I’m building an ark for tomorrow’s commute


Record Rain Wreaks Havoc on Morning Commute

This morning, major commuter delays developed as a result of a mudslide that dumped six feet of slick debris near the intersection of the Capital Beltway and Telegraph Road, closing the road for hours, and because of underground flooding that shuttered two normally busy downtown Metrorail stations.

I love a good storm and it was much more fun to watch when I was at home and didn’t have to go anywhere. I’m sitting on the couch watching “Fear Her” and I turn to look out the window and the world went WHITE for a moment. But not in that cool way where I wake up with superpowers. And the sheets of water battering the windows, all very cool to look at, but I didn’t even think about this morning’s commute.

So this morning I get to the metro, normal walk if not a bit muggy. When I get into the station the signboards are announcing a shuttle bus along my line and the station dude is making a similar announcement. I’ve only had one shuttle bus experience, after a party at Tod and Doug’s old place and it wasn’t fun, had I known I’d have begged Greg to take me one more station closer to the city. However where that was an outlying station filled with mostly drunk/partying suburbanites headed into DC, this was a metric assload of commuters, all in “morning mode” so naturally everyone’s late and everyone’s in their way. The crowd waiting for a shuttle bus at Gallery Place was already huge so I walked over a few blocks and caught the Circulator in, and even so there were traffic lights out so it still took a while, but at least it wasn’t body to body packed. Then when I got off at L’Enfant Plaza, if I thought the crowds at Gallery Place were bad.. wow. There were easily hundreds of people standing on the sidewalk waiting to get on a bus to take them up to Gallery Place. It looked like the floor section during a concert at the 930 Club, just magnified and a lot less joyful. The sad thing is that Gallery Place, on a fair day, is easily walkable from L’Enfant Plaza. I called work and said that if I couldn’t catch a bus, I’d walk! But apparently just as many train commuters are too good for the bus, they’re also too good to just hoof it.

I expect a lot of latecomers today and a lot of “did anyone else have trouble getting in?” stories. Betsy commented that this seems worse than when it snows in the district, and she seems right, at least with snow you have an idea your commute will be crappy or it’s not seen as a problem when you call out. But who calls out on account of “not rain”? Since when I looked outside this morning, the streets were damp, but there was no sign of last night’s storm. We didn’t even have any felled trees like the White House.

It feels like a nap day.

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