in DC: CoHi WMATA mornings

Not every morning, but just about every morning, Columbia Heights metro riders are “treated” to the sound of escalators in dire need of some repair, or maybe just some WD-40… If you’ve got headphones on, it might just sound like a strange form of urban morning birdsong. If you’ve got a hangover, it probably feels like a dentist’s drill on your skull. Primarily it sounds like a noise that one is not used to and perhaps should not be comfortable with coming from an escalator that they’re riding.

Most mornings, I’m able to ignore it, but today it seemed particularly loud… or annoying… or both.

That’s not normal, right? I mean, it only happens in the morning so far as I’ve seen, so it might be a reaction to temperature or humidity. But it still doesn’t seem like parts moving together that make that kind of noise are happily moving together.

The escalators at Columbia Heights break down from time to time, probably less than other stations, but this squeaky/chirpy noise thing has always struck me as odd.

However it’s not enough to make me stop using the escalators or anything. In this city, if the light is green and the escalator is moving, it counts as a valid ride! Anyone else hear this often at CoHi or other stations? I assume it’s just a morning thing, but it would be interesting to know if the cry of the “WMATA Escalator Screeching Warbler” is heard anyplace else in the District and surrounding areas. We might need to develop The DC Field Guide to Urban Wildlife so that newcomers aren’t frightened by the odd sights and sounds that residents have learned to long since ignore. :mrgreen:

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5 Responses

  1. Kyle says:

    For a long time, the down escalator at the First and Mass exit at Union Station sounded like an experimental jazz saxophonist squawking. Half the time I expected to find a sweat-beaded busker at the bottom of the steps, throwing his soul into his arhythmic noises.

    Now, the escalators at Union Station are just a big mess. Getting out of the station has become an unholy chore.

  2. Esprix says:

    That’s, uh, not right…

  3. Jim T says:

    To me it sounded like a mechanical version of the attack of the seagulls from The Birds. I definitely had a Tippi Hedren moment going.

  4. Chris Hansen says:

    That is definitely alarming. I think that some rubber part is not moving well against some metal part. Was the handrail moving with the stair?

    If I were you I’d walk down and up the staircase.

  1. May 5, 2011

    […] morning Urban Bohemian was kind enough to share what can only be described as a migraine-inducing ride on the Columbia […]

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