We Apologize for the Fact that you Still Can't Get Up There
Unsuck DC Metro looks back in time at a novel proposal ever so briefly considered by WMATA, one that never loses its commonsensical appeal: Screw the broken escalators, let's have stairs! A look at the minutes from the 2006 Customer Service, Operations and Safety Committee meeting finds that Metro could save some $1.2 million in annual operating expenses by replacing escalators with stairs -- you know, turning the escalators off -- at some 14 Metro stations. Stations with three or more escalators were only to see one set of escalators turned into stairs (but why?), while stations with those 12 kilometer-long escalators like Tenleytown would be unaffected (but why not?).
It's my understanding that the disabled and the elderly are advised to take Metro's elevators and to plot their Metro routes by elevator availability whenever using Metro. So the argument that strikes me as the obvious case against stairs is mitigated. On the other hand, stairs promote health and would save the Metro system money. On the other other hand, it seems that at any given time there are a fixed number of Metro escalators that are (broken) stairs anyway.
Would stairs slow ridership? Would tourists make moving onto and off of station platforms even more difficult if they were responsible for their own locomotion? Would this happen on a large scale? My guess: Like all healthy, cost-saving measures, the change would be both positive and super annoying.
"Hmm. That was an impressive level of smuggery," I mused to my invisible helper monkey. But I shrugged it off and moved on to the next article, also by Kriston Capps:
You Kids Get Off My Lot
"College kids with cars pay a parking premium if they keep their wheels on campus," reports the Washington Post, in the best news I've heard all day. It's expensive, and colleges intend to keep it that way. George Washington University students, for example, must pay $550 per semester for a parking decal and Georgetown students pay even more -- $656 per semester -- to park at satellite lots in Rosslyn; other Metro area schools must pay similarly high fees to keep a car at school. This seems wholly reasonable for schools located in an urban environment that is well served by public transportation. College campuses, too, are designed to offer students many (if not all) the services they require in one place, from health clinics to computer software stores. Granted, out-of-state students might ought need to go home once in a while -- but where in the U.S. can you not fly for $600 round-trip once a semester? If anything, it seems that students -- who, I'm sure we can all agree, don't really do anything with those cars but cause trouble -- aren't paying enough to park their jalopies in the District.
And holy Jimminy James Christ if that is not the most self-satisfied piece of yowzah I have ever read in my entire life. Not to be mean or anything. You know I fear blog wars like I fear Meeks, D&D nights, leather horse art and...Ren Fest? (Damnit!) But both of these articles express a truly impressive and infuriating level of smug. What crawled up your
tawt asshole, K-Dawg? Why are you trying to make me hoof it up stairs and utilize public transportation? I hate the public. I don't want to transport with them. And that's my choice!
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's examine the first article, shall we?
Upon first glance, I was totally on Kriston's side. I think we can all agree that the metro is about as reliable as a molestery uncle and needs to be fixed, but turning off the escalators? Really? Why? So we can replace the 1.2 million dollars Metro will save from cutting operating expenses with the new 1.2 million dollar "Oh-my-God-I'm-Having-a-Fucking-Heart-Attack" Fund? Metro escalators aren't like malls escalators―they go hundreds of feet below street level. That's steep. Like, really steep. Like, challenging to walk up them, steep. And I consider myself to be a relatively fit person. I go to the gym roughly 4-5 days a week but I still gasp for air like I just finished the Iron Man Challenge after walking a broken set of Dupont escalator stairs. And honestly, I don't think replacing the escalator system with stairs is a horrible idea. New York's MTA stairs are pretty effective, but they're a platform-stairs-platform-stairs set-up that makes jogging up and down them pretty effortless. The average Washingtonian can't jauntily jog up and down a steep, stopped metro escalator.
And I will gladly be the fat kid who says out loud that I would rather move out of this city than have to wheeze my way up and down stopped metro stairs day in and day out just because Kriston Capps think it would make the city healthier. Because who are you,
Ms. Mr. Capps, to decide how to make people healthier? You're like that office manager who only stocks the fridge with water because soda rots your teeth and wastes calories. I'm a grown-ass woman. Let me make my own health choices. If you health-rape me, I will blow my whistle.
