Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Red Light District

I had to be in Willowbrook this morning, a city not too close to my neighborhood but still a relaxing 20-odd minute Blue Line ride away.  (The Blue Line, for me, comes after the city bus and the Red Line, so that 20 minutes was preceded by another 45 minutes.)  I left early, because if there's anything I know about the Metro, it's that it could take hours to move 10 miles.

So when I got to Willowbrook, which is a low-income area and site of a major subway hub, it was pleasantly chilly.  The Blue Line is an above ground train, unlike the Red and Purple lines, so I'm not really used to the nuances of crossing train tracks.  

But I learned today that when those red lights are flashing, even if you don't see the train coming, or the train is not coming in your direction, stand still.  That's what the cop with the big gun and the somewhat aggressive manner told me merely by screaming "Hey" in my direction.

Of course, there were other women all standing still, waiting for the unseen train to arrive, some of whom had already been ticketed, telling me not to move a muscle until the lights stop flashing.  I thought it was absurd, but then again, the cop didn't really share my opinion.  

So we waited.  The train in question was going the opposite direction, but I guess safety first is the motto of the Metro these days.  They should also try the motto: on time every time, but heck, that would be too much to wish, much less, ask for.

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