Greater Greater Washington

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@Roger

I have seen it done to uncouple cars to change the length of a train at the Silver Spring station. I would hazard a guess it is used in the yard and shops to couple and uncouple cars and to precisely spot a married pair on the lifts.

by Sand Box John in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 23, 2014 12:22 am • linkreport

@David

The program station stop function is subsystem of automatic train operation and is controlled through the use of the fixed frequency and variable frequency marker coils located 2,700', 1,200', 484' and 167' from the center of the platform. The variable frequency marker coils tells a train less then 8 cars long to stop long, short or center of the platform. The variable frequency marker coils are located 1,200'and 484' from the center of the platform. The antenna that picks up the signal from the marker coils is located under the draw bar between the 1st an 2nd car of the train. The fixed frequency marker coils give the train the grade profile of the approach to the center of the platform.

The train calculates the distance to the center of the platform by counting wheel rotations. If the wheel rotation counter is not properly calibrated to diameter of the wheel the train will not make a precise station stop. Also if the marker coils are not functioning correctly or have failed to function at all the train will not make a precise station stop.

by Sand Box John in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 23, 2014 12:14 am • linkreport

@Sand Box John - I've never seen a train operate in reverse in 25 yrs, the only occasion I could see Metro using that would be to reverse a two car unit with the console on the trailing car broken & I would think that you will need a safety spotter on the trailer.

@DavidDuck - Yes that's correct, and Metro is looking to expand Union Station and rework Gallery Place to reduce crowding, including a walkway to Metro Center in the next 10 years. For once I'm in agreement with Metro the biggest relief would be having passengers move toward the opposite end.

by Roger in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 23, 2014 12:13 am • linkreport

Ok, so according to Roger, people have already fallen off the platform at Gallery Place. (Roger, I presume you mean during crowded conditions as people try to squeeze by one another in a hurry - not just drunk folks falling off the platform on their own, etc.)

I guess someone will have to get killed.

I know it is bad if the train doors open in the tunnel, off the platform. I still believe that the solution (creating the dangerous conditions at GP, an a whole bunch of running at many other stations) is far more dangerous than the theoretical risk of a someone zoning out and falling into the tunnel.

I think WMATA management figures they can just blame passengers for anything that happens on crowded platforms, so they don't care. As far as I can tell, at all. I think that is reprehensible. If someone is killed at GP, NTSB should investigate it, since that is the only way to get WMATA to care.

by DavidDuck in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 11:37 pm • linkreport

@IBC, Roger

Actually a train can be run in reverse from the front cab.


4 is the mode director switch, the switch has 3 positions:
Auto / Store (Position used for automatic operation)
Manual / Forward (Position used for manual operation)
Manual / Reverse

Don't know what the safety procedure and protocols are or if they even exists for operating a revenue train in reverse.

The funny thing is when the 1k cars were delivered in the 1970s when one placed the mode director switch to manual reverse the backup warning horn sounds on the front of the train. Don't know if it still this way today.

by Sand Box John in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 11:28 pm • linkreport

Yes, @TT you are a child of the universe.

In the mean time the rest of us will look at empirical evidence and endeavor to shape transportation policies based on it.

by Tina in Breakfast links: Car-freedom on Sep 22, 2014 11:11 pm • linkreport

Oh, maybe you missed my post where I advocated that all children under 21 must have their hand held while crossing the road. All children aged 22 through 39 must be accompanied by a parent. Children 40 through 79 must carry a note. Children who reach the age of 80+ must again be taken by the hand.

by The Truth™ in Breakfast links: Car-freedom on Sep 22, 2014 10:40 pm • linkreport

@TT -so, do you think your life experience and judgement are equivalent to a teenagers?

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-teen-brain-still-under-construction/index.shtml

by Tina in Breakfast links: Car-freedom on Sep 22, 2014 10:21 pm • linkreport

@Dave G - the best course is to educate students and all other road users to be extra careful in particularly dangerous situations.

The fact that a teenager made a mistake doing something as pedestrian as crossing a road on her way to school and this is your response reads like you think her parents didn't educate her well enough, i.e.,it's her parents fault, and that the road design played no part in it.

