Here’s a list of symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic: hopelessness, anxiety, loss of energy, a heavy feeling in the limbs, difficulty concentrating. Basically, it’s a description of what I’ve been seeing on the Metro every morning — even in my reflection on the windows.
Day after day of putting on your heaviest coat (and gloves and scarf and hat), trudging along frozen sidewalks hoping you won’t slip and knowing you won’t get home until after dark will do that to a person.
The other day, I ran into a friend at Union Station who had just missed a MARC train back to Baltimore. I was picking up dinner on my way home after working late — and trying not to be tempted by Au Bon Pain’s pastry display. (Another symptom of SAD: craving foods high in carbs.) Like characters in a supremely mundane version of “Game of Thrones,” we started talking about how “spring is coming.”
Just imagining the thaw, the abundant sunlight and how we would soon savor the chance to step outside boosted my spirits. I want to keep that conversation going. So here’s another — much happier — list: reasons why your commute is about to get way better.
Metro’s Spring Break
Between March 22 and April 13, Metro is pausing its “aggressive rebuilding efforts” to accommodate the extra traffic anticipated for cherry blossom season. That means no station shutdowns, no single tracking and no obscenely long waits (if all goes according to plan). It’ll also mean the arrival of tourist mobs, but Metro promises to deploy as many eight-car trains as possible.
Riders out late this Saturday, however, will be in for a rude awakening when daylight saving time strikes — at 2 a.m., the clocks flip forward to 3 a.m., aka Metro closing time.
New Bike Lanes
Remember your bike? It’s that thing with two wheels you only like to get on when it’s over 50 degrees outside. You’ll have more reasons to use it soon if the District Department of Transportation makes good on this year’s proposal for 19 miles of new bike facilities. The plan, released last week, includes the long-awaited M Street cycletrack and lanes on G and I streets NE (so cyclists won’t have to contend with the traffic and streetcar tracks on H Street).
Maybe part of the reason you feel like you’re in a rut this winter is because you’re actually in a rut. The winter weather that’s been messing with our heads has also done a number on local roads, so this year’s 30-day pothole-filling campaign in the District promises to be a doozy. There’s no need to wait for the official start on March 20. Report any you find by dialing 311, using the DC311 app or tweeting @DDOTDC. Crews are committed to getting each pothole promptly. So you can enjoy smooth roads while you’re cruising down the street with your top down and your shades on. Now that’s a happy image, right?