Thursday, January 05, 2017

Metro worker falls down shaft in Bethesda, further exposing safety "surge" as a sham

Firefighters try to extricate
a Metro employee who fell
down a shaft in Bethesda
(Photo: Pete Piringer/MCFRS)
The vaunted "surge" of repairs and safety efforts carried out by Metro at great cost of time and taxpayer money continues to come up empty in the results department. Not only do Montgomery County fire and rescue personnel continue to respond to repeated service calls for smoke in tunnels and stations, but around 1:30 AM this morning, a WMATA Metro employee fell 35' down a Metro shaft on Wisconsin Avenue near Elm Street in Bethesda.

Firefighters had to conduct a technical rescue of the man, whose injuries were determined to not be life-threatening, according to MCFRS spokesperson Pete Piringer.

This is after several outrageous safety violations in just the last few weeks. One Red Line train decoupled between the Rockville and Twinbrook stations. To compound that danger, apparently-dimwitted Metro personnel told passengers on the stranded portion of the train to walk along the tracks before power had been cut to the third rail.🔌

Federal inspectors were almost struck by a train while trying to inspect the system. You can't make this stuff up, folks. And that's when Metro isn't stonewalling the inspectors.

Perhaps most disturbing, was the revelation that Metro workers were falsifying inspection documents to cover-up problems that could have caused trains to derail. The scary part: WMATA simply fired the employees. They should be facing criminal charges for their actions, not looking for a new job! Are these people nuts?

Yes, they apparently are. In the last few months, they've threatened to derail the development master plans of Montgomery, Fairfax and Loudoun counties. The Metro board threatened to close the White Flint station, around which MoCo has designated a major growth area. They eventually backed off, but now some on the board are calling for the cancellation of the rest of the Silver Line in Virginia. Again, counties there have sunk tens of millions into master planning growth around Metro stations between Tysons and Dulles Airport. And then these clowns have the audacity to ask for more money. It's little surprise that dumpster fire WMATA and the dumpster fire we call the Montgomery County Council are the only people who think higher taxes are the answer.

How much longer will local "leaders" allow the tail to wag the dog? WMATA and the Metro board are in no position to make threats, and in no position to negotiate. Period. It is time for the two governors and the Mayor of Washington to withhold funds until the board and everyone at the top at WMATA are replaced. While a targeted investment in power upgrades that will allow 8-car trains is sensible and necessary, no further slush funds should be stolen from the taxpayers to fund hoaxes like the fake surge.

The surge, as I predicted, was more of the same - closed stations, cut service, and WMATA simply trying to bankroll the money saved from the time it doesn't operate. We have all the same service and safety problems we had when it started. This isn't the time to raise a new tax for vague spending priorities, and more money down the WMATA toilet. It is the time for a federal takeover, or radical restructuring or privatization of Metro. And it is the time for grown-ups to put WMATA over their knee, and deliver a spanking these inept fools will never forget - even after they've been fired.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

So do you know anything about the actual circumstances of the worker's fall?

Anonymous said...

Would love some citations for all these claims

Robert Dyer said...

No, WMATA hasn't issued a statement on it so far. But it was their worker and their shaft, so it's pretty clear it was another case of poor worker safety for WMATA.

Robert Dyer said...

6:13: You mean like your request for articles on my other post? That didn't end well for you when I posted two that totally backed up my "claims."

What planet were you on when all of these Metro episodes took place in recent weeks? If you don't know the facts, why in the world are you disputing my "claims"? How does keeping me busy posting links to articles you already know exist make sense in the political realm? Answer:

"If every letter must receive an answer, send 30,000 letters." - Saul Alinsky

Anonymous said...

What was "fake" about the maintenance Surge?

Robert Dyer said...

6:20: Exactly what I outlined above - the work has been done for months and months, but the same problems and dangers still exist. Same old "maintenance" used as an excuse to save money by not running trains.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like he was just dumb

G. Money said...

This rant is so wildly incoherent that it doesn't even allow for a reasoned response. The closest I can come is that SafeTrack has nothing to do with protecting workers from falling down maintenance shafts.

Anonymous said...

Robert, The logic in this piece is internally inconsistent. On the one hand, you oppose higher taxes and, presumably, Metro fare increases, and encourage area jurisdictions to withhold Metro subsidies. On the other hand, you call for extensive capital and service improvements.

Which is it? You need cash flow to finance the upgrades that you support.

While I agree that Metro needs far better management, I am skeptical that the handful of problematic incidents that you cite are representative of Metro's capital upgrade results. You need to dig deeper on this subject.

