16 February 2011

Good News! WMATA station managers are paying attention...

...to their cars.
(Not the car that was parked at the
New York Avenue station last night,
but it was there recently.)

That's the story I got last night at the New York Avenue Station. As is often the case, a car was parked in front of the bike racks there. It's a story I've brought up before. I saw a Metro Transit Police car parked outside of the station as well, so I thought I'd ask the officer if they knew what the rules were regarding vehicles parking on the sidewalk on WMATA property. The officer wasn't in the car, so I walked into the station and found him in the manager's kiosk.

I asked if anyone there knew who owned the car that was parked in front of the bike racks, and the manager-on-duty said it was hers. I began to explain to her that cars parking in front of the bike racks has the effect of shielding them from view of the public and makes it easier for criminals to steal the bikes. She cut in and asked if I was having a hard time removing my bike from the rack. I replied that I was not, but it was still a safety issue.

Her reply was that she's always watching her car, and I shouldn't worry because she's "being vigilant about that," so she'd notice if someone was near the bikes.

I inquired whether WMATA provides parking for workers who need to drive to the station. She said, "Not at this location."

Two observations came from this night. The first: WMATA needs to procure parking for the station managers who need to arrive before the first train and drive home after the last train departs. Now that Constitution Square [PDF] (home to Harris Teeter, restaurants, a bank, and a large underground parking garage) is open next door, it shouldn't be difficult for the transit agency to gain access to a couple guaranteed parking spaces for these station managers.

The second more troubling observation didn't come to me until later. If this station manager is spending her time "being vigilant" about watching her car, is she actually doing her job? Shouldn't that effort go towards paying attention to the needs of customers and keeping an eye on the safety and security of the station itself?


  1. I knew that the line of questioning would lead to whether or not the manager was doing her job. I am a bus operator and I have never seen a more complaining and whining bunch of people than I have in the district of columbia. people find something to do, get a hobby. these bicycles are a pain in the u know what. for all the whining the bikers do, when are they going to start following traffic laws? How about that?, When?. They should be ticketed just like a car. After all the screaming about wa wa we want bike lanes, then follow the road laws.

  2. Yeah, I've had similar experiences. It's usually a metro or city employee of some sort (that, frankly, should know better). Can I put in a request that you do a similar story to your dog poop story -- http://distcurm.blogspot.com/2011/06/heres-why-we-cant-have-nice-things-dc.html -- and shame folks who park their ginormous vehicles in bike lanes? I never quite followed through on my own attempt -- http://abikeablefeast.blogspot.com/2011/06/stay-in-your-lane.html

  3. :)Ibti: There is already a website that does this - mybikelane.com. Send your pictures their way!


You can be curmudgeonly too, but let's try to be civil and constructive here, ok?