Tuesday, March 15, 2016

So then this happened . . .

Today, something mind-blowing, something absolutely unprecedented happened. DC's Metro, the second largest subway system in the United States by ridership, announced it was closing at midnight and not opening again until Thursday morning so they can run safety inspections on 600 electric cables throughout the system. There have been two recent incidents involving those cables, one fatal, so rather than tackle the problem piecemeal, Metro decided to go bold. To say the announcement was something of a shock is an understatement.

Tens of thousands of people (maybe more) won't be able to get to work in DC tomorrow, including me. The Office of Personnel Management has graciously allowed us to USE OUR OWN FRICKIN' LEAVE as a punishment for not being physically able to get into work.

Metro is a good system. It was underbuilt from the start and badly planned for the unexpectedly large number of people it carries every day. Plus, it gets funding from Maryland, Virginia, DC and the federal government, none of whom want to spend money on it, so it's chronically underfunded as well, resulting in aging and failing infrastructure. I rely on it every workday and usually it works fine. But its problems won't be solved until a reliable source of funding is established by Congress.

So I'll be here tomorrow, teleworking as best I can. Some of my staff drive into the office so they'll hold down the fort. Work will get done, because that's what we do.

But still. Metro just closing completely. Mind blown.

1 comment:

Vol-E said...

Way too many infrastructure issues in this country. Ever been to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC? Recently read some pieces about it -- the elevators, built in 1895, STILL RUN OFF THE ORIGINAL MOTORS. Nowadays, contractors build a house and it's about as durable as your average doggie domicile. And roads? Let's hope Doc Brown is right, that where we're going, we won't need roads, because they patch 'em and the potholes are back less than 2 years later, even in small- to midsize cities.