I have been pleased to read that Montgomery County and Metro officials are working together to expand the parking facilities at the Shady Grove Metro station to provide much needed space for commuters from Rockville and the up-county area. However, before additional parking is provided, Metro would be wise to remedy the dangerously overcrowded conditions that exist on the Metro platform.

It seems incredible that the Shady Grove station, which was designed as a terminus for the Red Line and a gateway for the up-county area, has only one elevator and two escalators serving the train-boarding platform. In addition, there are not enough Farecard gates to enable people to exit the station without forming a long line. During the evening rush hour one escalator takes people down from the platform, and the second escalator is turned off so that people can attempt to push past each other going up and down on a mechanism designed to carry one-way traffic. Despite this awkward arrangement, commuters who get off the trains at Shady Grove find themselves lined up from edge to edge on the narrow platform waiting to squeeze down the stairs. It's only a matter of time -- and luck -- until someone is pushed onto the tracks.

The time to remedy this dangerous situation is before, not after, a tragedy occurs. Metro must provide additional escalators and more Farecard gates for the Shady Grove station.


Now I know what it must be like to live in Moscow.

On Oct. 29, commuters at New Carrollton subway station were suddenly notified that daily parking fees were being increased from $1 to $1.50. A written notice explained that the WMATA Board of Directors "approved" the fee increase.

What's a WMATA? I don't remember voting for it, but I do remember the jerk I voted for in the last election.

C. J. STECKEL Seabrook