Anonymous said...

Sources report that the unfortunate worker tripped over Hans Riemer's "Anaconda".

Anonymous said...

Looks like Piringer gave his best pictures to Bethesda Magazine and the Post.

Robert Dyer said...

8:37: If you call pictures scraped from Twitter "the best.' I was actually following the incident in real time. You can see my question on one of tweets as it happened. If you like fake news, BM and the Post have you covered. Stick around here for the real news.

Anonymous said...

If you're covering this story in "real time", then why haven't you posted an update regarding the distance that the worker actually fell?

Anonymous said...

Dyer breaks news and then updates all along as the story develops. Journalism 101!

Now, if you want to read an intern re-writing Post articles, you can go elsewhere for that :)

Anonymous said...

That's odd - #UnsignedDyer @ 9:37 uses all the same phrases as SignedDyer.

Anonymous said...

9:42 AM is paranoid. We're not all Robert Dyer, but clearly he wants to be Dyer (or be with Dyer).

Anonymous said...

"9:42 AM is paranoid", he typed at 9:44 AM.

He reloads, or receives an email notification of the new comment, types his reply, solves the captcha, all within 120 seconds of the previous comment being posted. That's quite an accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

You provide exactly zero facts supporting any of your claims, Dyer, and don't even know the basics of what happened in this specific situation. It's bullshit articles like this that attract all your trolls, Robert. Or maybe that's the point - you put out garbage like this to attract clicks and stoke your ego. Maybe you're the one trolling all of us.

Robert Dyer said...

10:15: All facts, and reported hours before the other site. If you deny these Metro incidents listed above - widely reported on TV and newspapers - occurred, you are mentally ill.

Anonymous said...

Dyer, you seem to attract the small, but vocal, minority of MoCo residents that support three of the most unpopular DC area entities: WMATA, Barwood Cab and the MoCo Council.

Anonymous said...

If the MoCo Council is one of the three least popular entities, what does that make Robert Dyer, who lost to them twice?

Anonymous said...

10:35 AM Voters overwhelmingly gave the Council a no confidence vote in November. So much so, that they barred several councilman from coming back.

The council are heroic servants, but only to a small, but vocal, minority.

Anonymous said...

What's odd is that 9:42 AM often argues with himself in the comments. Or commends himself for a previous post. All those accusations about Dyer.
Was just reading about this for my class:
"The sociopath will always accuse you of doing the very thing that they are guilty of themselves. "

G. Money said...

10:28: There are plenty of legitimate complaints to be made about Metro, and no one has said anything in defense of Metro here. What has been said is that Dyer's complaints are illegitimate because they are based on false or unsupported claims, e.g., "no further slush funds should be stolen from the taxpayers to fund hoaxes like the fake surge."

A worker fell down a hole. Find me evidence that shows the maintenance surge has anything to do with that and we can discuss further.

Anonymous said...

. Surge #11 ended 12/21/2016, over two weeks ago. The dates for Surge #12 have not been announced. This is a non-surge event.
. The surge events did not have improvements to worker safety as an aim. While an important issue, it is non-surge related.
. The claim that the surges were a deliberate attempt to reduce service so as to pocket savings is absolutely untrue, and utterly lacking in any evidence in Dyer's article.
. The notion that Metro should have continued to run full service on lines undergoing track repairs and maintenance is absolutely counter to any notion of Dyer's concern for employee safety.

Anonymous said...

"Was just reading this for my class"

LOL, sure you were. Just like your proclaimed readings at the dentist's office.

Anonymous said...

George Leventhal, Nancy Floreen - limited to 4 terms.

The other seven Council members - limited to 3 terms.

Robert Dyer - limited to 0 terms.

Anonymous said...

G. Money, are you part of the small, vocal minority that supports the MoCo Council, WMATA and Barwood cab?
I think we could fit this small group in a room for a happy hour in downtown Bethesda. They could give attaboys and retweet each other late into evening :)

Anonymous said...

"Any and all criticism of St. Robert Dyer means that one unquestioningly supports WMATA, the MoCo County Council, Barwood and the DLC", saith #UnsignedDyer at 10:28 AM and 12:00 PM.

Anonymous said...

@11:14AM - You fucking idiot. I'm a real person, who likes education, has a real life, with outside interests, and I happen to comment on this blog. You think you're such a smartass, but all you are is an ass. And an extremely thin-skinned one at that.
Love and bacon, @10:51



Anonymous said...

What kind of lame pathetic loser has to proclaim that he's "a real person who has a real life"?

