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Thanks go out to that very helpful jaywalk cop writing tickets at 18th and Columbia for his succinct take on the paradox in which he participated this morning. The city who sent him to write the tickets, you know, to protect pedestrians from themselves, murderous buses, and other vehicles, is the same city that regularly grants permits that close sidewalks, sending pedestrians into the street to take their chances.
Just off the intersection policed by Mr. Jaywalk Enforcer, work crews for more than a week have taped off the sidewalk in front of the soon-to-be a FedEx-Kinko’s (formerly Miss Pixies and DaDa) at 1814 Adams Mill Road. Not only is the sidewalk off limits, the entire righthand lane is closed off, too, sending walkers into the middle of the street on a blind curve as they approach the light at 18th and Columbia.
I stopped the cop this morning to ask him if a permit would actually be granted for such a dangerous situation. “Sure,” he said. “That’s the city for ya!”
Although not an original beef, it remains unclear to me why the hell D.C. can’t figure out how to require contractors to build scaffolding and keep sidewalks open. If the cluster that is the New York City government can get that passed, it seems the cluster that is D.C. should at least give it a shot.
There are plenty of other examples of this dangerous practice. Think P Street. Think the National Cathedral, where work closed a normally busy Wisconsin Avenue sidewalk for MORE THAN A YEAR. That’s ridiculous. Discuss.