Metro’s Sept. 18 article “Rush Hour Returns with a Vengeance” reported that while rush hour traffic has rebounded near 2019 numbers, Metro ridership is only 40% behind. around pre-pandemic levels. Metro faces an annual shortfall of $500 million. Metro’s new general manager is counting on improving ridership. Elected officials in Virginia, Maryland and DC should support the same before they are inevitably asked to increase grants.
In that context, why wasn’t there a louder outcry from the area’s congressional delegation after a federal agency chose to encourage even more car commuters to ditch the subway and back on the roads?
The National Park Service’s preliminary decision to allow cars for most of the year on Upper Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park, where they haven’t been in 2½ years, probably shouldn’t be made based on anything outside the park boundaries. Once the NPS decided to stick its nose into the larger public policy issue of commuter traffic, one would hope it would also recognize how its decision affects subway ridership.
Our state, local and federal elected officials presumably want to tell the public that all no-cost policy decisions to promote subway use have been exhausted before seeking more expensive public subsidies.
Preventing the NPS from leaving cars on Upper Beach Drive would be a good place to start.
Eric Brenner, silver spring