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Enhance the commute with haikus

Yesterday, Marc Tomik (@marctomik) adapted an idea from King County, Washington and the Washington (state) DOT to write haikus about transportation on Twitter.

Because Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct is being torn down, @wsdot started a contest to write some "vaikus" about the viaduct.

  1. Marc decided to call for some road haikus.
  2. @CCTgirl @RideLikeCharlie @ajfroggie Roads really need Haikus. cc @wsdot
  3. And Adam Froehlig and others jumped right in:
  1. @marctomik @cctgirl @ridelikecharlie @wsdot Along the highway | Do I see the sights and sounds | Of America
  2. @ajfroggie @marctomik @CCTgirl @RideLikeCharlie @Tracktwentynine Highways get money | Transit is just as awesome | Can we get some too?
  3. I decided to try and thread the tweets by introducing the #transpohaiku hashtag. And it kind of took off from there.
  4. One hundred seven | years of moving the city | The New York Subway @AimeeCustis @CCTgirl @marctomik @RideLikeCharlie #transpohaiku
  5. Number 9 Perry | Gone with the last transit cuts | Wish I could ride again #transpohaiku
  6. Even in the cold | #Metro trains go everywhere | Except with 6 inches snow #transpohaiku
  7. Do not hold the doors | you'll be sure to cause a jam | and offload us all. #transpohaiku #wmata
  8. You let me travel / when I am drunk or tired / enabling vice #transpohaiku
  9. America's Trucks | Bring Life's Essentials Safely | Efficiently Everyday #transpohaiku (cc @AdamKSnider)
  10. Some of the tweets echoed debates we often have on Greater Greater Washington.
  11. Cars are free market / aren't there externalities? / debate without end #transpohaiku
  12. The right price to park / not too high but not too low / goldilocks pricing #shoup #transpohaiku
  13. New York Avenue | Florida Ave - Galludet | U. Soon: More long names. #transpohaiku #wmata #ShortenTheFreakingStationNames
  14. Bicycles are great | I confess: sometimes I ride | without a helmet. #transpohaiku #needafolduphelmetformybag
  15. Metro was a common subject, of course.
  16. Metro can frustrate | Traffic is worse. Perspective. | Transit for all. #transpohaiku #wmata
  17. Mournfully crying | the Metro escalator | moans, groans as it climbs: | #transpohaiku #wmata
  18. Metrobus riders | Keep moving to the back please | It's crowded up front #transpohaiku #wmata
  19. i ride the green line | still waiting for cell signal | south of chinatown #transpohaiku #wmata
  20. Angry tweets and posts | Metro delay may raise ire | Interaction soothes #transpohaiku #wmata
  21. Did you see something? | Say 'hey there, is that your bag?' | Keeping metro safe #transpohaiku #wmata
  22. The idea spread to other cities, too.
  23. With cuts and fare hikes / in the City by the Bay / Muni is puny. #transpohaiku #munihaiku
  24. Shuttles shall replace | Red Line Kenmore to Broadway | this snowy weekend #mbta #transpohaiku
  25. Mapping Fixed Guideway | Use as a quick 'burgh guide | This is Still a draft #TranspoHaiku @PGHtransit @bus15237
  26. We were even joined by the venerable Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, Montgomery council member Roger Berliner, and @wmata.
  27. Stopping texts stops wrecks/ @AdCouncil and @NHTSAgov/ say in PSA #transpohaiku #dwd
  28. People have to climb | Hope escalators fixed soon | At #Bethesda stop #transpohaiku #wmata
  29. Our first stab... Today's Noon Event | Leaders, Mascots And Conga | Celebrate Farragut Crossing #transpohaiku #wmata ^BA
  30. Tweets are still coming in, too.
  31. Public transit saves | keeps our environment green | a win-win for all #transpohaiku
  32. Traffic makes me sad | Reading on metro is nice | I like orange vinyl #transpohaiku #wmata
  33. Towards Zero Deaths now : guardrail, signs, lines, cones, rumbles : Safer roads save lives #transpohaiku #TZD
If you're on Twitter, join the conversation. If not, leave your haikus in the comments.
Matt Johnson has lived in the Washington area since 2007. He has a Master's in Planning from the University of Maryland and a BS in Public Policy from Georgia Tech. He lives in Greenbelt. Heís a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is a contract employee of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. His views are his own and do not represent those of his employer. 