I guess we're all supposed to ascertain from Kriston's article that
she he can run up and down stopped metro stairs with grace and ease. Well good for fucking you. Guess what? I can do the electric slide at double speed and rock the fucking wheels off any bar mitzvah. And good for fucking me! We all excel in different physical arenas. Should I propose that we get healthier and save on transportation expenses by forgoing the metro completely and electric sliding our way to work? Uh, Boogie-oogie-oogie-fuck-no! Sure I'd love it if that were the case, but not everybody else would. And part of living in a civilized society and being a good person is thinking about others and not being so god-damn impressed with yourself. Oogie-Oogie.
Guess what? I went to a DC school and had a car. All four years. And it helped me out exponentially. Frankly, I don't even understand how this made it into DCist in the first place. This isn't so much news as what sounds like a whiny rant from someone who didn't have a car in college.
I can't decide which part of this article I find the most smug and offensive, so let's just go through point by point, shall we?
"This seems wholly reasonable for schools located in an urban environment that is well served by public transportation."
- Only GW is really a self-sustaining urban campus. AU is in the middle of bumble-fuck nowhere Spring Valley and Georgetown is in...well...Georgetown, where there isn't a metro. It just takes shit longer to get done in these parts of town. And didn't we just go over how unreliable the metro is? Junior year, for example, I took 18 credits and had an internship AND a job (OH SHIT! IT'S A MOTHERFUCKING SMUG-OFF!) I had to zip my ass from AU all over town and life would have been considerably more difficult if I had to rely on public transportation (and this wasn't even factoring in hypothetical steep-stair-hiking time!) Shit was just easier with a car and I'm really grateful that I had one. Does that make me less of a person?...Not really. It kind of just makes me a mediocre person with a car.
"College campuses, too, are designed to offer students many (if not all) the services they require in one place, from health clinics to computer software stores. Granted, out-of-state students might ought need to go home once in a while -- but where in the U.S. can you not fly for $600 round-trip once a semester?"
- You just sound fucking crazy right now. College campuses aren't Utopian little societies where you only leave once a semester to fly home. Which also sound a little cultish to me, frankly. Reasons I left campus via car: to visit my parents more than once a semester because I like them, buy art supplies besides the one piece of poster board and glue stick the bookstore carried, go to my internship, go to my job, take friends to run errands not accessible via metro or metrobus, weekend road trips, weekly traditional California Tortilla night, go to the doctor (I'm terribly sorry I don't trust my person to the campus provided student health center where the answer to everything is pregnancy or spinal meningitis,) and that's just naming a few. And I don't think these are terribly frivolous or ludicrous reasons to leave campus either. I mean college isn't the Army, I'm pretty sure you're allowed to leave any time you want...
"Granted, out-of-state students might ought need to go home once in a while -- but where in the U.S. can you not fly for $600 round-trip once a semester?"
- Again, who are you to dictate how many times people leave campus to see their parents or friends? Hi, AU (bless it's heart) was boring as fuck-all, sometimes it was necessary to leave. And that was my prerogative. I had the means, I had the desire, so I left. Again, does this make me a bad person? ...Again, not really.
"I'm sure we can all agree, students don't really do anything with those cars but cause trouble."
- What 1950's American Graffiti movie are you living in?! I worked in Georgetown for two years and never once saw drags of GU kids hot-rodding down M street in their Thunderbirds, a-blastin' their rock 'n' roll music, drinkin' their caffeinated colas and shaking their hips all provocative and un-Christian-like. Mostly I just saw a lot of Vineyard Vines tote bags and popped collars.
"If anything, it seems students...aren't paying enough to park their jalopies in the District."
- You sound pleasant.
The ultimate irony here, of course, is that I'm being smug about not being smug and in the end who gives a shit, but still! K. Capps pissed me off with
her his award-winning level of smug. So I'm going to give her him an award!
Congratuatlions Kriston Capps, you are the first winner of the 2birds1blog's Smug Pug Award!
Thank you for enriching our community with your extreme sense of self-satisfaction. I recommend you watch the South Park episode entitled "Smug Alert!" and mentally replace Mr. Broflovski with yourself. Given my aversion to steep stairs, I will also allow you to replace Cartman with me.