As Shakespeare said, he doth protest too much.

Anonymous said...

1:19pm attacking Dyer's readers isn't a great strategy to get them to visit your blog.

Anonymous said...

Dyer said:
"Same old "maintenance" used as an excuse to save money by not running trains."

You would have to be a complete imbecile to actually believe this. Thinking people know Metro wasn't going to change overnight. It's still in crappy shape, but Safetrack was certainly a step in the right direction. It will require additional years worth of repair work, a change in employee culture, and plenty of money to fix Metro completely.

Dyer's friendly troll said:
"Voters overwhelmingly gave the Council a no confidence vote in November. So much so, that they barred several councilman from coming back."

Yeah, they barred their favorite councilman Marc Ehrlich from coming back, kicked out incumbents who would be leaving anyways, and gave Floreen a chance at another term.

Ignorant voters who think any type of "limit on politicians" is automatically "good thing" fell for Ficker's ploy, who, as I accurately predicted concocted this entire deceptive scheme so he could get back on council. It's this type of ignorance why Brexit was passed and we have a racist, incompotent clown for president.

I can pretty much guarantee that the new councilpersons who replace the incumbents will have the exact same leanings and predilections, maybe to even a greater degree, than the incumbents. That, and they'll be less experienced, less effective, and less responsive, simply because they're freshmen.

Anonymous said...

1:19PM - Wow...really, really thin skin. You should see a doctor about that. My current studies lead me to suggest a psychologist.
Love and bacon, Me

Anonymous said...

1:58PM - I think it was you who got played. You who is the ignorant one. You who ascribe these thoughts and reasonings to people who voted for term limits. Ficker was used to do all the work to get term limits on the ballot.

You're just pissed that what you wanted lost, or more accurately, didn't win.




Anonymous said...

1:27 - Agreed. It's incredibly dumb for Dyer to constantly attack his readers.

Anonymous said...

"You is ignorant", says 2:31.

Anonymous said...

"You really should see a doctor. My current studies lead me to suggest a psychologist."

"Your current studies" indicate that you are a Birdbrain. "Psychologists" cannot treat patients. They are PhDs. Psychiatrists are MDs and they treat patients.

Anonymous said...

Twelve years of George Leventhal as MoCo County Exec are going to be awesome.

"What time zone is it, Dyer? What time zone?"

Robert Dyer said...

1:58: Hello, Hans. Floreen doesn't have a "chance at another term." She's out in November 2018. Permanently.

How could a new Council be any less effective than the impotent, incompetent, and corrupt one we have now? The "End Gridlock" team made traffic worse, operated the only local jurisdiction in the region to experience a net LOSS in private sector jobs since 2000, haven't attracted a single major corporate headquarters in 2 decades, ran one of the nation's top school systems into the ground, collapsed the nighttime economy, created a mass exodus of wealth, and caused 9 of their constituents to die in the Flower Branch explosion and 911 outage. Hell of a record. No wonder they need to hire shady characters like you to shill for them online.

Richard Moss said...

Please consider excluding all anonymous comments, Mr Dyer. Your excellent reporting speaks for itself. So many comments add nothing to the discussion.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Now Dyer's saying the County Council even caused the Flower Branch Apartment deaths. Pretty fucking shameful, even for him.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:00 PM -

"Richard's comments: Looks like you've reached the end."

You created that account just so that you could make this one comment?

Anonymous said...

WMATA, Barwood Cab and the MoCo Council.
All used to be great, but it's been a long while!
None have kept up with the times and simply rode past success.

Anonymous said...

7:05 doesn't even pass the Turing Test.

Anonymous said...

to 3:14
"Psychologists" do indeed treat patients, but cannot prescribe medications.
Thin skinned and daft.

Anonymous said...

Psychologists can't treat patients. They are not M.D.s., they are academics. You don't understand how the American medical system works.

Anonymous said...

7:14PM Still daft.
Please, please educate yourself before you go spouting off ignorant false comments.

Clinical Psychologists provide counseling and psychotherapy. They work with people who have life adjustment problems, and also with those who have emotional disorders or mental illness. They provide treatment for people of all ages and to families and to groups. Psychologists provide treatment for depression, anxiety, phobias, panic disorders, eating disorders, stress related problems, relationship problems, and severe mental disorders.

Anonymous said...

5:40 - You sound like you have a lot of experience... as a patient. "Frequent flyer"?

Anonymous said...

Nope, major in criminology, minor in psychology. Currently working in juvenile corrections.