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I find limericks more amusing. Harder to fit into a tweet, though.

by Ryan S on Oct 28, 2011 3:17 pm • linkreport

When you need to get out in the snow,
There's no more fun way to go,
when the roads are all clogged,
with the wintery slog,
just hop on the train we call metro.

by Michael Perkins on Oct 28, 2011 3:21 pm • linkreport

Hey! Don't you pollute
with limericks this great thread
it is for haikus.

by Matt Johnson on Oct 28, 2011 3:24 pm • linkreport

I can comment however I want
so you don't need to step up and front
whether it's shakespearean rhyme
or syllable lines
or even Immanuel Kant.

by Michael Perkins on Oct 28, 2011 3:30 pm • linkreport

Imperative: Do that which
You would others do

by Immanuel Kant on Oct 28, 2011 3:41 pm • linkreport

The elevator moves with great speed,
From the depths I soon will be freed,
Would that faster it went,
For by the foul scent,
I can tell that someone has peed.

by Michael Perkins on Oct 28, 2011 3:47 pm • linkreport

All of the commutes I tried,
Driving made my nerves fried,
I went underground,
My mind is now sound.
That is the reason I ride.

by Marc Tomik on Oct 28, 2011 3:47 pm • linkreport

GUTS goes down P Street
NIMBY neighbors pitch a fit
New route twice as long

by Dizzy on Oct 28, 2011 3:49 pm • linkreport

I got the ain't no metro blues
I got the ain't no metro blues
I'm stuck in this office park with no train to embark

by Tina on Oct 28, 2011 3:56 pm • linkreport

Need a parking space
For my SUV, it's big
Signed, the 1 percent

by aaa on Oct 28, 2011 4:02 pm • linkreport

Bah. Everyone knows limericks are where it's at.

O, commuter, remember your place
Is contained to your personal space,
For the slogan says: "Metro"
(You must not forget) "o-
Pens doors"...which might close on your face.

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on Oct 28, 2011 4:04 pm • linkreport

One more:

There's a jumper one station ahead,
And it seems he's unfortunately dead.
Which explains why, from Strathmore
To Farragut North
We are all of us now seeing Red.

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on Oct 28, 2011 4:13 pm • linkreport

There was a young man from U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo,
Who never knew where the train goes-o
The name on the sign,
wouldn't fit on one line
for the station was named by a bozo.

Sorry, Jim.

by anon on Oct 28, 2011 4:17 pm • linkreport

Did anyone else
notice the brand new layout
with this very post?

by Steven Yates on Oct 28, 2011 4:25 pm • linkreport

A question that's hotly debated,
"Are the workers properly rated?"
One, considered too rough,
For punching McGruff,
Now his job has been reinstated.

by Michael Perkins on Oct 28, 2011 4:35 pm • linkreport

Paper or plastic?
SmarTrip is five dollars more;
Paper means surcharge!

Regular, reduced,
and more with peak-of-the-peak;
plus distance-based fares.

A transfer discount,
Parking fees, too. Confused yet?
The price of Metro!

by Matt Johnson on Oct 28, 2011 4:52 pm • linkreport

A flat fare? Don't make me laugh!
The suggestion is surely a gaffe.
While long trips are nice,
At a much lower price,
Off-peak you'll no longer pay half.

by Michael Perkins on Oct 28, 2011 5:06 pm • linkreport

Five dollars will get you SmarTrip,
A card with computerized chip.
Smart customers know,
It's the fast way to go,
Compared to the magnetic strip.

by Michael Perkins on Oct 28, 2011 5:08 pm • linkreport

WMATA is surely without rival,
For boards that show the arrival.
They keep customers guessing,
When they are confessing:
## ### ## ##

by Michael Perkins on Oct 28, 2011 5:52 pm • linkreport

Strangers block my path

Tourist mobs clog the Metro

Please step to the right

by Mike Licht on Oct 28, 2011 10:55 pm • linkreport

"Hey, is that your bag?"
That's how I met your mother,
riding the Red Line.

by Steven Harrell on Oct 29, 2011 9:12 am • linkreport

Let's not forget the first (Paris) Metro-related haiku-styled poetry:

In a Station of the Metro

"The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough."

— Ezra Pound

by Steven Harrell on Oct 29, 2011 9:47 am • linkreport

Sorry I'm late to this tread. How's this volley?

There was once a metro rider at Fort Totten
Betrayed by information he'd gotten
Yellow was his aim
But the train never came
Until after the peak, it was rotten.

by MDE on Oct 31, 2011 9:51 am • linkreport

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