Monday, June 18, 2012

Photoblog 2: Lafayette Square/Park--Washington, DC

Between the 40 hours I give to TransAfrica Forum a week, I occassionally take my lunch break outside the building I work in. It is a very beautiful park and a soothing place to relax while on break. The park is a 2 minute walk from my TransAfrica Forum and it is located right behind the White House.

 The intersection of 16th and H street Northwest.
 The building in which I work.
 TransAfrica (5th floor)
 Inside the building
 TransAfrica Forum1
 TransAfrica Forum2
 Lafayette Park and White House
 Lafayette Park and H Street
 Lafayette Park1
 Lafayette Park2
 Lafayette Park and White House
 Tourists gathered around President Obama's residence
 People enjoying the weather at Lafayette Park
Lafayette Park and H Street

Metrorail: Orange Line extension to Bowie

Now if you are like me, you understand that if one day, Metro ceased to exist altogether, EVERYTHING within the Washington Metropolitan Area would probably shut down. I don't own a car and I depend on the B21/B22 bus to get to and from the campus at BSU everyday. However, there is one itty bitty problem. Passengers are increasing but the bus service isn't getting any better. Buses are always packed like Sardenes and they come only once an hour, despite there being a clear demand for more frequent service between New Carrollton and Bowie State University. So I came up with a proposal.

We have the Orange Line which spans between New Carrollton and Vienna. And then we have the Silver Line which is supposedly supposed to connect the "end" stations in a circular form (kind of in the way the Capital Beltway does). I believe that it is now time to extend the Orange Line to both Bowie and Laurel. Both suburbs are clearly growing by the minute and there is increasing need for commuters in Bowie and Laurel to promptly get to their locations of employment in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia in other cases. The fact that the metro only spans as far as the beltway within Prince George's County is rather absurd to me. There are hundreds of thousands of people who live outside of the beltway (within PG county) who are in need of efficient metrorail access from their locations. 

Now, there are some people who would make the arguement that there is absolutely no space for the Orange Line to be extended to Bowie and Laurel. Then my question to that is what about the current construction going on the Silver Line? Could that not be modified to reach people living in Bowie and Laurel? Could that not be modified to make Metrorail a more extensive and efficient system?

I wrote this note to say that I am tired of the incompetence on the part of Metro, and I'm pretty sure that there are other people out there who are tired but instead, choose to remain silent about the issue. I have written WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) emails in several occassions concerning the "bus" issue, but they never cared to respond to any of my concerns. So now I am done talking about the bus. Since they don't want to frequent the bus routes of B21 and B22, they need to extend the Orange Line to Bowie (at the least) and Laurel OR they need to make some kind of engineering modifications to the current Silver Line proposal. I am a paying customer and I feel like I have the right to bring this issue to the table...the issue of me being unsatisfied with their recent work.

What do you think about Metro and their service or lack thereof? This will probably be more relative to those who rely on the Metro (bus and rail). Feel free to comment.