From the Forum – Looking for a mason to re-point our whole garage and What’s up with the Sudden-Time-Drop Pedestrian Lights in Columbia Heights?


Looking for a mason to re-point our whole garage:

“Looking for a reliable mason to re-point our whole (1 car) garage. We live in Adams Morgan and have a garage that has fallen into disrepair (cement literally falling off the walls).
I’m had a few small fixes done in the past, and have not had much success with honest, reliable masons.

We would welcome any recommendations/suggestions. This seems like a large job!”

What’s up with the Sudden-Time-Drop Pedestrian Lights in Columbia Heights?

“I have lived in Columbia Heights/Petworth for a year, and generally get around by bicycle. As such, my main north/south routes are 11th and 14th streets NW. I have noticed that several lights on these streets have pedestrian crossing lights that suddenly drop from 21 seconds to 5 seconds. Intersections where I often see this happen include 11th/Euclid, 11th/Kenyon, and 14th/Upshur. Last night on my bikeride home at 7 PM every pedestrian crossing lights on 11th between Florida and Monroe displayed this behavior.

Anyone know why lights in CH are set up this way? I bike around DC and haven’t seen similar crossing light time drops, nor have I seen this in other cities where I have lived. Aside from being perplexing, it is a little frustrating when you are starting on a block and think that you have 20 seconds to cover the block and get through the intersection, but then get stopped when the light changes 15 seconds prematurely.”

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16 Comment

  • Some of the pedestrian countdown signals appear to be out of sync with the traffic lights and “jump” from lots of seconds to just a couple seconds when the traffic light turns yellow. When DC first installed all of these back around 2006-2008, almost all of them did this. If they complied with federal standards, the issue, as I have seen it anyway, would not occur. Federal standards specify that the countdown is only supposed to be shown during the flashing “Don’t Walk” phase of the signal, not during the walk phase.

    • Only “supposed” to be, or only “has” to be?

      What I’m saying is that as a pedestrian, having the full walk count is REALLY useful. And if it’s something DC has gone above in beyond in doing, kudos. It’s not in violation of federal standards, is it?

      • I think the full count is great for everyone. When I’m driving, it can take so guess work out of timing the intersections. I think it helps me drive smoother and safer.

      • Yes, it is, actually (in violation of federal standards, see: I honestly do not know what the reason is for that standard. I am sure that the reason for the standard is not related to malfunctioning signals with times that jump, but note that the jump does always occur when the WALK indicator changes to the flashing DON’T WALK indicator, and said jump would not occur if the time had not been displayed during the WALK.

  • Edgar’s Masonry does great work and is very reliable. They repointed our whole house.

    • A second vote for Edgar’s Masonry. They’re probably not the cheapest but you probably shouldn’t skimp on this. Bonus: If you’re in a historic district you need to get a permit to repoint. Edgar’s is on the approved list at the Historic Preservation Office, so there’s no need for the staff to quiz your contractor about proper techniques, mortar composition, etc. Your permit will be issued that much faster.

    • Edgar’s did great work on my house and was cheaper than two very fancy companies that came out.

  • I’ve seen the pedestrian countdowns jump on lights all over the city (Columbia Heights, downtown, the Mall, etc). I don’t know why they do this, but it’s not a problem limited to just Columbia Heights.

  • This happened to my friend in Dupont. She started the crosswalk at 20 and then she noticed that the car, which happened to be a police car, was inching up as she was crossing. She looked up and saw it was down to 2 seconds, so she picked up the pace. The cop honked at her and said, “Next time, you get hit!”

  • Umm, when I saw this recently on 11th St, I thought the number “1” was not lighting up properly so it looked like the walk signal went from 20 seconds to 9 seconds (not 19 seconds) but yet the light did not turn green until after the walk signal hit the real number zero (not 10 seconds to go).

  • Renaissance Development tuckpointed our whole house. They did a great job.

    • Renaissance quoted me a price that was 3x Edgar’s and they wanted extra for all of the things Edgar agreed to do for free.

      • I’d recommend getting quotes from both. Both have solid reputations and are very professional. I got quotes from both of them, for a smaller project, a couple years ago. Edgar’s was actually a tiny bit *higher* than Renaissance in my case. I ended up going with somebody who was significantly cheaper than either of them, but in retrospect, I think I would have been better off with Edgar or with Renaissance than with the one I used.

  • Ken Foreman a.k.a. “Popeye ” – for a garage…absolutely. He is not expensive, but he’s good. A salty character.
    202-550-0625 –

  • I submitted a few detailed reports through the online 311 system about obvious traffic signal malfunctions, mostly in Columbia Heights, which were unsafe and/or unnecessarily contributing to traffic congestion. They all got closed without any action whatsoever by DDOT or their inept contractor, MC Dean. It’s particularly embarrassing for brand-new infrastructure (ie Sherman Avenue) to have horribly mistimed lights and dead time (like the signal phase for left-turns from Sherman onto Kenyon that’s programmed in… without an actual left turn arrow installed). Typical DC thuggery.

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