UPDATED: Sick Person at Rosslyn Metro

by Katie Pyzyk October 27, 2011 at 8:42 am 3,843 98 Comments

Update at 9:00 a.m. — WMATA is reporting that normal service has resumed on the Blue and Orange Lines.

Emergency crews are on their way to the Rosslyn Metro station for reports of a sick person on board an Orange Line train. WMATA says the person is unresponsive.

There are delays on the Orange and Blue Lines in both directions as a result. Delays will continue until the situation is resolved.

  • QUICK!


  • Anon

    It’s amazing how 1 sick passenger can disable an entire line.

    • Steve

      I don’t think they use the term sick the way normal people do who aren’t talking to children.

      There are two possibilities:

      1. the person puked everywhere and had to take the train out of service, which takes some time.

      2. the person dropped dead.

      I think it’s #2 in this situation. It isn’t a person who has a bad cough causing a delay.

      • drax

        Sure, because the only three ailments possible are coughing, puking, or death.

        • When you’re a zombie…

        • LuvDusty

          To be frank, it was most likely fainting or claustrophobia/lack of air. I was on the orange line heading from Clarendon to Farr West at 8:15am today, and there was NO AIR in the stations or on the trains.

          It’s amazing how LITTLE ventilation there is in the system. And when it’s a humid/muggy AM like today, it’s really bad.

          I’m a healthy in shape man in my late 30s. I can only imagine how horrible these conditions are for an elder person w/respiratory ailments or severe allergies. I’m surprised more people don’t get “sick” daily in the system.

    • Steamboat Willie

      Think what a planned, multi-person effort could do in terms of disabling the system. SMH.

  • Steve

    Another day on metro, another delay. My favorite part was at courthouse when a blind guy tried 6 doors in a row to get on and nobody would let him on despite obviously being blind. nice people in the DC area.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      I’ve seen the same thing when I’ve ridden on Metro.

      • Ditto. Uncaring.

        • KalashniKEV

          That’s why I drive to work.

          • They are still uncaring on the roads. At least they aren’t in your face and touching you though.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            This is true, OB.

          • Richard Cranium

            Fewer blind people, however.

          • drax

            Yeah, no kidding, as if the roads are full of nice old ladies letting you go first with a smile and a glass of lemonade.

          • drax

            That blind guy should just drive to work like Kev!

          • CW

            He would probably be most law-abiding driver in all of Maryland.

          • drax

            All Maryland drivers are blind.

      • ClarendonDweller

        This makes me so sad. I am on the same schedule as a blind individual at Clarendon and have noticed on several occasions people moving to make room for him.

        • LuvDusty

          I think I know the kid you speak of…i’ve helped him a few times..nice guy.

          Not sure why he doesn’t get or qualify for a seeing-eye dog.

          In any case, i’ve seen people be very helpful and aware.

          The problem is that the Orange line is just poorly managed all around…any little glitch–MASSIVE FAIL. It’s amazing it runs as well as it does even.

        • The Dope of South Arlington

          I’m sure he wants to be treated like everyone else, which means people should NOT “make room” for him, just like they don’t “make room” for anyone else.

  • Clarendon Cruiser

    …Or the lady I saw who was not allowing anybody by on the down moving escalator because she had to hold her full Venti sized coffee away from her body so it would not spill on her coat…WTF!

    why don’t the station managers make everybody dump their coffee before going thru the gates?

    • Steamboat Willie

      That would have proven too tempting not to accidentally bump that Venti on my way by her.

      • Roland

        A lot of bumping happens when I take the metro these days. People are just too absorbed in their own world and inconsiderate of people who are trying to move through the system quickly. I just roll over people now and keep going. I’ll never see them again and they learn a lesson.

        • So it was you who spilled my extra grande venti latte mocha frappuchio light all over my mink scarf!

          • Bluemontsince1961


        • JimPB

          “roll over people” — it teaches what? It models and stimulates more such aggressive behavior and contributes to changing the norm for the worse.

          What about, in a pleasant tone: “Excuse me, I need to get by you.” And afterwards, “Thanks.”

          • Bluemontsince1961

            True, but the simple courtesy you mention seems rare in this area. I try to exercise it and when the person moves, I remember to thank them. Sadly, I’ve had situations on the Metro (and elsewhere) where a polite, “excuse me, I need to get by” was not responded to even when repeated.

          • BM, I’ve had that happen as well. Then when I end up having to wait or push myself by I end up muttering exactly what I am thinking about that person. I suspect it only makes them smile.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            Yep, I end up doing the same thing. Some of them may smile to themselves, but many of them seem totally oblivious that there is anything or anyone existing in the world outside themselves.