If that's not the case,

by Tina in Breakfast links: Car-freedom on Sep 22, 2014 10:19 pm • linkreport

@ Roger & David Duck -

Since you mentioned it, I now recall having to make several risky runs for trains in on the Shady Grove-bound platform in Gallery Place. I never realized the pattern until now - the combination of the Green Line being on one end of the Red Line platform, with the trains required to stop at the opposite end. Thanks - now that I understand the situation, I'll take the proper precautions.

by Frank IBC in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 10:13 pm • linkreport

I have no problem with getting young children services earlier, except that it be done at the expense of disabled children in private placements. There is an assumption that DCPS is able to accommodate these children, but that was not our experience with our son, just this past year. First, build the programs. THEN bring the children in private placement back. DCPS Office of Special Education has put the cart before the horse.

by Noel in Wondering why a preschooler would ever need to be suspended? Here's an explanation. on Sep 22, 2014 10:06 pm • linkreport

@Falls Church, good points, thanks for teasing that out. When I wrote "efficacy" I mostly had reliability and fairness (and service to some extent) in mind, but I like the way you break it down. I see what you are saying with "smoothing out" transaction costs, but I still think that transparency, while important, plays a back seat to other concerns as drivers (lame pun intended) of regulation, both in the airline industry and with taxis.

by RES in Deregulate Uber, but require transparency on Sep 22, 2014 10:04 pm • linkreport

@ Roger - Thanks. I hadn't thought of the visibility issue.

by Frank IBC in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 10:00 pm • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by YikesBikes in DC sells valuable land, but loses interest in using it to create affordable housing on Sep 22, 2014 9:58 pm • linkreport

This article is ridiculous. The Peebles Corporation's created about three times as much affordable housing as the other bids. Anacostia may be largely low income now, but it's already becoming the focus of gentrification efforts, so new affordable housing there will be important for keeping existing residents in the neighborhood in the future. Their plan also created way more tax revenue than any of the others (hotel taxes = $$$), so the city has more money to fund more services.

@ YikesBikes - would love to know more about who's funding Cheryl's org...

by Ugh in DC sells valuable land, but loses interest in using it to create affordable housing on Sep 22, 2014 9:52 pm • linkreport

@DavidDuck The situation at Gallery Place is well known another hotspot is Union Station; the easiest solution is (until Metro gets to 100% 8 car trains) is to keep passengers moving down the platform whether via signs or platform decals. And sadly there have already been several instances of passengers falling off the Shady Grove side of the Gallery Place Platform already (luckily no fatalities)

@Frank IBC - There is the capability to reverse a train, however it requires another employee on the other end for safety and would be used only as an absolute last resort and to the best of my knowledge never been used. It's simpler to continue to the next station or disable the doors on the first car which is time consuming.

by Roger in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 9:43 pm • linkreport

@ The Truth™ 4:05 pm:

Brrr... I had that almost happen to me, though for a different reason. It was in Italy, and I didn't realize that the trains run on the left track, not the right.

Close call in India:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twT_HZTT-4A

by Frank IBC in Breakfast links: Car-freedom on Sep 22, 2014 9:39 pm • linkreport

It's kinda weird and spooky seeing my picture in this article considering that I'm not a WMATA employee. (The yellow vest says Community Emergency Response Team and the picture was taken during an emergency response training.) Good thing for everyone that I'm behind the controls of a car mounted on jacks in the WMATA rail yard!

by Jesse Alexander in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 9:37 pm • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by YikesBikes in DC sells valuable land, but loses interest in using it to create affordable housing on Sep 22, 2014 9:33 pm • linkreport

which Muriel Bowser has actively opposed (see, for instance, the 16th Street bus lanes).

At the risk of being labeled a Bowser supporter (not a bad thing, but far from the truth), I will point out that Bowser does not oppose a 16th street transit lane. Back in May, at the urging of local ANCs, she sent a letter to the DDOT director asking him to accelerate study on the feasibility of dedicated lanes on 16th St, and requested DDOT to set up priority signals in the interim.

Indeed, all of the mayoral candidates who ran in the primary (that is, Bowser, Wells, Gray, Evans and Shallal) either supported the dedicated lane on 16th street or supported bus prioritization generally.

On January 16, Bowser spoke at a sort-of "town hall meeting" in which she said that a dedicated lane would be difficult to implement at present time. She is exactly correct on this point, as DDOT has already said that a dedicated lane would be several years away from construction (i.e., a couple years into the mayor's first term, not accounting for leadership changes in the agency) even if it were feasible to do so.

