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I went to Washington DC on Tuesday…

September 22, 2004, 8:28 PM

That was fun. I chose the date because of a picket event outside the US Treasury Building, in regards to third-world debt, sponsored by the Jubilee USA Network. It was an hour-long protest, going from noon to 1 PM. I attended the second half-hour of it. I got pictures of some of the speakers, and then got a bunch of photos of the people marching, carrying signs. This was a small event, carried out on the corner of 15th Street and New York Avenue NW. As such, “marching” basically meant all the people in attendance marched in a circle right there at the corner. It was still a spirited event, with all kinds of slogans being shouted. For instance:

“What do we want? Drop the debt! When do we want it? Now!”
“Medication for every nation! Drop the debt now!”
“Secretary Snow! The debt has got to go!”
“Don’t drop the ball! Cancel it all!”

All in all, it was a fun event. I also exchanged Email addresses with one of the Jubilee USA organizers, with the intent of sharing my photos. Maybe some of my photos will end up on there. We shall see. It would have been nice if they’d done it on a sunny street corner, because in the shade, it causes me to have to do some serious retouching to get the color right.

Here are some images from Tuesday’s protest:

One of the speakers, addressing the crowd.
One of the speakers, addressing the crowd.

One of two banners designed to give passers-by an at-a-glance indication of what's being protested.
One of two banners designed to give passers-by an at-a-glance indication of what’s being protested.

The other banner.
The other banner.

A woman passes out literature out to the marchers, which provide further information on the cause.
A woman passes out literature out to the marchers, which provide further information on the cause.

Protesters marching in circles on the corner.
Protesters marching in circles on the corner.

More protesters marching around in a circle. Ballpark figure, I'd say probably 30-40 people participated.
More protesters marching around in a circle. Ballpark figure, I’d say probably 30-40 people participated.

After that, I went railfanning! I quietly slipped underground at Federal Triangle, after going past Freedom Plaza, home of the April 12 anti-war demonstration (remember my “A Protest Against the War” photo set?). I enjoy photographing at Freedom Plaza because it affords a clear view of the Capitol, plus is right there by the Old Post Office, which is a lovely sight. I got some shots across the fountain at the far end of the plaza, which make for an odd combination. We have a calm, still pool of water, in the middle of a bustling city. Check it out:

Freedom Plaza

So after Federal Triangle, I took the Blue Line to L’Enfant Plaza, where I encountered something very unusual. Across the platform from my train was an Orange Line train to Vienna, a six-car train. Four of the six cars correctly showed the orange stripe and “VIENNA” on the sides. The last two cars, 5056 and 5057, showed this:

Red Line to Union Station on CAF 5056 on the lower level of L'Enfant Plaza
Yes, that’s Red to Union Station showing right there on CAF 5056. That’s wrong on so many levels. For one, Red Line was not running any service terminating at Union Station. They were doing the normal Shady Grove-to-Glenmont service, and terminating every other train at Grosvenor and Silver Spring. That, however, doesn’t address something perhaps even more important: Red Line does not serve the L’Enfant Plaza station! After that, I took Green to Gallery Place, and from there… Red!

I ended up stopping off at Cleveland Park for lunch. I went to a nearby Subway (the restaurant) for lunch. Yum. After that, I caught a Red Line train to Grosvenor. At Grosvenor, I was all over the place. I walked down Rockville Pike a bit to see the big bridge before trains reach Grosvenor, and then around the other end of the station to a spot that Oren H. occasionally visits. Check it out:

The bridge. This same bridge also takes Metro over the Capital Beltway, one of five places (six once Largo opens) where Metro goes beyond the Beltway.
The bridge. This same bridge also takes Metro over the Capital Beltway, one of five places (six once Largo opens) where Metro goes beyond the Beltway.

This is a spot that Oren occasionally uses. It's neat. It's along a road that goes over the tunnels north of the Grosvenor-Strathmore station, affording an excellent aerial view of the station. I like aerial views of the outdoor stations, since it's not your normal view of Metro stations (the normal view being from within the station).
This is a spot that Oren occasionally uses. It’s neat. It’s along a road that goes over the tunnels north of the Grosvenor-Strathmore station, affording an excellent aerial view of the station. I like aerial views of the outdoor stations, since it’s not your normal view of Metro stations (the normal view being from within the station).

From there, I went to Shady Grove, where a lady was outside the station trying to get people to register to vote for the upcoming election. She was there promoting it, and she had clipboards with registration forms clipped to them. I’m already registered to vote, and besides, these were Maryland forms, and I live in Virginia.

After that, I went back into DC, taking Metro to Metro Center, and stopping for a break. From there, I took Blue to L’Enfant Plaza, and at L’Enfant Plaza, I again encountered the same train that included CAF 5056 and 5057, the ones that were showing Union Station (and they still were). I just found that to be a really strange coincidence to see, of all the trains running on the Orange Line, the same train twice in the same station when I’m getting off a Blue train. But from there, I took Yellow to National Airport, since I’d realized that was the one station where I’d never processed a farecard. Now I did, and I can now say I’ve processed my farecard at all 83 Metro stations. And then New York Avenue and the Largo extension open at the end of this year.

From National Airport, I went to Pentagon City Mall, and after finishing there, proceeded to start moving towards Vienna to go home.

I have to say, I was surprised at the traffic around DC this time. Usually, I don’t sit in traffic too much on my way up (and never going home). This time, going in, I hit a number of major clots on I-66. The first one was at Haymarket. Then from there, I hit another clot nearer to Manassas. After Manassas, where the Interstate widens to eight lanes (three regular lanes plus a carpool lane each direction), it was smooth sailing until word of an accident at Rt. 123 came on the signs, and that the shoulder lane was blocked. The shoulder lane, by the way, is how they manage traffic during rush hours. As you get closer into DC, I-66 narrows by one lane each way to three lanes. Two regular, one carpool. The third regular lane, the right lane, is lost, and becomes the right shoulder. During rush hour, the red “X” signs above the shoulder turn to green arrows, and it operates like a lane. Today, that lane was blocked by an accident. Thus the signs were on X when they should have been on arrow, to keep traffic out of the way of the accident. Thus we were jammed. I ended up taking my alternate route to Vienna, taking Exit 60, which is Rt. 123 (Chain Bridge Road), just before the accident, into Vienna and then around to the Metro station. Basically, I take Chain Bridge Road until it intersects with Nutley Street, and then Nutley Street connects to the various access roads to reach Vienna/Fairfax-GMU station. Normally I take Exit 62 (Nutley Street) directly onto one of the access roads to Vienna. Still, with all the traffic jams, the “lead” that I’d gotten due to making good time on the way up completely evaporated, and I got there a hair later than usual. I ended up parking in the South Garage at Vienna (I normally park in the North Garage), due to the fact that the North Garage was full.

On the way back, I encountered a lot of road construction, but no delays.

Web site: Slug-Lines.com, which talks about slugging, which is how some people get to work in Northern Virginia. It's basically organized hitchhiking.

Song: Just reminds me of some of the songs Joe Scruggs sang in his "Traffic Jams" album, a kiddie album about cars.

Quote: "More traffic!"

Categories: DC trips, Driving, WMATA, World Bank