          • drax

            I think courtesy is quite common here. We just don’t notice as much because we expect it. We notice all the rude stuff, which is certainly prevalent. But I don’t think we’re a city teeming with nonstop rudeness.

          • We are getting closre to NYC every day.

          • CW

            Plate tectonics?

          • Lee-n-Glebe

            OB – I lived in NYC for some time. I rarely encountered the rudeness usually attributed to the City, in fact people went out of their way to help, return lost items, etc.

            My experiences in Philly, on the other hand, have been along the lines of how people who haven’t spent much time in NYC perceive it to be – a certain pride in being rude.

          • PHD

            that’s because they can’t hear you, with buds in their ears. Ever notice how people don’t move away from the door when the metro stops, even though they’re not exiting the train? I see this every day. It’s like they’ve tuned out and don’t or can’t pick up on the signs of people getting ready to depart.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      The usual “entitled” “me first, me, me, me” behavior that seems so typical for this area, whether driving, walking in stores, riding the Metro, etc. People don’t seem to have been raised with manners, courtesy, etc. anymore – at least by my observation. When I was a child back in the “dark ages” (some 50 years ago), people behaved far better for the most part. People making room for the elderly, blind, etc. was the norm and those refusing or not doing so were the rare exceptions.

      “why don’t the station managers make everybody dump their coffee before going thru the gates?”

      We should live so long for that to happen. I doubt that a station manager would do that – imagine the “outrage” that would be expressed by riders if station managers did such a thing!

      • Bluemontsince1961

        My response was to Clarendon Cruiser, above.

      • JimPB

        I do believe that Metro has a policy that forbids food and drink within the system.

        • Bluemontsince1961


          I believe you are correct. Unfortunately, I’ve seen riders on Metro violate that policy pretty frequently. I imagine it is hard for Metro station employees to keep an eye on everyone during the large numbers of people moving through the stations at rush hour, so people can sneak things through.

          • Indeed they do.

          • Josh S

            I couldn’t believe it when I saw a commercial for some fast food crap a few weeks back and they showed two customers smiling and chatting away while eating their product on a bus. Just amazing to me. I mean, I know that marketing folks are about the lowest class of human, but can we take some responsibility for maintaining civility?

          • #

            This is sarcastic right? You really think about stuff like this?

          • Josh S

            I understand it is probably a poor use of my neurons, but yes, I had exactly the reaction I decribed when I saw the commercial. It was the context. It wasn’t some obviously overblown unrealistic Hollywood type moment – it was as if two people can sit and share a pizza or burrito or whatever it was on a bus as if that is normal and nothing wrong with it.

            It is microscopic, perhaps, but this commerical moved us closer to anarchy.

          • Steamboat Willie

            In response to the second comment from Josh S: anarchy? Really? Subways and buses in major European cities allow food and drink consumption and those systems seem to be running just fine.

            Of course, the patrons have a cultural disposition to clean up after themselves, and I don’t have much confidence that WMATA riders share that sensibility.

          • drax

            Do they carry cleaning supplies with them in Europe?

          • Aaron

            None of these women are “sneaking” their Starbucks onto Metro; half of them are either catcalling to the station manager or are on the receiving end of his affections as they go through the gate.

          • Sam

            I saw a Metro Transit Police officer on the yellow line toward Huntington (around Crystal City/National) drinking his afternoon fountain soda. It’s not just riders that violate the policies.

        • Greg

          It’s actually “No eating or drinking”. So it’s OK to bring your coffee on. You just can’t take a sip.

          • You are a rule wiggler. Acutally, it is likely worded that way so you can grocery shop and bring your food and drink home on the train. It isn’t meant to mean you can carry on open cup of coffee that can be dropped and spilled on the carpet. It is meant to mean you can carry a six pack of soda, a box of rice cakes, and a loaf of bread home from the grocery store.

          • Steve

            Then they should rewrite the rules to reflect that. They didn’t.

          • drax

            I agree. Make it explicit – no drinks except in permanent containers or bottles. No paper or plastic cups or whatnot.

          • Greg

            Haha. I’m just telling you, that’s the rule. Not saying it’s right or wrong. But you can ask Metro Police and they will tell you the same thing. Holding your coffee is fine. Drinking it gets you a ticket.

          • That’s kind of like claiming “no smoking” means you can have the cigarette lit and burning as long as you don’t take a puff of it.