It remains a mystery why some people think Bowser would oppose a lane that has widespread public support, and how she would oppose such a lane given that it does not even exist as an actual proposal at DDOT. Even more mysterious, actually unfortunate, is why some people would hinge their votes on a misinformed opinion.

by Scoot in Muriel Bowser calls for "Vision Zero," more equity, Metro investment, and new task forces for transportation on Sep 22, 2014 9:24 pm • linkreport

I feel kind of silly for asking this question, but is there no ability to back up a train in the event of a platform overrun?

by Frank IBC in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 9:21 pm • linkreport

Argh.

WMATA (and this conversation) is not addressing the fact that some downtown stations are clearly unsafe because of the end-of-platform rule. This will go on until someone is pushed onto the tracks at Gallery Place. Hopefully WMATA will change the policy after that happens once instead of multiple times. Hopefully the first time it happens the person who lands on the tracks is not badly injured or killed. Given the lack of courage at WMATA this is the best we can hope for.

by DavidDuck in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 9:13 pm • linkreport

@ Molly:

"So many of the train announcements sound slurred and are barely audible. It makes me wonder sometimes if the train operators are sleepy or stoned, because that's how they sound."

There was a delightful skit on SNL about two decades ago, about a gathering of New York subway train operators. They all spoke to each other with the echoey, slurred voices that you typically hear on a train's PA system.

I really miss that Metro train operator with the voice like Barry White. Sadly he passed away a few years ago.

by Frank IBC in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 9:10 pm • linkreport

For those who are trying to figure out the phrase "parasitic oscillation", it's similar to feedback in a PA system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasitic_oscillation

by Frank IBC in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 9:06 pm • linkreport

There is a big difference between building housing for people earning 50-80% of AMI and building housing for homeless families. I think there is a straw man in arguing that the author does not wish to see more housing for the homeless -- that's not what the developer proposes to build.

Communities benefit from people of a variety of different incomes living in close proximity to one another, but obviously, no community benefits from people who don't earn enough to obtain shelter.

by Scoot in DC sells valuable land, but loses interest in using it to create affordable housing on Sep 22, 2014 9:02 pm • linkreport

"Vision zero" isn't bowsers term. I believe it originated in Sweden but has since been widely adopted.

It's a direct counter to the feeling that traffic deaths are an inevitable part of our built environment.

by drumz in Muriel Bowser calls for "Vision Zero," more equity, Metro investment, and new task forces for transportation on Sep 22, 2014 8:54 pm • linkreport

The BART is unusual in that its hub is Oakland, rather than San Francisco. Four lines converge on Oakland, whereas only a single line passes through San Francisco.

by Frank IBC in Red paint keeps drivers out of San Francisco's bus lanes on Sep 22, 2014 8:49 pm • linkreport

@Brett M
Saying you will appoint people to figure out what to do rather than committing to specific actions yourself defines passing the buck. A mayor needs vision, not a unique ability to be all things to all people.

by Steve in Muriel Bowser calls for "Vision Zero," more equity, Metro investment, and new task forces for transportation on Sep 22, 2014 8:48 pm • linkreport

I agree with the others - "Vision Zero" was a most unfortunate title.

by Frank IBC in Muriel Bowser calls for "Vision Zero," more equity, Metro investment, and new task forces for transportation on Sep 22, 2014 8:34 pm • linkreport

My only query is why we should necessarily expect anything from a private entity offering a service in the free market.

Because we (the people) own the market. The grand-daddy of markets, the NY Stock Exchange, has countless requirements of any entity that wishes to participate in its markets. Those requirements are for the benefit of the NYSE and efficient operation of its market (which benefits all participants). Similarly, public markets which are owned by the public should also have rules that make things work better.

For me, the allure of getting a hailed cab is that I don't have to pull out my smartphone and wait for a car to arrive. I just leave my office, step out onto the curb, and whistle for a cab. That's a real convenience for me, and I'm willing to take any associated risks.

I'm not. Unfortunately, there's no practical way to ensure that the hailed cab I get (without pulling out my smartphone) is an activity without the potential for extreme risk unless every cab hailed that way does not carry extreme risk (because you never know which cab you've hailed). So, we can't both have our way.

Fortunately, we don't have to accept "every associated risk" in order to have a system of hailed cabs, if we're willing to pay a price for the benefit of reduced risk (of being ripped off, injured, or merely having unsavory service or experience).

But, if you're not prepared to take that risks, then just don't use a hailed cab service.

I just don't understand why there is an automatic entitlement to taxi service. There shouldn't be, and the associated corollary is that taxi services should be free to operate as they please.

