This morning, as the air temperature in downtown Washington hovered near zero with windchills around -20, subway commuters were unusually calm. With delays of 10 minutes or more on the Red Line, the platform at Chinatown was packed, but when the train finally arrived, no one pushed or shoved. In fact, a lot of people chose to stand aside and wait for the next train. That train, too, was crowded, and still people decided to wait.
It was an unusual commute for sure. People said “Excuse me” when the slammed you in the side with their oversized backpacks (seriously, sleep under your desk already instead of taking the entire law library home every night in your pack). Others seemed to make an effort to make a little more room on the train.
I’m not sure I would say that cold weather brings out the best in Washington, but it sure does seem to suppress the worst.