Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Halloween 2011: Brainstorm your transit costume ideas now, D.C.

October 3, 2011 - 02:43 PM
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This commute's a killer. (Photo: flickr/sensualshadowsphotography)

October has arrived, D.C., and that means one big question — what are you going to dress up as for Halloween?

Don't kid yourself. The October 31 holiday is coming fast. What Halloween represents is, more than anything, a public display in which every street's sidewalk, Metro platform, bus, and bike lane will be filled with costumed revelers and candy-seeking children. Consider this Metro video from 2010 that shows the feast for the eyes that was a WMATA platform:

Other videos highlight the spectacle of the day in our population-heavy city blocks. Here, take a look at a 2010 Critical Mass Halloween bike ride that featured D.C. residents biking while in costume. The Southeastern Metrobus division has sporadically concocted a "Boo Bus" that traveled through S.E. D.C. to bring cheer to the neighborhood's children (it first rode as early as 2002 and last rode in 2009 after a two-year hiatus). As you can see, the day is serious business on the streets of D.C., and the choice of costume is of vital importance. Should you go for something timely? Something funny? Something sexy or scary or what? It's time to start thinking over these questions.

My real question — what are the transportation-themed Halloween costumes out there?

I'm serious, D.C. How easy would it be to dress up as a big Metro train or a Metrobus? A vampire WMATA worker? A zombie commuter? Certainly you can dress up as a car. There are many of those automobile options out there. Would anyone try dressing up as a Zipcar, perhaps? Or perhaps you could embody some classic motorists, a trucker or a motorcyclist or a bus driver. If you have a Segway or moped, then this month you should declare it a haunted Segway or moped, and take to the District as a ghost.

The world of bikes offers its own share of possibilities. Who's going to buy some makeup and attempt to become an undead cyclist? Bike Radar collected some cyclist-specific costume ideas a couple years back that's worth a glance. Will anyone attempt to dress up as a bike itself? At least a few people out there need to get creative and find a way to integrate the Capital Bikeshare theme into their costumes. Certainly the red would be a flashy and fun choice.

There's other traffic elements that could be integrated into a costume, whether you're talking stop signs, traffic lights, Metro pylons, or the markings that would accompany a bike lane. With enough creativity, you might be able to pull off dressing up as the @WMATA Twitter account.

The ultimate scary costume I'd like to see is a broken WMATA escalator. 2011 is absolutely the year to highlight this horror. How would it look? Well, I would suggest a few metal bars going up and down a black suit to resemble the stairs themselves. Tape a sign that says "broken" to your chest with different repair dates listed on it (with the earlier ones crossed out). The perfect touch would be to beat up a sandal first, too. Got a dog? Let the beast go nuts and bite the shoe to shreds. Then slip that right between the metal of the escalator costume, prominently displayed. Or even wear the shredded flip flop as a hat!

This one will be a winner, I promise. What other transportation costumes would work well for 2011?

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