08/28/15 10:10am

Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend


“As part of the Authority’s investigation into the cause of an August 6th derailment, WMATA’s technical incident report to the Interim General Manager was released to the public today. To view report click here. The report will be the subject of a special Board of Directors Safety Committee Meeting on September 3.

“While the safety investigation is continuing and subject to review by the Tri-State Oversight Committee (TOC), the operations report reveals that the physical root cause of the derailment was the failure of fasteners to properly hold the rail securely. This was compounded by a lack of systematic, immediate review of data generated during the inspection vehicle runs,” said Safety Committee Chairman Michael Goldman speaking on behalf of the Board. “The investigation is ongoing to determine what caused those fasteners to fail. Further, the wide gauge track condition that went unrepaired was a contributory factor leading to the derailment that should never have occurred.”

According to the Incident Report, a Metro employee operating the Track Geometry Vehicle (TGV) that identified a “Level Black’ rail defect on July 9th mistakenly deleted the information about the defect from the exception report. That report was given to maintenance crews for scheduling immediate repairs to the rail system. Under the then-established protocols, the employee’s report with erroneously-deleted information was not subject to review by any Metro supervisor. The underlying data was not analyzed by other Metro departments for errors until after the derailment occurred on August 6.

“In reviewing the TGV inspection process, we have learned that the derailment was caused by a combination of human error and flawed Metro processes,” Goldman said. “While the employee believed he was deleting a routinely detected anomaly and not an actual rail defect, that such a serious error went undetected with no checks and balances in place reveals gaps in Metro’s safety policies and procedures.”

Still under investigation by Metro’s Safety Department is why the wide gauge condition and the broken fasteners went undetected by Metro track walkers who inspected this area of track on multiple occasions between the TGV run on July 9 and the August 6 derailment.

The Report also documents the immediate actions Metro has taken since August 6 to assure the safety of its passengers. Those include comprehensive inspections and immediate repairs of defects, the thorough review of the track inspection vehicle’s test results with an area manager prior to the generation of the final report for the maintenance crews, making track walker inspections more robust, and engineering reviews by outside experts.

In order to prevent such track safety failures from occurring in the future, the Board’s Safety Committee will review management’s actions and additional process and policy changes, as well as consider the need for “beefed up” safety reporting and consideration of protocols in other safety-critical areas to ensure maintenance crews have the most reliable information possible in order to schedule critical repairs. Further, the Committee will review how effectively the Authority’s System Safety Plan is meeting the safety culture needs of the organization and will examine if sufficient resources are available to meet the priority infrastructure inspection and maintenance requirements.

Questions and Answers

1. What caused the derailment? (more…)

08/28/15 9:45am


A reader reports:

“Shooting in SW DC on 3rd between L and K. One young man taken away by ambulance with a chest wound…looked like a teenager.”

From MPD:

“On Thursday, August 27, 2015, at around 10:08PM, First District officers responded to the 200 block of L Street, Southwest, in reference to the sounds of gunshots. During a canvass of the area, the officers discovered a male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso.

The victim was transported to a local hospital by DCFD for treatment.

This case is currently being investigated by the First District Investigative Unit.”

Via google maps

08/28/15 9:08am

Screenshot via Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From the National Zoo:

“Our giant panda cub is a boy, and he was sired by Tian Tian! He is doing well with Mei Xiang, and as of early this morning weighs 139.1 grams. He’s gained about 27.9 grams in the past 72 hours. Mei Xiang starting putting him down last night and trying to leave the den. The first few times she put him down he squealed, so she ran back in and picked him up. She finally left the den to urinate and defecate around 1:40 a.m. and returned to her cub at 1:42 a.m. It is normal for Mei Xiang to start spending short periods of time away from her cub. She will gradually increase her trips outside the den as he grows.

When SCBI scientists artificially inseminated Mei Xiang April 26 and April 27, they used frozen and thawed sperm from Hui Hi (a panda living in China) and fresh sperm from Tian Tian.

Our panda cub who died Wednesday afternoon was also a male and sired by Tian Tian.”

08/27/15 10:22pm


There’s been a lot of talk, understandably, here about crime lately so I wanted to know what folks thought about the Mayor’s new Safer, Stronger DC legislative campaign? The highlights are above but you can read a more complete version in the PDF below:

public_safety_agenda (PDF)

From the Mayor:

“Dear Washingtonians,

The District has lost the lives of 103 residents to homicide in 2015. Every life is precious, every loss is tragic. And we do not sit idly by as our community suffers.

Over the past few weeks, I have updated you on the increase in violent crime in DC, and what my Administration is doing to address it. We have put more police officers on our streets, walking beats. With the support of the community, we have ramped up our efforts to find and arrest criminals, resulting in a higher crime closure rate than most cities our size. We developed new strategies to fight synthetic drugs. And we launched initiatives to strengthen the relationship between MPD officers and the community – including our Body Worn Camera program.

I want to thank my public safety team and our law enforcement officers, who are working around the clock to keep DC safe.

We are acting with vigor and we are making progress. And there is more we will do. Today, I announced a public safety agenda that will make DC safer and stronger. The agenda, which you can view HERE, includes a number of legislative and administrative measures that will help us prevent crime, and address crime when it happens. Be sure to continue to check mayor.dc.gov/saferstronger for updates.

We will: (more…)

08/27/15 10:01pm

Photo from 16th and Irving St NW in Columbia Heights on Friday by PoPville reader Amanda

Congrats to PoPville pick textdoc with:

“When the monkey on your back gets to be too much for you, sit it down on a bench.”

Congrats to PoP pick anonymous with:

“You really get me.”

Honorable mention to Kay with:

“Catfished. Again.”

Winners please email (princeofpetworth@gmail.com) so I have your names and get back to you for when you can pick them up at the next happy hour.

08/27/15 10:00pm


Nope, nope, I’m sorry I tried. I looked at it from many different angles – with the building at the corner in the frame – I’m sorry I still don’t like it. I really did try though.  And to be honest the photos look better here than it did in person – you can’t really see the cinder block mass on the sides…  Awesome location though!