METRO IS responding to complaints that it has failed "to provide adequate signs and other information near subway stations and bus stops." It recently announced plans to post signs near the Convention Center, the Capitol and Union Station. The plans call for more than 250 signs, which are intended to guide Metro riders to nearby subway stations.
Many of these signs are already up. Most are not. Before Metro posts even one more sign, it should consider the following:
1. Washington does not need any more signs. They are already all over the place. There are areas of this town that boast of more signs than trees.
2. Metro's response to the complaints of inadequate signs and information deals with only one half of a problem. The Metro rider needs help not only getting to subway stations, but also getting from subway stations to points of interest. Metro's sign campaign does nothing to help a rider, for example, from the Metro Center station to the Convention Center.
3. Many of the signs recently posted are causing confusion. Three signs at 10th and H streets NW indicate that there is a Metro station two blocks south along 10th Street. However, there is no station there. The nearest station is one block south and one block west of 10th and H, at 11th and G streets NW. Three more signs at 10th Street and New York Avenue NW indicate that there is a subway station three blocks west along New York Avenue. But there is no station there either. The nearest station is one block west and two blocks south of 10th and New York Avenue, again at 11th and G streets NW.
Metro is funding this project with an $18,516 grant. We think the money could be better spent. Why not print small maps of the areas around subway stations and make them available to Metro riders as they exit the stations? This would eliminate a lot of confusion. It would help Metro riders to both subway stations and points of interest around the stations. It would also spare the city the unnecessary clutter that more than 250 signs will create.