Friday, February 12, 2016

Metro escalator follies: some Columbia Heights, Georgia Ave escalators will be closed 35 to 45 weeks (!)

Oh, the Metro escalators, a source of unending frustration. The escalators on the east entrances of both the Columbia Heights Metro and Georgia Avenue Metro escalators are slated to be replaced, and the timeline is absurd: for Columbia Heights, they'll be closed for 35 weeks, while at Georgia Avenue-Petworth, they'll be shuttered for a ridiculous 45 weeks.

That's longer than it takes a human baby to gestate in the womb. You can get pregnant right now, carry the baby to full term, and celebrate its first month of life before the Georgia Avenue Metro escalators get replaced.

Honestly, given 45 weeks, I think scientists can invent a better form of transportation from the street level to the Metro. Maybe a teleporter or some kind of Alpine Slide. A fireman's pole would be fun.

Park View DC has more: Metro officials say the timelines are so long because the work can only happen when the stations are closed, which is about 4 hours a day. The current escalators are about 16 years old, though they say the normal lifespan of an escalator is 40 years.

It's stuff like this that makes me question why we even have escalators. New York City, which has hundreds of stations, only has stairs and elevators. Just build more stairs and elevators and let's be done with this tremendous waste of time, energy and money.

I think if you want to get endlessly rich, just start a DC-based escalator repair and streetcar firm. You will never not have work (or, put another way, you won't ever have to do any work.)

And even when these new escalators are put in, I would be shocked if they actually worked most of the time. I guess we'll find out in just under a year.

In the meantime, check out my joke Twitter account: Are the Columbia Heights Metro escalators working? It just tweets various forms of "no."

Photo by Victoria Pickering


  1. 45 weeks! Good God. Let me guess, they're going to keep the going down ones operational, because metro intelligence.

  2. I don't understand why the stations have to be closed for them to work on these escalators.

  3. Soviet-era escalators are scary fast and very long but were and remain barely ever broken in the cities of the former Republics of the Soviet Union and "fraternal" bloc nations (Budapest, Prague, Bucharest, etc.). Perhaps we can hire their post-Soviet companies to replace Metro escalators. 45 months to replace 16-year-old escalators? Does the obesity of DC residents cause our escalators to break down?


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