          • Actually

            If you don’t take a puff of it, it will neither light nor burn. So you can hold an unlit cig on a platform. 😉

          • drax

            Still, you better not spill any coffee on me on a crowded, jostling train from a flimsy paper cup.

          • Carmen


      • Clarendon Cruiser

        They would only have to enforce it for one or two days with the metro police present at the gates to get the message across.

        Either that, or change the rules so that we can ALL enjoy the privilage of sipping coffee while are noses are in somebody else’s armpit.

        Why do I have to play by the rules when few others do?

        Metro would make big bucks if they had a coffee / cocktail bar on every train.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Ain’t it the truth!

        • Josh S

          Why ferry boats are by far the most civilized way to commute.

          • Tabby

            That’s what I always assumed, but a couple of ferry operators in Sydney told me some tales–most notably about “S— Guy”–from a very wealthy family, felt entitled to “his” seat, and if he saw someone in “his” seat and they wouldn’t move, he’d crap in his hand and throw it at the person. He has HIV too.

        • CynicalButCorrect

          they did try enforcement .. recall the blow-up over the person that got cited for eating french fries (think it was on Red Line) a few years back.

          MP was summarily berated and accused of employing gestapo tactics on some poor defenseless hungry high school student.

          • drax

            I believe she was arrested, not just “cited.” That was the reason for the blowup. I agree that arresting and jailing someone for that is over the top. Kind of like how DC was arresting people with expired tags on their cars until recently.

        • Carmen

          No room on the orange line for that.

      • Steve

        Besides being hollywood for ugly people, DC is a magnet for people who are sociopathically self absorbed.

        • drax

          Like smokers?

      • Ballstonian

        I came out here for a Constitution Team competition when I was in high school and was told by a station manager to throw away the Sprite i was drinking. Seems like things have been relaxed in the ensuing 16 years.

  • JimPB

    It was news in July when Metro announced that because of the record heat it would allow passengers to bring and drink bottled water while in the system during the weekend. This was an exception to Metro’s long-standing policy that forbids eating and drinking in the system in order to help maintain cleanliness and reduce problems with rodents.

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      But that was only water. Water does not stain or damage my uniform. It can cause havoc with electronics.

      By the way, I love it how people actually try work on their laptops while on a packed train. That’s truly a US mentality of ‘gotta get this email out…’

      • Bluemontsince1961

        One of the things that amuses me when I’ve ridden Metro is watching the laptop/blackberry addicts texting and emailing while the train sways, rocks, and rolls through the tunnel between Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn. At least they’re doing it on the train and hopefully not when they drive.

        • The motion of the train helps them practice for texting while turning corners, braking, or weaving around pedestrians.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            Shoot, then they need a lot more practice. I’ve lost count of the near misses I’ve seen or have happened to me when I’m driving or walking.

      • Ballstonian

        I commute from Ballston to Metro Center and I’m always amazed at the number of people who will sprint/hurdle/push/scream to get on a train when there’s another one 3 minutes behind it.

        • Carmen

          Me too! It is even more amazing when there is another train 1 minute behind and a second one 2 minutes after that.

        • Juanita de Talmas

          You could wait ten minutes for that train that the monitor says will be there in ‘3 minutes’.

          • Ballstonian

            I find that, barring some sort of major issue (such as discussed in this article), the Orange Line trains actually arrive a minute before the sign says they will. If there’s a major foul up, there’s not much you can do. But if you think its smart to run/shove/push to get on, and be a danger to yourself and others in the process, on the off chance that there will be a foul up that will affect only the trains after the one you board, then I don’t know what to say.

            I build in extra time in my commuting schedule so that I need to wait for a while, i can. Most of the people who are running/pushing/being dumb are dressed in suits/nice clothes, so i doubt that they’re in a rush to punch the clock lest they be fired for being 3 minutes late.

  • CynicalButCorrect

    DC Area census questionnaire item #17:

    Please indicate your affliction by selecting one of the following:
    __ Rude
    __ Stupid
    __ Both

    • Dee

      Mark me down for both.

    • drax

      How did you respond, CynicalButCorrect?

      • CynicalButCorrect

        I intelligently and politely asked the census volunteer to remove themselves from my property 😉

  • John Fontain

    My Top Metro Pet Peeves

    Person riding the up escalator steps off at top and stops to look around.

    Person riding the down escalator steps off at bottom and stops to look around.

    Up escalator working, down escalator not working: People who try to walk up the non-working escalator in spite of the hoards of people walking down.

