle north entrance escalators? Only one of the three has been functional for like a million years (okay, a month and a half).
Travis W. Montgomery
There are always some broken escalators in the Metro system, but the ones I'm getting the most complaints about right now are the unmoving moving staircases at the Q Street NW exit for the Red Line's Dupont Circle Station.
This is a heavily used station on Metro's most heavily used line. Relatively few people want to walk up these escalators, even when they're working.The ride up is quite lengthy, giving passengers plenty of time to scan the lines from Walt Whitman etched on the vertiginous heights at the station's mouth.
So when more than one escalator is out -- as has been the case for over a month -- thousands of people notice.
In October, two of the escalators at this north entrance to the station were involved in accidents in which people needed medical attention. That led to a full safety inspection of both escalators. The inspections resulted in an extensive list of needed repairs, and the the escalators can't be returned to service till the repairs are complete.
You'll see them on Metro's big list of out of service escalators and elevators. They're the ones marked as under a "Safety Work Order" with estimated return to service dates of Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said one escalator is behind barricades because some parts have been removed for repair. It also needs to be refitted with a new step chain. The other out-of-service escalator has a similarly long set of repairs awaiting, but it isn't being worked on so Metro can use it as a staircase. That allows the one in-service escalator to keep operating in the up direction.
Even that one was scheduled to have regular repair work done. After the other two are back in service, Taubenkibel said, that one will go out for about a week and a half of maintenance work.
"The probability is strong that escalators will continue to be out of service during December," he said. "We recognize these events have caused a difficult situation for our patrons at Dupont Circle. We are pushing to have this work completed quickly, however the units will be returned to service only when we deem them to be safe."
Those units share all the problems common to Metro escalators: They're long, run all the time the transit system is open, and are exposed to the elements.
November 23, 2009; 8:06 AM ET
Categories: Metro | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Dupont Circle, Metrorail, Red Line, escalators
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