Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Escalator Close Call?

Via @ Graffiti on the metro. "What's going on here? Sheer incompetence!"

So in addition to Metro's social media faux pas after the Nats' devastating loss, there was a scary post-game incident at Navy Yard.

@aka_tk wrote with a few more details:
We were all walking down two sets of stopped escalators, as the station was packed.

About half way down, the escalator next to us just started to slide or fall about five feet or so. So people just grabbed onto the railing to hold on. Then the escalator seemed to catch itself. I don't think anyone was injured at least. I have never seen that before.
Another reader, Peter, claimed to be on the escalator that slid and said people were "terrified" as the escalator slid "at least 10 feet" before stopping.

A source familiar with Metro's escalator operations, said he couldn't be sure what happened, but that "an escalator that does that is not properly maintained. I would never get on a fully loaded Metro escalator. They are just not safe."

Two years ago, a Metro escalator brake failed leading to several injuries at L'Enfant Plaza after the "Rally for Sanity" event.

After the incident, Unsuck DC Metro broke the news that Metro had been made aware of the brake problems through a report by their escalator consultant, VTX. Metro appeared to ignore the warnings issued by VTX until after the L'Enfant incident when they ordered an emergency inspection of the escalator brakes.

Was this Friday another close call?

After the 2010 report, VTX came back in the Spring of 2011 to assess Metro's progress in addressing the numerous problems found in 2010.

VTX did, but now, well over a year later, Metro will not release the report to the public.

Another source familiar with Metro's escalator operations filed a freedom of information request for the report but was denied because the report was not "completed/finalized."

Regardless, it is unlikely that Metro addressed the fundamental problem at the core of its escalator problem.

Here's the horrific footage of the L'Enfant incident:

Other items: 
Cell phone coverage still three years away (Examiner)

Metro's failures bring entrepreneurs into breach (Examiner) 
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