According to a recent news account, our Metro system has decided to disentangle its Blue and Orange lines, which now run Blue in one direction and Orange in the other. On or after Dec. 17, a Blue Line train running in one direction to the Addison Road station also will be a Blue Line train running in the opposite direction to National Airport. Orange Line trains likewise will run between New Carrolton and Ballston.
But will that end the confusion among color-coded subway routes? Unfortunately, no.
On the same date, trains on the Yellow Line bearing Blue Line markings will begin running on an extension from National Airport to the Huntington station south of Alexandria in Fairfax County. Real Blue Line trains will continue to terminate at National Airport.
The problem is that Metro cars are equipped with destination rollers that show Huntington only in blue. In the ultimate scheme of things, Huntington will be the terminal of the Blue Line while Springfield-Franconia, on a branch not yet built, will be the terminal of the eventual Yellow Line.
Meantime, one can just hear someone at Foggy Bottom trying to be helpful to a confused rider: "Take a Blue Line train to National Airport and get off and cross the platform to catch a Yellow Line train that's marked for the Blue Line. . . ."
It's tempting to wish that the destination signs won't be in place so riders won't be as confused.
A postscript: An increasing number of Metrobuses are running without destination signs. Two were seen one day last week on the 16th Street line.