28 March 2013

Reader submission: WMATA passenger shortcomings

Metro Blur, by theqspeaks
We welcome the occasional reader submission here at The District Curmudgeon, and this little bit of righteous anger from our friend Jonathan Gitlin sums up what we're sure are pretty common feelings for many who use Metrorail on a daily basis.

Dear fellow WMATA passengers, here are some things I hate about you:
  • Standing on the left on the escalators.
  • Standing still at the exit of escalators, during rush hour.
  • Standing still at the exit of escalators, during rush hour, pulling your enormous suitcase behind you.
  • Standing in the doorway of the train I’m trying to get out, resolutely refusing to move an inch. No, I’m not sorry I barged you out the way.
  • Meandering slowly up the platform, wandering from side to side as you go.
  • Wearing sunglasses. Underground. When it’s already dimly lit. You look like a cretin.
  • Eating. Are you blind, stupid, or just inconsiderate? Because it pretty clearly says no eating, you blind, stupid, inconsiderate fool.
  • Schoolchildren.
  • Having to deal with the pages of your copy of the Examiner that you littered all over the seat.

Let me add:

  • Meandering slowly down the platform, during rush hour, in a crowd, pulling your tiny backpack on wheels behind you. You're an adult, carry the pack on your back, you lazy, inconsiderate, space-wasting fool. You're taking up the room of 4 people on this crowded platform!
Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. - Walking up or down the middle of the escalators while I am trying to run down past your.
    - Standing and taking up the remaining half of the escalator with your foot-thick messenger bag. No one needs to take home that many documents.
    - The partially blind guy who took up the other seat with a bag that would fit on his lap. Vision impairment is no excuse for bad manners.
    - Being loud in the mornings -- tourists and interns.
    - You get two attempts at tapping your SmartCard. If it still doesn't work step out of line, there are five people behind you.

  2. Thanks for saying what I want to say!

  3. -Standing slack-jawed in front of the doors outside the train, as the doors are opening, looking as if you don't understand/can't imagine why people are getting off the train when you want to be getting on the train.

  4. Walking, slowly, up or down the middle of an escalator, refusing to get to one side to allow me to pass you.

  5. Getting on the train somewhere like Gallery Place and standing in the door then refusing to budge to either out of the door or out onto the platform (depending on how crowded the train is) to let people get off the train.

  6. Eh, I'm totally with you on all except for one: the sunglasses underground one.

    I have prescription sunglasses and sometimes it's just faster to pop them on for a moment to read a sign than it is to dig around for my glasses, put them on, read, take them off, etc.

    I probably do look silly, but is offending your visual sensibilities really as bad as physically being in your way (as all of those others are)?

    As for the luggage/bags in the way, I wouldn't go so far as to say don't have them, but it would be nice if people could just hold them out of the way and close to their person. E.g., luggage directly on the step behind you as you are standing on the right side of the escalator or big*ss messenger bag swung behind you instead of beside you so people can pass by.

  7. Where there is an escalator going up next to some stairs, using the stairs to go up so that people coming down miss the train at the platform.


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