Archive for the ‘subway’ Category

Inauguration Day 2-Wheel Deal — Free Bike Valet Parking

January 14, 2009

Inauguration Day 2-Wheel Deal -- Free Bike Valet Parking

Bicycle buffs claim the best way to get to the Inauguration is on two wheels. Like everything else about this historic event, that remains to be seen.

One advantage bicyclists will  definitely have is free valet parking. Details (courtesy of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association) here.

Better RSVP. The Washington City Paper reports over 1,300 bike valet RSVPs to date. As far as we know at this time, bikes parked and locked outside the security perimeter of the parade area will not be removed by police unless they are obstructing traffic.

WABA has other bike-related Inauguration Day info on that event web site. Check back frequently — this unique special event has lots of inter-connected moving parts that will need last-minute tweaks, like a persnickety gear assembly on an untested touring bike. Remember: Security rules are always subject to change and reinterpretation, and it may rain.

A few bike bits:

Bikes are banned from the Metrorail subway system from January 17th through the 20th, but a couple of bikes can be hooked to the front of each Metrobus.


Free Cars in DC?

September 22, 2008

Free Cars in DC?

Free Cars in DC? Of all the environmentally irresponsible, profligate celebrations, especially now when so many people can’t afford gasoline to . . . .


It’s Car Free DC Day. Everybody is biking, walking, skating, taking the bus and metrorail. Circulator buses are free.

There’s a Car Free Day Street Celebration from 11am to 3pm at 7th & F Streets NW with live music, yoga classes (we often commute via yoga), giveaways, Segway and SmartBikes demos and test rides, and free bike tune-ups. Free valet bike parking is available (though our  valet never rides bikes).

Image mashed by Mike Licht.

New Metro Shuttle Bus?

August 27, 2008

New Metro Shuttle Bus?
New Metro Shuttle Bus (artist conception)

16 million passengers will travel on U.S. airlines on Labor Day Weekend, August 27th to September 3rd. What better time to rip up the Metrorail tracks serving Washington, DC’s Ronald Reagan National Airport?

The crack planners of the  Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) have developed an ingenious strategy to accomplish those track repairs with a minimum of traveler discomfort: they’re not flying anywhere themselves.


No Quarter!

March 1, 2008


Writers handle rejection well (they better) but this stung. Not only did the D.C. Government reject my design for our quasi-state’s commemorative U.S. quarter (above), the U.S. Mint rejected  D.C.’s “Taxation Without Representation” design as “too controversial.” This is apparently the first coin proposal in the entire “State Quarter” series to receive an outright rejection.


Space Alien Update!

January 24, 2008

Space Alien Update

Image: Interior of something. I forget. Either Virgin Galactic 2 or prototype Metrorail subway car (credit: Virgin Galactic).

Space entrepreneur and alien (British) Sir Richard Branson is a pioneer, using bleeding edge technology to harness the unfathomable, enormous power of consumer retail market forces to explore the very envelope flaps of the Theme Park Experience.

Scientists are dumbstruck. Here they are sitting in cubicles doing boring research stuff with puny beeping machines, tinfoil satellites, invisible waves, faint flickering lights and such, crunching and re-crunching data to figure out what it means, when they could have been giving joyrides to rich guys. The sound of headsmacks at NASA in Greenbelt is audible here on Capitol Hill.


21st Century Metro (Update) — Inside Story

January 14, 2008

21st Century Metro (Update) -- Inside Story

While the authorities propose half-measures like the Model 7000 Metrorail cars, we have looked at the future of DC’s mass transit, the Model 8001 (above). The Washington Post and other worry warts fret about Metro’s ability to carry an increasing passenger load, but NotionsCapital Engineering and others are working on the problem. Our most elegant solution, HPS (Horizontal Passenger Stacking), met with some petty objections, so we suggest this simple interior redesign:


Sci-Fi Subway — 21st Century Metro

January 10, 2008

Sci-Fi Subway -- 21st Century Metro

Series 8001 Metro Meteor Series (concept, NotionsCapital Engineering)

DCist had a post yesterday on the 7000 Series Metro Cars. Yawn. Look pretty much like the old Metro Cars after someone’s ralphed on the upholstery.

NotionsCapital, of course, has previewed Metro’s wish-list rolling stock before, but today we have a really Sci-Fi Network (Psychic Network?) type exclusive. Not the ho-hum series 7000, but the 8000 series.

Exterior view above; interior below.

Well worth the fare increase..

Interior, Series 8001 Metro Meteor prototype

Top image by Mike Licht, who would credit the bottom image but it’s in Japanese. It may be from some recreation company.

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New Year, New Metro Fares

January 6, 2008

New Year, New Metro Fare

The new year brings Metro fare increases and the predictable whining and moaning over the nickel-and-dime price hikes in a service that hasn’t seen a price rise in four years. This is especially rich coming from suburban cry-babies who commute to federal jobs — they get subsidized fares anyway.


New Metro Cars

December 10, 2007

New Metro Cars

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) put two new prototypes of the 6000 Series subway car into service last week, outfitted with video cameras so Metrorail management can observe customer reactions to them.

The new railcars, which lack Metro’s trademark mildewed carpeting, have exciting new features like spring-loaded hanging loops, folding bench-type seats and grab poles, things only seen on other American subways since about 1908.


Meaningless Moaning About Metro

November 12, 2007

Meaningless Moaning About Metro

Did the prices of, gasoline, food, construction materials and, um .  .  . cable television go up in the last four years? Yes.

Have Metro fares? No. Time to raise fares a little bit, pocket change daily, to cope with increased energy, materials and labor costs. Forty percent of Metrorail commuters get employer-subsidized fares anyway.

Public Reaction? Outrage! Indignation! Fury!

Points to ponder:

  • Many commuters take Metro because gas costs $3 a gallon. Does Metro get energy for free?

  • On Metrorail, the greater the distance, the higher the price – you know, like in a taxicab.

  • Not enough suburban Metro station parking? The way suburban property values are falling, Metro should be able to pick up plenty of cheap land for parking lots real soon. There, isn’t that a comforting thought?

Image by Mike Licht. Please step back from the edge of the platform.