punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

My city's new clusterf*@k

I work in downtown Silver Spring. I use the Silver Spring Metro Station almost every day (when I don't get a ride in from work).

The station has gone through some changes in venue since I have been here. I swear the first time I interviewed, the people at the huge bus stop around the station were pretty urban thug: slouchy pants, drug deals, guns, and homeless. I think the first few weeks I worked here, I saw:

- A woman, protesting the fact Metro wouldn't let her use a toilet, take a huge coiling log of a dump right in front of the station. We all walked around the result like nothing was wrong.
- I saw (and still see) a lot of drug trading. It used to be pretty bad and out in the open, but now it's a lot more subtle.
- Lines of workers of dubious legal immigration status in front of a nearly windowless Jamaican restaurant getting picked up by various beat-up trucks.

But as the years have gone on, and they make this area more corporate, the cockroaches of society have scattered under the shiny new lights of our downtown.

But a big change coming up is the renovation of the whole damn city block to this giant gigaplex behemoth called "The Silver Spring Transit Center." I won't even link to the site because the generic 1990s computer drawing for it isn't very good, but from what I can see, it's a 3-level clump with a 2-deck bus garage, and incorporated Metrorail and MARC (Maryland Area Commuter Rail). I am sure it will be fine.

BUT... while they take three years to build this thing, where will they put all the buses and bus traffic? They will put it one block away, of course. At some time in the near future, they had taken two city blocks around the Discovery HQ Building, which includes our front door, and are turning it into a mega-mess of a bus stop. This forced them to close down a few floors of a nearby parking garage. And put up fencing everywhere to protect trees (laughable, they have actually cut down about 70% of the trees to make way for this thing) and prevent people from crossing the streets in the middle of the roads. This has fucked up our building's parking, traffic, and pedestrian flow.

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