There's no automatic entitlement to safe, fairly metered, clean, and comfortable taxi service. Some cities will manage it and others won't.

by Falls Church in Deregulate Uber, but require transparency on Sep 22, 2014 8:21 pm • linkreport

Transparency is good, but that's not the main thrust of transportation regulation, nor should it be. The main focus should be on the efficacy of these operations in serving the public.

The problem is that regulation has a poor track record for improving efficacy, efficiency or service. Regulation has a good record on improving things like safety, reliability, and fairness. Markets have a better record on efficiency and service. That's why you need both regulation and markets.

Transparency by itself won't guarantee an appropriate level of service. To my knowledge, airline deregulation wasn't mainly about transparency, so it's odd to use it as a yardstick in this manner.

I agree that transparency by itself won't guarantee good service. Market competition is a critical ingredient but transparency makes the market smoother (reducing "friction") so it works better.

Airline deregulation was about improving efficiency and cost by creating a market. Transparency requirements were a way to make that market work better by providing participants (customers) more information so they can make informed choices.

by Falls Church in Deregulate Uber, but require transparency on Sep 22, 2014 8:20 pm • linkreport

The thing is that the participation of either David C. or Muriel B. on the Board of WMATA has no impact on the vicissitudes of the budget really, and a thoughtful GGW commenter ought to be pointing that out, and not omitting that David C. was on the Board when the area was in recession. You could just as easily blame Bowser for the deaths, which Catania isn't on the hook for, since he wasn't on the Board then.

Regardless, it's just as bad for David Catania to "blame" Bowser for WMATA needing capital loans because of a change in FTA practice wrt advancing funding because of WMATA contracting management failures.

I suppose you could blame Bowser for that if you wanted, but it wouldn't really be fair.

In any case, it's the kind of b.s. in political campaigning that isn't helpful, doesn't push the discourse forward, but I guess can't be avoided.

by Richard Layman in Muriel Bowser calls for "Vision Zero," more equity, Metro investment, and new task forces for transportation on Sep 22, 2014 8:02 pm • linkreport

Where did I blame the parents?

by Dave G in Breakfast links: Car-freedom on Sep 22, 2014 7:42 pm • linkreport

@Dave G ----you're best reaction is to blame the parents???

by Tina in Breakfast links: Car-freedom on Sep 22, 2014 7:22 pm • linkreport

@TT - complacency is not what I suggested and I'm sure you're aware of the. At least I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt on it.

by Tina in Breakfast links: Car-freedom on Sep 22, 2014 7:22 pm • linkreport

@Dave G - again

1. Design of the built environment
2. Enforcement of laws covering drivers' respect of pedestrians' rights, including speeding
3. Zoning laws that don't require schools to be placed in car dependent locations (on traffic sewers with no safe crossing to get there.)

That's just a partial list. There are many actions that can be taken to improve pedestrian safty, especially in front of a school on a road like this, that have measurable results unlike "educate

by Tina in Breakfast links: Car-freedom on Sep 22, 2014 7:20 pm • linkreport

@JG

That previous comment by LowHeadways is precisely my point: "Carol Schwartz is a loon" and "transit and transportation, and which Muriel Bowser has actively opposed." Name calling in one statement and a complete fallacy in another.

This is the puerile and dishonest debate we're having with Catania supporters/voters on this site.

by Brett M in Muriel Bowser calls for "Vision Zero," more equity, Metro investment, and new task forces for transportation on Sep 22, 2014 6:54 pm • linkreport

I generally agree with you, CW, but the Pembroke area is fairly built up and has lots of parking. It's a real geographic pivot point.

by Capt. Hilts in A $1.50 fare isn't holding back the Tide on Sep 22, 2014 6:45 pm • linkreport

The new Fifth & I building looks like it will be an eyesore. Affordable housing couldn't be any worse.

by Rich in DC sells valuable land, but loses interest in using it to create affordable housing on Sep 22, 2014 6:34 pm • linkreport

Although I love the commentary on the various financial analyses for cost, the expansion into VB fails. It fails for one simple reason. Population density. If compared to DC, VB has less than half the density, in addition, it has almost twice the square miles. Simple cocktail napkin math says the infrastructure and reach would have to be double DC for the same level of convenience. If that could be afforded, can they please fix the existing roads and bridges before starting on such a ridiculous endevor? As noted in the piece, and conveniently the way most sane people make decisions, if it isn't going where I'm going, or if I have to wait an hour, I'll drive.

