This morning, I decided I’d drive to the Metro station near my home and try the Park and Ride, metered parking feature. This, as opposed to the Kiss and Ride, the hop - a - bus - and - transfer, the walk - in - the - bitter - cold - of - January, or the drive - downtown - and - sell - your - first - born - to - pay - for - parking - near - your - office options. I left the house around 7:30 and arrived at the Takoma Station around 7:40. The Park and Ride lot was wide open; lots and lots of available spaces. Yippee! I thought.
Then I pulled into the lot and started to read the signs. Seven hour parking. Did I read that correctly? Seven hour parking?! Seven hour parking? Are they kidding?! (“They” being an unknown entity. Is “they” WMATA or the Republic of Takoma Park? It’s a mystery. Regardless, seven hour parking.)
I ask you: who among us—among those of us who ride the Metro into our jobs downtown—who among us works less than seven hours a day? Unless you’re an exceptional federal employee, none of us work less than seven hours a day. I have to be at work no later than 8:15, which means—taking into account possible (read: inevitable) Metro glitches, including trains going out of service, trains crashing into each others, and trains killing customers or employees—I’m on the train around 7:30. I can’t leave work before 5:15, which means—at the earliest—I’m getting back to Takoma Park around 5:45 (again, barring any unforeseen incidents.)
All told, I’m en route and/or at work at least 11 hours. That’s about four hours more than the seven-hour time limit at the Takoma Park Metro Station lot. Can someone tell me, for the love of all that is holy, why there aren’t 12-hour meters for me to feed? Can’t wait to see what my ticket is tonight when I get off the train. So help me, if it’s more than $25, I’m writing a letter to whoever “they” are. After that, I suppose I’ll figure out an alternate means of getting to Metro.
But here’s what really sticks in my craw. In this era of global warming, when more people should get out of their cars and into alternate modes of transportation if they can, organizations like WMATA (or the hippy, crunchy enclave Republic of Takoma Park, as the case may be) should be doing more to encourage the use of the Metro system. Putting in seven-hour-only parking meters isn’t much of an incentive to use more earth-friendly commuting alternatives.
Okay, Metro rant over.
Now for the good things about today.
- This morning’s sunrise, as seen through the picture windows of the train, was spectacular! Unlike the temperature outside, it was bright and warm and beautiful.
- Having ham and pineapple pizza for dinner. Yum! Of course, I had to share the pineapple with the Abyssinian.
- The Abyssinian who likes pineapple (not to mention anything meat, sour cream, cantaloupe, and Doritos. Yes, you read that right. A cat that eats Doritos) and seemed to like me tonight, as opposed to hissing and spitting at me.