City Desk

The Needle: Red Means Stop Edition

Red Light, Green Light: They're not always visible to passengers, but Metro subway tunnels have signals, just like surface streets do, to tell train operators when it's safe to proceed ahead. And it seems that like red lights on the streets, sometimes people run the train signals, too. Two operators have skipped through a red light at the Brentwood rail yard, near the Red Line, in the last month. That's the good news; had the lights been run on an actual train line, a serious accident could have resulted. Our recommendation for commuting safely to work: Stay in bed. -3

Does This Train Go to Officetown?: Speaking of commutes, a new Brookings Institution study says D.C.'s transit system is, on balance, pretty good when it comes to how quickly you can catch a bus or train and how far from home a stop is likely to be. The region ranked 17th out of 100. Unfortunately, the majority of the jobs in the region are not within a 90-minute radius of Metro or other local transit systems, like Ride On in Montgomery County or the Fairfax Connector. As long as you don't actually need to get to work on it, in other words, our public transit is great! -2

W-A-S-H-I-N-G, T-O-N, Baby, D.C.: And now, time for another installment of Totally Meaningless National Rankings! Today's focus: Hipsters. The District is, according to BuzzFeed, the sixth most hipster-y place in the nation. Coming in at number one: Minnesota. The rankings are, evidently, based mostly on how many people in each state search the Internet for terms involving "hipster," like "hipster fashion," "hipster music," "hipster look," etc. Which, as anyone even glancingly familiar with the stereotype associated with the term would tell you, is a horrible way to rank hipsterdom; no real hipster would ever admit to being one, much less Google to find out how to become more of one. -1

Real Singers of D.C.: The Bravo Real Housewives franchise has not just been proof of the decline of American culture; it's also been the source of some abysmal music, including the ludicrous "Money Can't Buy You Class" by LuAnn de Lesseps of the New York show. Now Michaele Salahi of the not-so-lamented D.C. version of the show has released her own song, "Bump It." Or rather, "song"; a 30-second sample leaked on the Internet barely seems to qualify. (Sample lyric: "Will someone please hurry up and dance with me?/'Cause I'm alone on the dance floor.") The track is now available on iTunes, but we're not paying 99 cents to hear the rest of it. -1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 79 Today's score: -7 Today's Needle rating: 72

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