We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
If District pedestrians are feeling empowered by those bright-yellow yield-to-peds signs sprouting in the streets, At-Large Councilmember Carol Schwartz is ready to curb their enthusiasm. She’s introduced a bill that would jack up fines for people who get caught crossing against a “Don’t Walk” signal, from $10 to $25. Schwartz says that the extra $15 will make signal flouters “think twice,” but Steven Waters, president of the pedestrian-advocacy group Walk D.C., argues that regulations focusing on walkers instead of drivers don’t work. “If the goal is to reduce crashes,” Waters says, “then it’s misguided.” Dodging the $25 fine won’t require much enterprise by pedestrians: The bill would affect only careful walkers who confine their illegal crossing to marked crosswalks, leaving the midblock jaywalking penalty, $10, unchanged. —Joe Dempsey