by CW in A $1.50 fare isn't holding back the Tide on Sep 22, 2014 6:31 pm • linkreport

@dcmike, In the event of a overrun there are two options that could be used depending on the time of occurrence and location. During non rush hours the operator could get permission to override the doors on the lead car and escort passengers to the second car and service the station from the remainder of the train. In rush with short headways the only real option would be to have the train skip the station and passengers forced to back track. Using the first option in rush hour would cause unneeded delays.

by Roger in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 6:14 pm • linkreport

@Roger, correct but that only takes in to account stopping short. In an overrun situation - which is just as likely - a train of any length will not be able to service the station if a door is beyond the platform limits. Previously 6-car stops were at the center of the platform, so it didn't matter if the train stopped 5 feet off in either direction, there is wiggle room both ways.

by dcmike in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 6:01 pm • linkreport

SOP 40.5.1.5.2: Verify the platform side of the train by placing your head out of the cab window and first look and identify the platform. Then look at the doors on the platform side of the train to observe any activity in front of the doors, with your hands to your side for five (5) seconds, before reaching up to touch the manual door opening button

by dcmike in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 5:55 pm • linkreport

"Traditional taxis are heavily regulated."

Is this why DC taxi drivers are notorious for flagrantly violating the regulations, secure in the knowledge that the DC taxi commission will never do anything to them?

A big part of the point of a regulatory body is to provide someone to complain to should service not be up to the prescribed standards. And as it stands, Uber et al actually enforce quality control on their drivers, while the DC taxi commission very clearly does not do so with theirs.

by schroedinger_ in Deregulate Uber, but require transparency on Sep 22, 2014 5:55 pm • linkreport

@Matt': No, both are a problem.

The "fix" to address the problem with opening doors while still in the tunnel is to make all manual stops at the 8-car marker, or the end of the platform.

The "fix" to address the problem with wrong-side door opening is the five second rule, which requires operators to open the window, stick their head out, and count to five.

by dcmike in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 5:46 pm • linkreport

don't hear much from* him

by Alan in Breakfast links: Bowser ahead early on Sep 22, 2014 5:42 pm • linkreport

I have seen no one with such dedication respond to every single characterization of David Catania or Carol Schwartz.

I'm not a Catania "supporter." I'm just voting for him because Carol Schwartz is a loon and Catania seems marginally more supportive of my one issue, which is transit and transportation, and which Muriel Bowser has actively opposed (see, for instance, the 16th Street bus lanes).

But Bowser, Schwartz, Catania...surely this can't be the best we have to offer.

by LowHeadways in Muriel Bowser calls for "Vision Zero," more equity, Metro investment, and new task forces for transportation on Sep 22, 2014 5:42 pm • linkreport

Among likely voters, Bowser is polling ten points ahead of Catania on education, his signature issue. He has roughly six weeks till election day. That's a pretty bad omen for his campaign. I haven't heard one cogent reform idea from either one of them, but I think Catania's decision to propose a *lot* of ideas that don't seem to resonate versus Bowser's more general approach is not working. It seems strange that Catania says he's visited essentially every public school in the city, talked to parents and teachers in all of them, yet he can't craft an education reform strategy that appeals to most voters. Polling at 30% on education is godawful given the amount of time he has spent throwing out education proposals...that means two thirds of the likely voters in this town don't like most (any?) of the ideas he's proposed. I personally don't hear much for him that will alter the seemingly insurmountable student performance stats in numerous city schools. He's had 17 years to figure it out and hasn't moved the dial very far.

by Alan in Breakfast links: Bowser ahead early on Sep 22, 2014 5:41 pm • linkreport

Yes why should the public suffer for the Secret Service's incompetence? I read somewhere that pointing the perimeter fence's top spikes outwards and away from the White House would do a lot to deter fence-climbers and still let the public walk up to the fence, as just one example of a simple yet public-positive security upgrade. Plus I thought there were always guards standing outside the North entrance?

by Dave G in Breakfast links: Car-freedom on Sep 22, 2014 5:36 pm • linkreport

@West Egg - thanks for the link to the older GGW piece. The link in that piece to this spoof Metro memo made my day: http://www.scribd.com/doc/106350644/Memo

@dcmike - invaluable information, as always!

by JDC in Computers will start driving Red Line trains again on Sep 22, 2014 5:13 pm • linkreport

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