Thursday, April 21, 2011

WTF Happened at Woodley Park?

Photo: Mieko Yamaguchi

Update from Metro: "We received a call from the Zoo Police regarding a group of youth who were fighting and headed toward Woodley Park. The youth did enter at Woodley Park and were disruptive. They were contacted at Gallery Place, warned by Transit Police and sent on their way."

This makes you wonder what many Metro stations would be like in a real emergency.

Twitter was abuzz (sample) about a clusterfrack at Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan. It was hard to tell what happened, but there certainly were broken escalators and unruly teens.

A friend texted from there at 5:43 p.m. that "Woodley Park Metro escalators, up and down, just came to an abrupt halt. Super crowded."

Here's a later perspective from Karen:
I got off the train at approx 6:25 p.m., and the platform was packed with hundreds of teenagers, pushing and shoving each other to get on the trains (both tracks had trains that had just arrived)

I saw one Metro cop standing at the top of the first, shorter escalator looking down at the train platform, presumably seeing all the pushing and shoving, but he did not come down or say anything. He just watched.

I got past the farecard reader, and it was pandemonium on the upper level platform. That is because NONE of the three escalators were working.

People were jammed trying to decide what to do.

There was a large crowd at the elevator and hordes of people streaming down the escalators.

That also made it difficult for passengers to go UP because people were walking down all three broken escalators.

Teenagers (mostly boys) were pushing and shouting and being basic, unruly teenagers.

Mix that together with tourists, strollers, a man in a wheelchair and rush hour commuters, and it was extremely chaotic.

During my wait for the elevator (at least 4 trips went up and down before I could get to the front of the crowd and board), a few Metro cops came down the escalators and shouted at the kids to stop loitering and either board a train or get out of the station.

That did little to thin out the crowd.

The real issue was the broken escalators.

Even if there were not hundreds of teenagers there at rush hour, you would still have had the normal evening commuters, and they would have had to walk up that extremely long escalator. I am young, I don't mind walking but the tourists with strollers cannot.

It's Easter and Passover week and spring break, so how can the station that services the National Zoo have no working escalators?

This is the second time this week - on Monday (I think), there were no down escalators, just one going up.
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