Archive for the ‘Metro’ category

Metro Planning to Install Raised Vent Shafts on New Hampshire Avenue

January 5, 2017
Metro plans to raise the

Metro plans to raise the vent shafts for the Georgia Avenue station currently protected by sandbags.

In mid-December I reached out to Metro and asked them to remove the sandbags that are located around the vent shaft grates by the CVS and former Sweet Mango on New Hampshire Avenue. The bags were originally placed around these grates around September 30, 2016, to prevent anticipated flooding from the remnant of Hurricane Irene, an event that turned out to be over rated. Over the months, some of the bags had begun to break and spill sand, creating a mess.

While WMATA originally agreed to remove the bags, they quickly followed up that there is a longer-term plan to raise the vent shafts at these two locations to prevent water intrusion and that the bags would be replaced with newer bags instead. I don’t have a date for the anticipated work, but will follow up when I do.

New Georgia Avenue Metro East Escalators Open and Working

October 11, 2016

Its been almost 7 months since the Georgia Avenue Metro Station’s east escalators closed for replacement. I’m happy to report that they are finally open to the public again and appear to be operating fine. Feel free to take a virtual ride below:

Photo of new escalators at the Georgia Avenue Metro east entrance (below)

Georgia Avenue escalators

Columbia Heights & Georgia Avenue Metro Escalator Replacements Should be Completed in October

September 27, 2016

In February 2016 WMATA announced that they would begin replacing the escalators at the east entrances to the Columbia Heights and Georgia Avenue Metro Stations on April 18th and March 21st respectively. The duration of the replacement projects were estimated to be 35 weeks for the Columbia Heights Station and 45 weeks for the Georgia Avenue Station.

In looking at both stations over the weekend, both projects appear to be on track for completion in early October, with the escalators at Georgia Avenue appearing that they may be completed slightly ahead of the those in Columbia Heights.

cohi-escalators-2(View of Escalator Replacement Efforts at the Columbia Heights Station (above))


(Above and Below: New Escalators at the Georgia Avenue Station)



Georgia Ave-Petworth Station east side escalator replacement begins March 21

March 18, 2016

Georgia avenue metro


On March 21, 2016, Metro will begin a major capital project replacing the two entrance escalators at the east side entrance of Georgia Avenue station. To accelerate the project timeline and reduce customer impact, Metro will temporarily close the east side entrance where the escalator replacement work is taking place. The project will replace the current escalators, which were installed in 1999 and have exceeded their useful life, with brand new escalators that are more durable and reliable. Metro’s contractor, KONE, will install the new escalators as part of our ongoing project to replace 128 escalators across the Metrorail system.

How will this work affect my trip?
The east side entrance has two escalators providing access to Georgia Avenue station. While the escalators are replaced, customers can use the station’s west side entrance on the opposite side of Georgia Avenue.

How long will the project take?
This escalator replacement is expected to take about 45 weeks for site preparation, demolition, construction, installation and testing. Temporarily closing the entrance allows Metro’s contractor, KONE, to replace two adjacent escalators at the same time, effectively cutting the duration of the project in half.

How can I stay informed about the project?
We encourage you to sign up for MetroAlerts to receive project updates by email. You can also receive messages alerting you whenever there is a delay or service change. Sign up for free at

Georgia Avenue Station Quick Facts

  • Georgia Avenue Station opened September 18, 1999
  • Georgia Avenue Station serves nearly 6500 passengers on an average weekday

Stay informed by visiting this page or calling Customer Service at (202) 637-7000

Metrorail Closed Wednesday for Emergency Inspections

March 15, 2016

Metro closed

The entire Metrorail system will be closed tomorrow. Below is the press release that WMATA issued at 4:35 pm today:

All Metrorail service will be suspended Wednesday, March 16, for emergency inspections

Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, with support from the Authority’s Board of Directors, today announced the full closure of the Metrorail system on Wednesday, March 16, for emergency inspections of the system’s third-rail power cables following an early morning tunnel fire yesterday.

The inspections of approximately 600 “jumper cables” will occur along all tunnel segments on the Metrorail system. At the conclusion of the inspection process, there may be a need for additional rail service outages. Any further service impacts will be announced to the public as soon as they are known.

“While the risk to the public is very low, I cannot rule out a potential life safety issue here, and that is why we must take this action immediately,” Wiedefeld said. “When I say safety is our highest priority, I mean it. That sometimes means making tough, unpopular decisions, and this is one of those times. I fully recognize the hardship this will cause.”

The Metrorail system will close at its normal time tonight (midnight) and remain closed until 5 a.m. Thursday. All six Metrorail lines and all 91 stations will be closed on Wednesday.

The unprecedented action follows an early morning electrical fire involving a cable in the tunnel outside McPherson Square Station yesterday. There were no injuries; however, service was disrupted along the Blue, Orange and Silver lines throughout the day.

“The investigation into yesterday’s cable fire at McPherson Square is ongoing,” Wiedefeld said.  “As a preliminary matter, the conditions appear disturbingly similar to those in the L’Enfant incident of a year ago, and our focus is squarely on mitigating any risk of a fire elsewhere on the system.”

Metrobus and MetroAccess service will continue to operate on a regular schedule. Parking will be free in all Metro-owned lots and garages for customers who wish to take bus or carpool.

Alternate service options throughout the region will be extremely limited, and severe crowding is expected on buses. Consider the following alternates:

The public is advised to make alternate travel arrangements as early as possible.

Metro Escalator Replacement Projects to Continue at Georgia Ave. and Columbia Heights Stations

February 11, 2016

IMG_0164[1](Escalators at the west entrance of the Georgia Avenue Station)

At last night’s meeting of ANC 1A, representatives of WMATA were there to discuss updates to their  escalator replacement and rehabilitation projects — particularly with the Columbia Heights and Georgia Avenue stations. Currently, both stations are in the midst of escalator replacements projects at their west entrances. These projects are expected to be completed by April, after which work on the east entrances at both stations will begin.

