Washington, DC


Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric Spiegel

“Dear PoPville,

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed this or if I am just traveling these areas on a regular basis, but there appears to be a major uptick in the amount of crossing guards armed with whistles in the Columbia Heights/Petworth/Mt. Pleasant area lately. I’m not sure what the purpose of these guards is, especially at intersections that have extra crossing time before lights turn green built into their timers, they might make sense at a more tourist heavy area, or at an area known for its pedestrian/driver accidents, but I’m not sure those criteria are being met here, and to be frank, I think these folks are:

1. Not helping anyone; most DC residents are aggressive street crossers
2. Adding extra noise to some of the neighborhoods that already have to deal with elevated noise levels (panhandlers with speakers, excessive traffic noise, excessive crowd noise, etc.)
3. In my mind a massive waste of tax dollars. Job creation is yes, normally a good thing, but paying someone to do a job no one needs them to do is just insulting.

Maybe I’ve got some able bodied (not blind, not deaf, not elderly) privilege going on here, but I’m just wondering if this is a solution in search of a problem and a growing item to the long list of DC programs that continues to justify more tax raises when the money could be better spent elsewhere.

I’m curious if any others have any reactions to these whistle blowers and whether they actually appreciate them, or like me, walk by the noise and roll their eyes shake their heads in defeated laughter as they walk by.”

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