I just wanted to write about a kind of scary moment I had earlier as a pedestrian in DC. I was walking along Wisconsin Ave this afternoon and came to a side street that I wanted to cross. I looked ahead and saw a don’t cross sign, I looked to my left and saw a long line of cars that were stopped, and then looked back at the sign and it said walk, so I walked. In the middle of crossing I looked to the traffic light on my right and saw that it was green- basically I’d just stepped off the curb in front of a line of cars that had a green light.
When I looked at the signals more closely I realized that the box for Wisconsin Ave had been turned/blown by the wind almost completely 90 degrees, so there were two signals for the side street and I had been looking at the wrong one when I crossed. I have seen these boxes swiveled off their center on more than a few occasions, but never with this result, and out of mostly laziness I have never done anything about it.
This time I immediately called 311 and reported it- the whole call took about 30 seconds, and someone from the traffic department said she’d send a contractor out. I consider myself to be a relatively aware pedestrian and I was pretty blind-sided by this issue. I will call and report these issues every time I see them now, and I urge others to do the same. Be careful at intersection of Wisconsin and Van Ness NW right now particularly!”