Friday, December 02, 2005

I am a cranky commuter

When I was in London last week, I admired the signs on tube station escalators instructing riders to "stand right, walk left," wishing that Metro would put up similar signs. Looks like my wish has been granted: according to this morning's Washington Post, Metro will soon have signs instructing riders to "stand to the right," and is making other attempts to make people flow more smoothly on and off of trains and into and out of stations. I hope the tourists read the signs on the escalators. I have my doubts about whether the signs on the floors with arrows will really get people to stand out of the way, but that's not one of my major pet peeves anyhow. If only Metro could help post signs to help with the things that do bother me:


  • People who stop at the top of the escalator to look around (or to tie their child's shoelaces). Please move away from the escalator so the rest of us can get off. Given the nature of escalators, we can't just stop and wait for you to get the hell out of the way.
  • People who lean against the poles near train doors. I need to hold onto those poles, people. I have begun to just go ahead and grab the pole, even if that means "accidentally" poking the person who is doing the leaning. But when they decided to lean on the pole when I am already holding on and smoosh my fingers? That's even ruder.*
  • People who stand in train doors as others are trying to board.** If you want to keep that place, step out of the train and let people on. Otherwise, move further in. People get left off of trains with plenty of room because they have board single file because there are people in the door way. You are the reason my backpack got caught in the door on Tuesday morning. Punks.
  • People who brag that they never move out of the way when they are standing in the train doors when I'm complaining about it. Y'all are even bigger punks.
  • People who talk loudly on their cell phones, or even just with one another. Keep your voice down. I'm trying to concentrate on my Sudoku.
  • Tourists who complain about crowded trains and rudeness of commuters. If you don't like it, don't travel on the trains at rush hour. I was (mostly) kidding this morning when I said to The Husband that in addition to a farecard, people should have to show a local driver's license in order to board trains at rush hour. I generally try to be nice to tourists on Metro, no matter what time of day. I will help you figure out which platform you need to be on, or where you need to transfer. But no complaining if you get jostled around because the trains are crowded.
  • People who complain about tourists not following basic Metro etiquette on the weekends at the Smithsonian station. Yes, I am standing up for the tourists. They are tourists at Tourist Central. If they bother you that much, go to L'Enfant Plaza or Foggy Bottom and walk.
< /kvetch >

*Also: If you are tall and you can reach the overhead bar? And if by doing so, you make it easier for a short person to reach pole, so that she doesn't have to swing from the overhead bar and topple into people when the train starts and stops? Just hold onto the overhead bar, okay? Thanks. You're awesome.

**Metro does have an advertising campaign that addresses this issue. It is not working. (Although I haven't tried shrieking "You doorkers!" at offenders. Maybe next week.)

1 comment:

matty said...

You don't sound that cranky, really.

Maybe you should get into Transportation Policy. It sounds like you have revolutionary ideas.