Whereas I once found Metro’s dysfunction to be good fodder for lighthearted blog posts, the last few weeks have produced such demoralizing commutes that the subject can no longer even be milked for the purposes of comedy, which is about as dark as it gets. Between last week’s collapsed escalator at Foggy Bottom, the gaping hole at the Tenleytown Station back in November, the ceiling falling in at Farragut North that same month, and of course the well chronicled collisions, derailments and track worker incidents…we’ll suffice it to say there is now a Wikipedia page called “Incidents on the Washington Metro.”

Headline making malfunctions aside, having to climb up nonoperational escalators is the norm. Currently, according to Metro’s website, 80 of the system’s 588 escalators are under repair, including, as far as I can determine anyway, all of the escalators at Union Station. The last few times I’ve passed through, commuters had to wait in line to ascend the one functioning escalator, single-file, to squeeze past those attempting to descend. Tourists, welcome to D.C.! And good luck getting your luggage up those steps!

Farragut North is apparently experiencing a similar, and apparently even worse, problem, with escalator repairs expected to last into the summer. Commuters here, too, can expect to add as much as an extra five minutes to their journeys, in this case just to get out of the station. These same repairs, according to the Washington Post, were a year ago estimated to take two weeks.

On a different note, I pulled into a neighborhood grocery store this afternoon and noticed new signs proclaiming that 10 spots right in front of the entrance were reserved for—green vehicles. You might have forgive me for assuming they were reserved for mothers with babies, or handicapped drivers, given that in these spots I saw four SUVs and an older model Volvo, none of which, upon inspection, showed any indication of being hybrids.

I understand that setting aside spots for green vehicles is probably part of the store’s attempt to obtain LEED certification but still, is green parking really a solution? The better sign might read, “Reserved for those who are able to afford new hybrid vehicles, and those who consider themselves above the rules.”