One Way to Deal with Big Red Line Crowds?


I just noticed they removed a ton of benches from Gallery Place. It’s been a while since I’ve been through so not sure how long it’s been like this. Think it’s to deal with overcrowding?


28 Comment

  • Emmaleigh504

    Those benches have been gone for years. I think they were taken out because of crowding when they switched to manual driving.

    • Oh my stomach and myself can’t wait for ATC to return fully.

      • +1. There was a brief stretch in the spring where the RL had a fair number of 8 car trains and ATC was pretty nice. Once the 4000s were pulled for inspection, 8 car trains became rare unicorns. I still hardly see any, even though I thought just about everything was back in service.

    • The benches have been gone for about 4 years. It’s not quite all of them – there are a couple left on the G St side of the platform. Removing the benches led to a substantial improvement in the traffic flow.

      A separate discussion is who had the bright idea of putting the “intersection” at the back end of the platform instead of in the middle.

  • Most likely due to all the recent ATV racing inside the Metro.

  • I am 95% certain those benches were still there within the past two weeks, not sure what the earlier commenter is thinking of. It must be because of overcrowding (and I think actually will help with that), but now people have nowhere to sit when waiting 26 minutes for the next redline on the weekends. I guess they can perch on the little wall.

  • Problem: solved.

  • I interviewed for a job recently that the obvious way to get to would be to take the red line. I’m thinking if I get the job, my solution to crowding may be to get a Vespa or similar thing to ride to work across DC. I think I could easily park it fairly securely in a garage near work. I don’t know how home parking would go. Does anyone have experience with this? I have heard they get stolen off the street. I have a parking space next to my building for my car, visible from the street if you look just the right way. Do Vespas get stolen from parking spaces being and next to buildings?

    • I would expect the risk of theft is pretty high for a Vespa. The chains you can buy are pretty sturdy but nothing a good pair of bolt croppers couldn’t take care of. Unless you’re going in wearing a suit every day, I’d recommend just a bike and keeping it indoors.

      • A bike ride would be so much healthier. And yeah, I’d have to see if my office has a closet to lock up some suits. I’d also need a shower after the ride in in many, if not all, seasons, I think, so I’d have to find a gym nearby – that could make for an even better and longer workout once I go there. Don’t think the office building comes with showers, but you never know.

    • OP Anon (if he’s reading today) can give you the lowdown on commuting via scooter, the issue of scooter theft, etc.

  • They were definitely still there not too long ago. I feel a little sorry for the weekend crowd, but this might make my afternoons a little more tolerable when I have to do my daily salmoning towards the front of the platform while waves of folks unload headed the other direction. This was a smart move.

  • Those benches were at the very edge of the platform space, and fairly minimal. So I’d say if you have an overcrowding problem as bad as this, such that removing the benches actually helps, which unfortunately it probably does a bit, then you have a really big overcrowding problem that is dangerous and probably needs to be solved in a more comprehensive way (more transit options to lessen crowding.)

    • You obviously haven’t had to deal with overcrowding at GP recently. The station, which is physically narrower than other downtown stations, is prone to constant overcrowding on the Shady Grove-bound platform due to trains pulling all the way up the platform, forcing dangerous bottleneck crowds around the 5th and 6th cars of the train.

      • Been there, been overcrowded. Which is why I think it is a bigger problem that is only going to get even bigger. And why I want commute by scooter instead.

    • maxwell smart

      There has been no end of discussion on this site on how this station and Metro Center no longer can handle the capacity of people passing through them, that there should be a pedestrian corridor connecting the 2 stations to alleviate congestion on the red line from people transferring and how the design of the station is overall not well thought out.

  • Could it be preparation for papal visit Red Line crowds?

  • As I recall, they removed benches as an alleged solution to the problem of people standing at the rear end of the Shady Grove platform, then rushing to mob the last car when 6-car trains came in. The idea was that, if there were no benches, people would move further up the platform. Instead of this passive-aggressive method, they need to have signs telling riders that only a few rush-hour trains are long enough to service that end of the platform and an electronic sign telling riders how long the next trains will be.

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