Metro in DC is turning a corner. Corners for trains are rather gradual, as are up or down gradients. Metro has been on a long downward gradient for I think maybe as long as it’s been running.

Maintenance is everybody’s least favorite thing in the world. Let’s make that another Toles’ Law. There may be many more of these laws to come. I looked it up and there are no registration requirements or costs or ongoing fees to minting new Toles’ Laws, and my legislature is not bicameral and there are no checks or balances anywhere to be found. I can do as I please here in the Realm of the Toles Blog, and will continue until they realize nobody is editing me and rein in my wanton and tyrannical ways here.

Anyway, maintenance is everybody’s least favorite thing. New projects are fun, and let those who follow keep them running. But eventually the time comes to do the repairs, and Metro is actually kind of doing them now. The nadir for me, of course was the Black Plywood Box of Doom that hulked on the Farragut North platform for longer than Mickey Mouse has been under copyright. But they finally dismantled it to reveal Two New Pillars that Hold the City Up There from Breaking Through onto the Tracks. Some relief in that. Ceiling tiles are mostly back in place and one can only presume that the cables of dangling lights will someday be replaced with permanent ones and then they’ll upgrade to new Bethesda Station standards of brightness. (Possibly they’ll even fix the drooling pipes of effluent slime draining down the wall midstation). ALSO, a whole new line of cars is on the way, escalators are being repaired (slightly) faster than they break, and ‘major trackwork’ that has been shutting sections for the system on weekends is progressing, one hopes. The Silver Line is being built. Joy is being had, as much joy that is as can be experienced underground anyway.

Now, to Metro officials reading this uncharacteristically complimentary note from me, my two suggestions. Firstly, install plaques IN the pavement at the top of exit escalators indicating which way is north. Simple way to eliminate about 90% of the confusion when trying to orient yourself coming out. (they are doing this in NYC!). This orientation problem is NOT solved by maps on poles! Different issue! And Secondly, on the very few cars with digital signs that tell you which station is coming next, DON’T MAKE THE STATION NAME VANISH JUST AS YOU’RE PULLING UP TO THE PLATFORM, when a rider wants it most! You still have room on the sign for the door arrows! Duh!