04/24/14 1:26pm


I saw the above sign at the Rosslyn metro and I know it’s been mentioned in the past – but are there now public restrooms in all metro stations? Has anyone used one? Do you have to get a key? Where are they generally located (or can you just ask the station manager?)

Here’s an interesting press release from WMATA back in 2004:

“Several new restroom initiatives at Metrorail stations that were implemented at the beginning of the year, combined with the new automatic public toilet pilot at the Huntington Metrorail station, have proven to be successful, Metro managers told the Board of Directors today. The automatic public toilet that was installed at the Huntington Metrorail station in early October 2003, is used approximately 85 times a day since being installed six months ago. Also, since opening up its rail station restrooms to the public on January 4, there have been 1,600 requests granted to use them (through March 18). The single-stall, self-cleaning public toilet at the southern end of the Yellow Line was installed last fall inside the Huntington Metrorail station’s north mezzanine as a one-year test to determine customer acceptance and feasibility, as well as safety and cleanliness.

The unit, which costs Metro $39,600 per year to lease (three-year lease), costs an additional $55,000 for site renovation, installation, and water, sewer, and electric power hook-ups. There is an additional $14,400 per year for routine service/ maintenance, bringing the 12-month project cost to approximately $109,000. The vandal-resistant portable unit offers customers the use of a toilet, soap, toilet tissue, water dispensing and hand drying. There is an automatic interior chemical spray cleaning cycle after each use. Metro Board members have to decide whether to continue or expand the pilot in the future.

They also are considering whether to move the unit to Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metrorail station at a cost of $75,000 (removal, restoration and installation costs) since that station’s existing restroom is not available to the public due to its location near safety-sensitive equipment. In November 2003, Metro managers took several steps to alert the public that starting January 4, 2004, the Metrorail station restrooms would be available for public use for the first time in the 28-year history of the transit system. Signs were posted in stations indicating restroom availability (except at a few locations deemed security-sensitive” Pentagon, Vienna/Fairfax-GMU, Arlington Cemetery and Addison Road-Seat Pleasant); officials specified conditions when customers could be denied requests to use the restrooms; and maintenance personnel repaired back room locks and cabinetry during the conversion of restrooms from employee-only areas to areas accessible to the public.

However, on March 18, Metro officials informed the Board that station restroom procedures were changed to allow the Metro Transit Police Chief to close the restrooms for public use during heightened security levels for a period of 30 days. Police Chief Polly Hanson temporarily closed Metro restrooms to the public on March 19, for security reasons. They were reopened on April 19.

News release issued on May 27, 2004.”

04/24/14 12:45pm

Photo by PoPville flickr user James0806


“Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles today announced an agreement with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the agency responsible for construction of the Silver Line, that will move the line closer to opening day. Under the agreement, Metro will allow the Airports Authority additional time to complete certain items after the project is turned over to Metro, but prior to the start of passenger service. Without the agreement, the Airports Authority would have been required to complete all items before Metro takes control, meaning an opening date that would be later in the year.

The Airports Authority is still required to address all priority items – those that affect reliability or require significant track access – prior to handing the project off to Metro. Some examples include: (more…)

04/22/14 12:46pm


“Metro today unveiled a new sustainability initiative aimed at enhancing regional sustainability through performance based targets for ridership, travel mode share, regional greenhouse gas emissions and connected communities.

The Metro Sustainability Initiative also commits the Authority to internal performance targets for energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, waste reduction, renewable energy, stormwater runoff impacts and potable water use. Taken along with near term action commitments from paperless meetings to a renewed commitment to lifecycle asset management—these internal sustainability targets set Metro on a path to continue to rebuild efficiently to support a growing region.

Specific targets set by the Sustainability Initiative include:

Increasing Metro ridership 25 percent by 2025
Increasing greenhouse gas displacement 10 percent by 2025
Reducing energy use per vehicle mile 15 percent by 2025, and cutting in half greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle mile during the same timeframe
Reducing water use per vehicle mile 20 percent by 2025

Last spring Metro’s Board of Directors adopted Momentum, metro’s strategic plan, committing Metro to sustainability through 2025 and beyond. (more…)

04/18/14 3:15pm

Photo by PoPville flickr user vpickering


Red Line
Trains every 10-15 minutes

Red Line trains will operate as follows from 10 p.m. Friday through closing Sunday:

Between Shady Grove & Glenmont: Every 15 minutes throughout the weekend
Between Van Ness & NoMa-Gallaudet: Every 8-10 minutes from 9AM-9PM only

Work Performed: Rail fastener and insulator renewal between Van Ness and Friendship Heights; fence and light pole replacement between NoMa-Gallaudet and Rhode Island Avenue.

Orange Line
Buses replace trains between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly

Orange Line trains will operate as follows from 10 p.m. Friday through closing Sunday:

Between Vienna & Stadium-Armory: Every 15 minutes throughout the weekend
Between New Carrollton & Cheverly: Every 15 minutes throughout the weekend

Stations Closed: Minnesota Ave and Deanwood

Free shuttle buses will replace Orange Line trains between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. Shuttle buses will operate on two routes:

Express Buses will operate non-stop between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. Add 25 minutes of travel time.
Local Buses will operate between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly, making intermediate stops at Minnesota Ave and Deanwood. Please allow 10 minutes of travel time for each station stop.

