Is The Metro Closure A Good Idea Or A Really Bad One?

Yep, Metrorail is closed for all of Wednesday for an emergency investigation into the safety of the cables.

Was this a responsible decision or an insane one?
“While I am disappointed that the closure of the Metro system has become necessary, I support the new management’s decision to take whatever steps are necessary to keep Virginians safe. Metro is essential to the economic health and quality of the Northern Virginia region and our entire Commonwealth – it’s time to make it the safe, accessible and dependable asset Virginia families deserve.”—Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe
“As civil engineers, we applaud the General Manager’s dedication to safety, as we believe and take an oath to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare. This emergency closure demonstrates the immense investment and maintenance needs of our aging infrastructure.”—American Civil Society of Engineers

“It’s sad that it’s come to this, but hundreds of thousands of people depend on the safety of the Metro system. We need to take it seriously. I’m glad that Metro’s new leadership is treating system safety with an appropriate sense of urgency.”—Senator Mark Warner (VA)
“Whether they know it or not, Metro riders would rather have one day without Metro than an open-ended series of breakdowns, meltdowns, and potentially fatal incidents, like the one that killed Carol Glover in January 2015, when a stalled Yellow Line train filled up with smoke from a nearby track fire … Metro’s move is the right one. It will be painful temporarily, but if it works out, it should reduce the number of future delays because of shoddy third-rail wiring.”—Washingtonian
“Metro is a national embarrassment … It’s utterly hopeless for residents of the Washington area to think they can rely on Metrorail as a dependable form of transportation.”—Washington Post Editorial Board
“For a long time Marylanders have been denied the safe, reliable and efficient Metro system that they deserve. It is deeply disturbing that the system is in such a precarious state that it must be entirely and abruptly shut down during the middle of a workweek. This is a stark demonstration of a total agency failure; now is the time for every stakeholder in WMATA to demand better performance and improved safety.”—Maryland Congressman John Delaney
“Certainly, we will see on Wednesday just how important Metro is to our region – to our transportation system and our economy. We may also realize amid the expected traffic gridlock tomorrow why dedicated bus lanes would offer a great way to move more people, faster and more reliably than the current bus in traffic model.”—Coalition for Smarter Growth
“Metro’s safety record has been a longstanding and well-documented concern for residents throughout the entire region. While I do not discount the challenges that lie ahead for WMATA, I am deeply concerned by the recent decision to close the entire Metrorail system. As Chairperson of the Committee on Education, my primary concern is ensuring that our students can get to school safely. As many of you know, the District of Columbia does not have a traditional school bus system and many of our 87,000 public school students rely on public transportation to get to school on time. I understand that this is a significant disruption for many of our families.”—At-large Councilmember David Grosso
“I appreciate that General Manager Paul Wiedefeld’s actions, while drastic, are being taken first and foremost to protect Metro Rail riders’ safety. At the same time this unprecedented action highlights the fundamental cultural change that needs to take place at Metro. Instead of Metro riders being constantly inconvenienced and put in danger, Metro management throughout the entire system needs to be shaken to its core and be rid of its culture of incompetence. New accountability measures must be put in place.”—Virginia Congresswoman Barbara Comstock
“WMATA needs to consider shutting down large portions of its rail system for a lot longer than a day. Several months may in fact be required for each line in order to perform complete safety and reliability overhauls.”—CityLab

Photo courtesy of Dan Lawrence 62. Click here to read the original story.