Geee Posted February 16, 2012 Share Posted February 16, 2012 Washington Examiner: Believers in central planning should take a look at Washington's Metro rail transit system. While they will find many things to like, they will also see examples of how central planners -- and especially rail transit planners -- can get things disastrously and expensively wrong. Things to like include aesthetics. Metro stations and cars are attractively designed and reasonably spacious. Metro attracts more riders than any other American rail transit system except of course New York's. It has stimulated local planners and developers to create vibrant downtown-like clusters of stores, restaurants and apartment buildings along the Orange Line in Arlington, Virginia, and around the Bethesda, Maryland, station on the Red Line. But then there are the bad things, which my colleagues at The Washington Examiner have documented at great length. The escalators at the south side of the Dupont Circle station are being repaired and out of commission for -- get this -- nine months. This is Metro's fifth busiest station. Other escalators are often on the fritz. Metro's designers didn't put canopies over all of the escalators but left them out in the open. It turns out that it rains and even snows sometimes in Washington, and that water corrodes the metal escalator. Who'd 'a' thunk it? Well, actually the designers knew all about the art noveau canopies that covered the stairwells of the Paris Metro, but they didn't have the funds to match what the French were able to manage at the turn of the 20th century. Deferred maintenance and failure to replace outmoded cars have taken a heavy toll. This isn't the designers' fault, but this sort of thing happens frequently in public sector agencies (and sometimes in private sector companies as well). Metro has found the money to meet union demands, but too often it hasn't found funds to keep the system up to date. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now