Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Coast is Clear, or is it?

From Ryan:
Last Saturday, my girlfriend and I were on the Orange Line heading toward New Carrollton. At Landover, the operator let us know we would be holding on the platform as a "man and stray dog" were out on the tracks. We sat and waited for roughly 10 minutes when the operator announced we would begin moving again.

Now, you'd assume that meant they knew the man and dog had been cleared, gotten through a fence, that Metro cops had apprehended the man and trespassing canine or that the situation was remedied in some other fashion.

You'd assume.

A couple minutes later we came to a stop. Being in mostly empty front car, I moved forward and looked out the window to see what was going on.

I saw the man and the dog were still out on the rails.

Our train, and a train heading the other way were stopped. The other train let out a few honks as the clearly intoxicated man rambled around with his pants around his knees.

He then picked up the dog and hurled it over the barbed wire onto a lower set of tracks. The throw over the fence was horrific enough, but the other set of tracks was easily another four to six feet below ours, meaning this dog was tossed roughly 12 to 15 feet.

After rolling on the ground and failing to climb the fence several times, the man mounted the barbed wire and threw himself over.

Was there an aftermath? Did the operator seem to care? No.

A simple "train is moving" announcement came on over the speakers, and we carried on as another passenger on the train comforted his girlfriend who began sobbing once the dog was thrown.

At least there wasn't a delay? Right?
Other items:
Metro tweaks fare hike proposal (Examiner) WaPo take
Upcoming track work schedule looks pretty rough (WMATA)

Scottish Council Elections, 2012, An Introduction

In less than a month, Scots go to the polls to elect their councillors for the next four years. Nominations for candidates have closed and councils have published lists of the candidates, although I have not seen much campaigning yet.

The local election campaigns do not make the headlines to the same extent as a General Election but our councillors can have a significant influence on local environmental issues through local policies and their implementation of national policies. Particular environmental issues in my area include, not in any particular order:
  • Fuel Poverty - a significant proportion of households are now in fuel poverty in Glasgow
  • Air Pollution - Parts of Glasgow regularly fail to meet air quality standards
  • Sustainable public transport - public transport use has declined over the past year and operators are threatening to cut services further
  • Recycling - Glasgow has the poorest recycling record of all local authorities in Scotland
  • Biodiversity - Although Glasgow is a predominantly urban local authority, biodiversity and access to open places is still important
  • Local development plans - through local development plans, councilors have the ability to influence how green the city is for decades to come
  • New Housing - by insisting on the highest standards for new housing, councilors can set the city on a more sustainable path.

Read more »