As Mall empties, some Metro stations fill up

After the Federal Center Metro station became overcrowded before the inauguration, many people are apparently trying to avoid that station as they head home, causing an overflow at L’Enfant Plaza Metro station.

As crowds streamed off the Mall following Obama’s speech, the station quickly began filling up. Lines at fare card machines were two dozen deep and long lines of people waited to enter the fare gates. Meanwhile, at one entrance,  from the L’Enfant food court, both down escalators were out of order, backing up foot traffic.

Police have stopped people from entering the station at 7th Street until the crowding abates. People are reacting well, once they know what’s going on. Many are asking directions to another station entrance.
A Metro employee told passengers “tap your card, insert your card, keep it going,” as riders shuffled through open fare gates.

While some riders complained of escalators being out of service Metro had in fact put in place a system to leave one running and one as a walker to keep them from becoming overloaded and broken. It is a common practice for crowds.

“I thought we were beating the crowds by leaving early but I guess not,” said Melissa Goddard of Newark, NJ, as she stood in a crowd trying to get through Lenfant Plaza station and back to her car parked at Largo Town Center.

At the Federal Center SW Metro station:  The station is seeing crowds of post-speech revelers wearing Obama buttons and baseball caps, but the platform is relatively empty, thanks to frequent trains.

Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.

local

dr-gridlock

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Local

local

dr-gridlock

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Ashley Halsey III · January 21, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.