Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Walking it back: D.C. commutes in fear of hostile drivers, terrorists

September 10, 2011 - 09:10 AM
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(Photo: Ben Schumin)

What a bleak week. Not only did D.C. turn into deluge city with all those rain storms but our transit news featured disturbing new forms of road rage captured on video as well as big fears regarding how Congress funds transportation and about the the threat of terrorism in light of the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.

Let's review some of the biggest transit stories of the past week:

• Two wild, unsettling videos shook us this week — in the first, a Metrobus driver grabbed a guy who wanted to ride for free and threw him off the bus and onto the ground, the thud audible; in the second video, a pick-up driver curses at a bicyclist and swerves to intentionally hit him. What to make of this transit-fueled rage? WMATA now knows who the Metrobus driver was and has a fuller account of the incident, at least.

• The future of America's transportation and pedestrian funding is at stake! The players: Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Barack Obama, Tom Coburn, and angry bicyclists everywhere.

• The Met Branch Trail is safer and more engaged than ever these days.

• How did Metro handle September 11, 2001?

• Installing the new escalators in the Dupont Circle Metro station's south entrance means the escalators might be out for all of next year. Guess who won't be happy about the news?

• I considered the ways that the U.S. has discouraged drunk driving and changed behavior over the last half century.

• Sad Rosslyn commuters huffed and puffed up escalators that were broken for 61 minutes.

• A new trail that values local history is coming to Petworth — and two councilmembers haven't given up on funding lower Georgia Avenue's streetscaping.

• Feel the power of IBM's Commuter Pain Index.

• Changes are coming for Metrobus routes.

• And for WMATA's new map! See the new version that WMATA's looking at now and weigh in the agency's survey.

• The Rail~Volution conference is choo-chooing its way to D.C. next month.

Our post-Labor Day week has been shorter than usual but hardly an idle one. Conflict and insecurity and new transit developments characterized the last four rainy days and continue to going into this weekend. I'll be at Freefest, which should be at least some reprieve from the gloomy intensity that D.C.'s encountered lately. Ride, drive, walk, and bike safely, D.C. Best wishes for the weekend.

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