I wanna camera here.

I don’t read the Washington Times but thank goodness other people do. Apparently there was an article about speed and red light cameras being racist. This idea being based on the idea that the cameras are in black neighborhoods and thus hurt black drivers. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
For one. If you live in a neighborhood with the cameras, you know where they are and adjust accordingly. People do slow down in that stretch near the bridge just before the Fed Ex building, and after they pass it…people speed up. The cameras are there to capture the forgetful (as in you forgot the camera was there), the people who don’t live here, and speeders.
Second, attend a neighborhood meeting and you will find black people who want cameras. Okay, not so much speed cameras but cameras to get the drug dealers moving. I’ll bet you money if you told the folks at a BACA meeting that BACA (the northern 1/2 of Truxton Circle) was getting one camera and asked where they wanted it, we’d be fighting over which corner. If anyone asks, I vote for a camera NJ and R or the Florida Avenue park. People at R and NJ don’t seem to believe that red light means stay stopped. Instead it means if you don’t see any traffic, and pedestrians aren’t traffic, go anyway.
Third, as someone pointed it out, this city has a 60% black population. But also I have to note that if you are driving in from PG County, another majority Black area, you have to drive through more of the city and thus you’re going to hit more traffic cameras than someone driving from majority white Virginia. What of MoCo? Connecticut Ave has more traffic lights and traffic and pedestrians than say the NE stretches of New York Ave. So just by geography alone, you’re more apt to get a ticket.
If you take away cameras please replace them with citizen ticketing, where DC residents have the right to fine and ticket traffic violators. There a couple red light runners I have in mind.

Metro hates bus riders

Well that’s the message I get and got really loud and clear this morning when someone decided to move the bus stop from where it was for years to the other side of the terminal, resulting in my bus blowing past me. If Metro truly liked their bus ridership, they would make it easier to ride the bus.
Metro does not make it easy to ride the bus. For my commute I take the train and the bus and believe me the train is way easier. I’m not going to get into the lonely bus stop with just a sign, sometimes not even telling you what bus may come along there, and more often not even hinting what the bus’ schedule is and whether or not it runs on the weekends. Yes, there is the Ride Guide, but that requires getting on a computer or having a mobile device that surfs the web. At the very least, at the train terminals there should be something that tells you where the buses that run around there go. The bus schedules on the kiosk, not always there. The little maps on the bus stop signs, not always there either, particularly if several buses share that sign and their schedules take up every single panel. The maps they do have, not really the most detailed, but at least they are something.
The bus rider is required to do extensive research before engaging in an unfamiliar bus ride. I don’t have to do the same with the train. I look at the subway map in the station that tells me where the different trains go to one of the hundred and something stops. At the train stop there is almost always a neighborhood map that gives me a general idea of where to go from there. But if you want to take a bus from that train stop. Hope that DASH or Ride-On go from there because those bus routes and schedules are more often more helpful than Metro (PG County’s THE BUS is way worse). There is only one station I’ve been in where there was a bus route map for that area (can’t remember if it was the District or Maryland).
Even if you know where the bus is supposed to go the bus terminals at the train station sometimes is quite confusing. One day I had to catch the 80 bus at Ft. Totten. I know where the 80 bus goes and stops from the Union Station area to Brookland, anything beyond that is unfamiliar. So I get to Ft. Totten. There are what seems to be over a dozen bus stops. Luckily there is a Metro employee available to tell me which of the twenty odd bays I’m supposed to catch my bus. I wound up asking an employee because I was standing at a stop that said 80, but not the right direction, which wasn’t clearly marked. It wasn’t the right stop. I had to go to another bay a good 100 feet away from the other bay marked 80. What happens when the metro employee is not to be found, or there are other people ahead of you also in need of the employee’s attention.
Signage and maps. That’s all I want. Take a metro bus map, laminate it, tape it up on the kiosk. Laminating is too much? Then take the map and tape it up. If a route is changed, take a magic marker, and mark it up. Also if a metro station has more than 3 bays for buses, tell me which one I need to go to, because I can’t see from a distance if that 2 inch character is a “3” or a “B” or a “8”.
Come on Metro, show the bus rider some love.