    People on trains who wait until the train has fully stopped and the doors have fully opened before slowly rising from their seats and ambling to the doors to exit the car while new passengers have already begun boarding.

    People who crowd the platform and allow passengers exiting the train only a slim, single-file line of exit (these people only end up hurting their chances of getting on the train by causing delays for those getting off – isn’t there a technical name for this situation?)

    People with SmartTrip cards who have yet to figure out that they don’t need to wait for the gates to close behind the person ahead of them before swiping their card and moving through.

    People who take one step onto a car and then stop, regardless of how many people are attempting to board the car behind them.

    People who are more than tall enough to reach the handrails immediately above their heads, but who instead opt to squeeze up against other people and put their arm in your face to instead grab a side handrail.

    People (surprisingly, most often young women) who won’t give their seat to pregnant women, the elderly, or people who are clearly handicapped. (Yes, I see you slyly glance up and notice, but still not offer your seat.)

    People who stand on the right side of the escalator (good so far), but who then hang their purse or bag off their extended left arm, thus preventing people from passing on the left side.

    Have I missed any?

    While I do see these things frequently, I’m glad that the vast majority of metro riders have common sense and use fairly good manners.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Ain’t it the truth, John! You’re list covers a lot, but let me add two things that bug me:

      1) Engineers that mumble or speak so softly that people have no idea what they said or what the next station is (the latter for newbies who are learning the station names).

      2) Engineers that jerk the train when starting and stopping (they stop the train with all the smoothness of an F-18 landing on a carrier)

      • Carl

        The herky jerky operation is because the automatic drive system that they spent hundreds of millions of our tax dollars on does not work. The trains should be able to start and stop smoothly with computer control, but metro can not figure out how to make it work without killing their customers.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          I forgot about that screwed up “automatic drive” boondoggle that they can’t work properly. My bad. Years ago when I first started riding Metro from Ballston to the State Department near the Foggy Bottom stop, there were operators that operated the trains as smooth as glass and others that jerked the thing back and forth like an old milkshake blender.

          • Also though

            They don’t use the automatic system as much as they’d like though anymore even though they’ve invested SO much into it because of all the accidents that were back to back where people were hit by trains.

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      I would add:

      – People who are too lazy to remove their Smartrip card from their wallet / handpurse to swip. Usually they are the ones who have to swipe three times before it registers.

      – People who insist stading right next to the door, even while people are trying to get on or off

      – People who attempt to run up the escalators the wrong way in order to beat the crowds – saw this just yesterday

      • Clarendon Cruiser

        “to swipe” ooops

        – People who even with earphones on, play music entirely too loud.

      • Tabby

        People who have B.O. already at 8 am.

    • Lou

      Great list.

      The “stoppers” are the ones that get me the most. Stopping at the top or bottom of an escalator is dangerous when it is crowded. Stopping as you walk into a car is just inconsiderate if there are people behind you.

    • Carmen

      Don’t forget the people that push to get into position to be first off the train and then either;
      a) stop to figure out which way they want to go or

      b) walk so slowly that nobody behind them is getting anywhere or

      b) are reading something that just can’t wait on their phone that again slows down the people behind them

    • PHD

      People who in a crowded station

      You gotta bump into those people, right? accidentally on purpose?

      • John Fontain

        Yes, textwalkers are the worst!!!

  • LuvDusty

    1) Engineers that mumble or speak so softly that people have no idea what they said or what the next station is (the latter for newbies who are learning the station names).

    As someone who gets off at Clarendon I’ve heard the following variations:

    Next stop..Sclerendon
    Next stop..Claridgetown
    Next stop..Clarin
    Next stop..Claringtown
    Next stop…Clorendone

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Yep, I’ve heard those variations, including “Claringdon”. They’ve butchered other station names but Clarendon seems to be the one most butchered on the Virginia side of the Orange line.

      • Hattie McDaniel

        My favorite is “Elephant Plaza”.

        • Tabby

          Seriously, how hard is it to say “L’Enfant” even if you’ve never taken French? Always butchered.

          “La FonT” “LeFanT” “LanFant”

          Mon Dieu!

      • Golden Silence

        How about “Joo-dish-shoo-ary” Square and “Gall-yoo-det” University?

  • Stoned

    I don’t know what happened to the person today, but in the past they’ve called someone hit by a train “sick”. Really? I hope that isn’t communicable!

  • James

    It was a man who collapsed in the car I was riding in. I was the last person to step off….he was on his back, with what looked like glucose on his face….probably went into diabetic shock. I pray he’s ok…


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