Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

Metro Goes Off the Rails, and DC Streets Grind to a Halt

10:47 AM EDT on August 7, 2015

Traffic map following Thursday’s DC Metro derailment. Image: Google Maps via Greater Greater Washington
Gridlock after Thursday’s DC Metro derailment. Image: Google Maps via Greater Greater Washington
false

No one was hurt when a Metro train derailed in downtown DC yesterday, but the incident wreaked havoc on the morning commute -- for transit users and motorists.

David Alpert of Greater Greater Washington said the derailment and ensuing Metro service interruption “surely contributed” to gridlock throughout the downtown area, as people who would normally take the train tried to drive to work.

Alpert says what happened Thursday shows why car commuters have a vested interest in a well-maintained transit system.

Transit often faces a political problem where many voters who won't personally use transit just don't care about it and don't support funding maintenance or expansion. Most people drive sometimes, so broadly they support fixing roads and often adding new ones even if they personally won't use that road every day. But it's not the same for transit.

It should be. Metro makes it possible for everyone to get to and from their jobs. So do bridges, and buses, and bicycle facilities, and sidewalks. Completely shut down any one mode of transportation and everyone will suffer.

Elsewhere on the Network: The League of American Bicyclists rethinks three-foot passing laws, and Strong Towns makes the case for keeping parks open after dark.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

NYC Debuts Public E-Bike Charging for Delivery Workers

Finally, they’re taking charge! The city’s first public e-bike charging station opened in Cooper Square on Thursday — the start of an overdue six-month pilot that is part of a “Charge Safe Ride Safe Action Plan” for delivery workers that Mayor Adams announced last year.

March 1, 2024

Friday’s Headlines Have Questions

What's an optimal rebate to get people to buy e-bikes without wasting money on those who were going to buy one anyway?

March 1, 2024

To Recruit Transit Workers, More Than Just Higher Pay Is Needed

Labor shortages continue threatening public transit systems, and a new report adds another layer to the conversation.

February 29, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Streets for Skateboards

Aaron Breetwor on skateboards for transportation and designing streets for safer skateboarding.

February 29, 2024

Agencies Need to Use Federal Funding to Buy Land for Transit Oriented Development

Transit agencies do not prioritize transit-adjacent housing development often because they lack funding to acquire land.

February 29, 2024
See all posts