Dear Dr. Gridlock:
Can you give us an update on the status of the Red Line Metro stations extending from Silver Spring to Glenmont? As I understand it, the Forest Glen and Wheaton Metro stations are scheduled to open in September, and a parking lot is scheduled for completion at the Glenmont site within two years.
Will the Forest Glen and Wheaton stations open next month? There seems to be a lot of construction around the Wheaton station.
Has any funding been committed to the Glenmont station? While a parking lot (and shuttle buses to the Wheaton station) is nice, the growing Olney-Aspen Hill-Layhill areas desperately need a Metro station to relieve traffic congestion. What do you think the odds are of getting a Metro station? MIKE GUTIERREZ Silver Spring
The Forest Glen and Wheaton stations are scheduled to open on Saturday, Sept. 22. The grand opening will be at 10 a.m. at the Wheaton station, with banners and balloons and speeches by Maryland's two U.S. senators and others. There will be free rides on the Metro system at the two new stations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday (Note: Once you exit the system you can't get back on free).
Construction is under way on an 1,800-space parking facility at the Glenmont station. That is scheduled to be finished in the summer of 1992, with shuttle buses then moving passengers to the Wheaton station. There will be about 600 parking spaces at the Forest Glen station, and 1,500 in two facilities at Wheaton. One third of the Wheaton spaces are still under construction, but that work should be done by the end of the year.
There is no money for the Glenmont station. Metro officials are working Capitol Hill hard to obtain it, but they've been doing that for years without success. Your guess is as good as any as to whether that station will ever be built.
The opening of Forest Glen and Wheaton will add 3.2 miles to the Metro Red Line. The extension cost $300 million, which provides some idea why funds are so hard to come by now to finish the projected 103-mile system.
Completion of these two new stations will increase the rail system to 73.2 miles. Funding is firm for 89.5 miles. Next spring, Metro plans to open the Van Dorn station, as well as several stations on the Green Line: Mount Vernon Square-UDC, Shaw-Howard University, and U Street-Cardozo. The Green Line stations at Waterfront, Navy Yard and Anacostia are scheduled to open in the fall of 1991.
The last funded segments are Green Line stations at Fort Totten, West Hyattsville, Prince George's Plaza, College Park-University of Maryland, and Greenbelt. They are projected to open in late 1993. That leaves unfunded the last station on the Red Line, Glenmont; the last station on the Yellow Line, Franconia-Springfield; and the Green Line from U Street to Fort Totten and from Anacostia to Branch Avenue.
The Forest Glen station is at Georgia Avenue and Forest Glen Road; the Wheaton station is on both sides of Georgia Avenue south of Reedie Drive. Double-Parking Scourge Dear Dr. Gridlock:
At your recommendation, I have written to the Bureau of Parking Services regarding the chronic double parking that exists in the District. I do not think that the city is spending sufficient time citing double-parking violators.
The afternoon rush hour in the eastbound lanes of Pennsylvania Avenue SE between Second and Fourth streets, and Fourth and Sixth streets, is especially bad.
I've been taking that route home every weekday evening for the last 12 years, and have never once had all lanes open. Sometimes triple parkers leave just one through lane. Even metropolitan police patrol cars double park with great regularity.
It is very dangerous and I wish that something could be done to stop the double parking there and on other city streets. ALAIN C. DEVERGIE Tantallon
Me too. Red Light Runners Dear Dr. Gridlock:
Count this letter as one more desperate plea for camera enforcement in the District of Columbia. I also am outraged by the large number of motorists who run red lights and quite weary of taking my life in my hands every time I come into the city. I am even more outraged by the city government's refusal to address the issue, particularly when a method of deterring red-light runners has been developed and successfully used elsewhere. ALICE C. MANSFIELD Falls Church
If only this were put to a vote . . . .
P.S. Area police conduct an annual crackdown on red light runners (which seems to have no lasting effect), and have found that violators are just as common in the suburbs as in the city.
Write to (please don't phone) DR. GRIDLOCK at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.