Photo by ElvertBarnes on Flickr.

Metro recently introduced an outdoor walking transfer between Farragut North and Farragut West. But on Saturdays and Sundays, riders have to walk an extra block to make the connection. Why?

It’s only a block from the southern entrance of Farragut North to the eastern entrance of Farragut West. That’s one reason Metro added the free out-of-system transfer for SmarTrip users. But on weekends, riders have to walk an extra block because the 17th Street entrance to Farragut West is closed.

It might seem simple to just have Metro switch which entrance is open on weekends, but that’s not an option.

Most Metro stations were built with only one elevator entrance. At stations with multiple mezzanines, only one generally has an elevator to the street, That’s certainly the case for Farragut West, where the elevator is located at 18th Street.

Closing the 18th Street exit would make the station inaccessible to wheelchair users on weekends, so that entrance must stay open whenever the station is open.

Opening the 17th Street entrance on weekends, then, means a good deal of expense for Metro. They’d have to pay a station manager to staff the east mezzanine for two additional days each week. Metro does not currently open entrances that are unstaffed.

So, unfortunately, as long as Metro does not have the funds to open both mezzanines at Farragut West on weekends or unless they change the policy on unstaffed mezzanines, patrons will have to walk an extra block to access Farragut West and other stations that have closed mezzanines on weekends.

Riders can, of course, still ride through to Metro Center where the transfer only requires a single escalator.

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Matt Johnson has lived in the Washington area since 2007. He has a Master’s in Planning from the University of Maryland and a BS in Public Policy from Georgia Tech. He lives in Dupont Circle. He’s a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and is an employee of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. His views are his own and do not represent those of his employer.