Dr. Gridlock

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

As one who has commuted daily for four years from Shady Grove to Union Station, I've seen it all. I am thankful that I am a reasonably fit, more-than-six-footer, so I am able to absorb the body blows inflicted by oblivious backpack-carrying, roller-bag-pulling, ear-bud-wearing and cellphone-texting people. I am thankful no one has spilled hot coffee on me.

Lately, I see much more eating and drinking on Metro. It's mostly in the early morning, and most often coffee. I also see fewer signs indicating it's not allowed, and I hear very few announcements about it.

I contacted Metro and got the usual platitudes and rhetoric. If I take what was said literally, riders are being asked to enforce Metro's rules. Why aren't there more signs and announcements?

As for the backpack and roller-bag problem, when it's crowded, I carry my backpack in front of me. That way, I can control it and not whack someone. I do, however, walk on escalators. It's a simple way to get some exercise and, what the heck, most of the escalators aren't working anyway, so it's necessary. And, I walk on the left. Here again, the key word is "walk," not run.

R.J. Nicholson


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