Thursday, June 21, 2012

Do What's Right

As I’ve often complained before, summer is the worst time to be a Metro commuter in the DC area. June ushers in the arrival of DC’s soul crushing heat-humidity combo. It doesn't help that our forefathers decided to build the capital on a swamp, in an era with powdered wigs and no air-conditioning nonetheless. Naturally this humidity, in conjunction with the formalities of modern business attire, causes riders to sweat in new and unusual places (for men at least, I dream of wearing a skirt, tank top and sandals when its 90+ degrees out). Metro commuters quickly learn that their knuckles, earlobes and eyelids all have sweat glands.

Along with the humidity summer ushers in another seasonal annoyance, the tourist. I realize that many of the people who visit our nation’s capital come from that real America that Republicans talk so much about, an America that doesn’t have big city conveniences like underground trains or moving staircases. Whenever I see someone wearing a fanny pack, sandals with socks, hunting camouflage or an animal print t-shirt on a rush hour train I just hope for their sake that they don’t stand on the left side of the escalator. Nothing draws the ire of daily commuters more quickly than some bumpkin standing on the walking side of the escalator. After all he is the only thing standing between us and an air conditioned office building.

DC Metro is spending $3 billion to ‘upgrade’ the system and build the silver line. This is all well and good, but they are not addressing core issues with the Metro like institutional ineptitude and corruption or more importantly the standing on the left problem.

So while riding the tube in London I was surprised to see that the English have developed an elegant solution to this seemingly insurmountable escalator clogging problem: a sign. I was so bothered the fact that DC Metro didn’t have similar signs that I felt compelled to take the above picture (while politely standing to the right of course). Heaven forbid that DC Metro takes a couple thousand dollars from their ballooning $3 billion budget and upcoming fare hikes to address this real, fixable problem. It would hardly be any sweat off their brow.

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