Work Performed: Crews will continue tunnel rehabilitation at Stadium-Armory, platform renewal at Minnesota Ave, and improvements to track infrastructure including rail joint elimination along with rail tie, fastener, grout pad and insulator renewal.

Last Train Time Change: The last Orange Line train of the night from New Carrollton to Cheverly will depart 27 minutes earlier than normal to allow for shuttle bus connections. On Friday and Saturday nights, the last train will leave New Carrollton at 2:09 a.m., and on Sunday, the last train will leave New Carrollton at 11:09 p.m. (more…)

04/18/14 1:25pm


“Dear PoPville,

Thought you might want to make readers aware of how serious MPD will be taking this campaign over the next few days and the weekend.

Police will be out in force in Georgetown, 14th/U ST area and other areas around H st and Eastern Market.

Tickets will cost $75-$250 in DC depending on the type of crosswalk (signalized or un-signalized) This enforcement will go city wide and hopefully make DC a safer place to walk and bike.

Police will be ticketing drivers. Note there will be lots of enforcement this weekend, similar to what people saw with those traffic safety “checkpoints” that you posted about a few weeks back. Police want drivers to ensure they are driving safe in this city full of bikers and pedestrians.”

04/17/14 10:22pm

Photo by PoPville flickr user DCin3MP

Earlier in the week the Washington Post reported:

“District officials are considering creating carpool and toll lanes on part of the 14th Street bridge and other stretches of city highway as early as next year, offering motorists with means a way of speeding their commute and pushing the nation’s capital into the debate over the costs and benefits of “congestion pricing.” The High Occupancy Toll, or HOT, lanes would be free for cars carrying at least three people, according to a District planning study.”

CBS local reported: “The cost would be around $8 million.”

Think it’s a good idea? Besides the 14th Street bridge where else do you think it should be considered?

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

From MPD:

“On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, the Emancipation Day Parade will take place in the District of Columbia. The parade will be from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. In conjunction with this event, there will be several street closures that motorists should take into consideration:

Street Closures

*Pennsylvania Avenue and the surrounding streets will be closed between 3rd and 14th Streets, NW from approximately 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

*Constitution Avenue and the surrounding streets will be closed for staging for the parade between 9th Street and West crossover at Pennsylvania Avenue, NW from approximately 8:00 am and 3:00 pm.

*Pennsylvania Avenue and the surrounding streets will be closed between 12th and 14th Streets, NW from approximately 4:00 am to 11:00 pm for the Emancipation Day Festival and fireworks.

*E Street will be closed between 13th and 14th Streets, NW from approximately 4:00 am to 11:00 pm for the Emancipation Day Festival vendors.

*12th Street will also be closed between E Street and Constitution Avenue, NW from approximately 8:30 pm to 9:45 pm for the fireworks display.”

04/14/14 11:00am

Photo by PoPville flickr user jbouie


“Metro’s four-week break from weekend track work concluded yesterday, and the rebuilding effort will resume April 18-20 with service adjustments beginning at 10 p.m. Friday night and continuing through system closing on Sunday.

This weekend, trains on the Yellow and Green lines will operate at regular weekend intervals, except at Greenbelt Station on Saturday only. Red Line trains will run every 15 minutes between Shady Grove and Glenmont, with additional trains between Van Ness and NoMa-Gallaudet during daytime hours. Buses will replace Orange Line trains between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly and Blue Line trains between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road. Both Blue and Orange line trains will run every 15 minutes, rather than every 12 minutes, outside the work zone.”

04/13/14 10:05pm


A reader writes in looking for an update. Estimates on when the streetcar will start carrying passengers have become notoriously unreliable. The DC Streetcar’s website gives no indication. We do know that testing has starting – but does anyone have any idea when it’s supposed to start carrying passengers? Has anyone heard how the testing is going?

And since I enjoy bets – let’s make some guesses. I’m gonna guess July 2014. What about you?

04/07/14 1:30pm

“Dear PoPville,

Last October, my good friend Kelly was struck by a speeding car while she was loading her own car. She spent five weeks in the hospital, nearly lost her leg, and has undergone 8 surgeries. Cars travel notoriously fast along the stretch of Arkansas Ave NW where she was struck, and it took very little effort to gather over 100 signatures from neighbors to petition Mayor Gray and Councilmember Bowser to address speeding on the street. Apparently speeding has long been a problem on this street, and these types of crashes – speeding drivers rear-ending parked cars – have happened far too often. Residents have been trying to get a change since the Williams administration.

DDOT, Bowser, and Gray all promised action at a community meeting at the end of 2013. But despite promises and good intentions, there have been no infrastructure improvements to lower speeding.

Now there’s been another crash and another person send to the hospital. We have footage from the crash, which ocurred just a block north of where Kelly was first hit.

Here’s more information about the crash.

And here’s the petition Kelly started to drum up demand for immediate action.

Will we finally see progress along this stretch? With DDOT under fire for a lack of progress on basic infrastructure, will the agency be able to at least tackle a traffic calming effort with enormous community support? Will political shifting distract from an issue with broad community support and a pressing need?”