The escalator replacement at the east entrance of the Columbia Heights station is currently scheduled to begin around April 18th and is expected to take 35 weeks to complete. The escalator replacement at the east entrance of the Georgia Avenue station is scheduled to begin around March 21st and is expected to take 45 weeks to complete. The result of both project will be completely new escalators at both locations.

When asked why the the Georgia Avenue station replacement was estimated to take 10 weeks longer than the Columbia Heights station, the WMATA representative stated that the elevators at Georgia Avenue were larger and that work can only commence when the stations are closed — which is about 4 hours of work time. Noting that both stations were only about 16-17 years old, I asked how long the average life span of an escalator typically is — and was informed that it is 40 years. The reason for the failures of the escalators at these stations is that the manufacturer doesn’t support their maintenance and Metro has had difficulty getting parts for them to keep them in good repair. Because of this, the new escalators that will be installed will be manufactured by Kone which is located in Illinois.

The escalator projects will be among 21 new escalators that are scheduled to be replaced in 2016. As of February 2016, WMATA had already installed 29 new escalators.


Metrobus Route Alignment Proposed for 11th Street

September 17, 2015

WMATA will be at the October 14th ANC 1A meeting to discuss a consolidated alignment for Metrobus routes 63 and 64 along 11th Street NW. The map below shows how the proposed alignment would impact the routes on Sherman Avenue and 11th Street. The alignment was a recommendation that came out of the 60s Line Study conducted jointly by WMATA and DDOT.

11th Street Route alignment

Silver Line Starting to Show Up in Metro Stations & Rail Cars

May 23, 2014

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been noticing that new Metro maps and station signage has been starting to show up with the new Silver Line on it. Below are two examples.

Silver line map(Detail from a Metro system map found in a Green Line train)

IMG_6376(New signage from the Clarendon Station)

Metro to Begin Gradual Replacement of Carpet with Resilient Flooring

November 21, 2013
A 6000-series Metrorail car with resilient flooring

A 6000-series Metrorail car with resilient flooring

Among the news Metro announced earlier today (11/21/13) was that it will begin a process of gradually replacing the carpet in its metrorail cars with resilient flooring. I think this is a wise move that will keep the cars cleaner easier. I’ve often noticed how dirty and disgusting railcar carpets can get and am surprised that this change didn’t happen years ago.

Following is the full Metro announcement on this improvement:

Metro is moving forward with the replacement of carpet in its existing fleet of railcars with new slip-resistant resilient flooring.

The move is in response to customer feedback during the design of Metro’s new 7000-series cars, which will soon begin rolling off an assembly line in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Riders told Metro that they strongly preferred flooring to carpet for cleanliness reasons.

Resilient flooring does not absorb dirt and spills as carpet does, and will be much easier for Metro maintenance personnel to keep clean.  In addition, flooring is more durable and has a longer lifespan before needing replacement.

As an added benefit, the flooring reflects some interior and exterior light, creating a brighter, more open feel inside the car.

Already, Metro has installed the new flooring on more than a dozen cars.  Over the next two years, Metro expects to have flooring installed on all 5000- and 6000-series cars.

The work is being done in-house using existing Metro resources.

News release issued at 10:57 am, November 21, 2013.

Metro Bus Garage Considered for Soldiers’ Home Grounds

November 1, 2012

Development map from the AFRH final master plan (2008)

Over the last several days with everyone focused on Hurricane Sandy, many folks may have missed an article posted at the Washington Post on Sunday titled “Metro considers Armed Forces Home land for new bus garage.” In short, the article describes the need to upgrade or replace the Metro bus garage on 14th street and Metro’s interested in exploring the use of land at the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) for a new Metro facility.

I completely understand that Metro should explore any and all options before building a new facility. It also appears that Metro is very early in the process of identifying possible sites as alternatives to the 14th Street garage. But even so, it is impossible to support any proposal to locate a Metro bus garage on the grounds of the Old Soldiers’ Home without more details — especially when Ward 4 Councilmember and Metro Board Member Muriel Bowser has stated that “any [new] location should contain a job training component or facility if possible, as well as serve as a catalyst for economic development.”

In looking at a map of the AFRH from their 2008 final master plan, the land already identified for future development is the area at the southeast corner of their current grounds (Zone A). Zone A is the wildcard. If future development there has already been set in stone then a bus garage would need to go somewhere else. But the other areas formerly considered for development are along Park Place on the western frontier of the AFRH. If this is the area being considered it would have a significant negative impact on Park View residents and would need to be opposed.

If a bus garage were planned for Zone A and placed near the intersection of Irving and North Capital streets, the impact would be far less but there would still potentially be much more bus traffic in the area as buses go to and from the garage. Some of that traffic would definitely be driving through Park View. Again, this is not all that desirable.

But … here’s something to consider. If a bus garage were located near the Irving and North Capital intersection and it was accompanied by a community amenity such as publicly accessible green space/park on a portion of the land along Park Place, would that be a trade off that would be acceptable to the community?

I’m certainly not suggesting that such a deal is in the works. As stated above, the problem with the Post article is the lack of details.

My greatest concern here is that, after the residents at the AFRH, the residents most impacted by any development of the AFRH land would be the Ward 1 residents of Park View. Yet, the 14th Street bus garage is in Ward 4 and CM Bowser is also on the Metro board. The AFRH on the other hand is in Ward 5.

We’ll definitely want to watch this development as closely as possible and make sure all stakeholders are included in any decision making should plans move forward.


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