News & Politics

Bikes on Metro Aren’t a Problem. Your Backpack, However, Is Destroying Civilization

WMATA will allow bikes on Metrorail during rush hour starting today. Cue the takes:

You may have this debate if you like. I would only point out that while bikes on trains are an occasional inconvenience for commuters, backpacks are a never-ending source of mayhem.

As Tom Scocca pointed out to oblivious backpack-wearers in 2014, the contents of your backpack “do not lose their mass or volume by being put into your backpack. Your backpack is not an magical extradimensional portal.” There’s a chance you’ve been annoyed by a cyclist on Metro in the past year. But there’s a much greater chance you’ve been hit in the head, had to push by, or had to ask someone to remove their stupid Swiss Gear from a seat in the last month.

Friends, it’s the New Year, and we can save civilization together. Remove your gaze from the bike of the person on the platform nearby and cast it more critically on the backpack of the person in front of you. Your bag goes on the floor if you’re standing on the train, and it goes on your lap if you’re sitting down. Sensible bag hygiene like this is a vital component of the urban compact, which allows lots of people to live in a relatively small area without killing one another. Once this menace has been defeated, I’m happy to discuss your thoughts on bikes.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.