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Okay, move it or lose it…

April 29, 2010, 7:55 PM

This is currently the largest annoyance for pedestrians in Dupont Circle:

Message sign on the sidewalk in Dupont Circle

Of course, DDOT would put it right smack in the middle of the sidewalk in an area where there is a LOT of pedestrian traffic. And it’s been there for like two weeks or so now. Its size means that it fills up nearly the entire sidewalk. There’s no room to walk on the sidewalk to one side, and people can walk single file going the other way. That means that most people during rush hour have to walk in the street to get around it. That would be a Bad Thing, especially when you consider the way people drive in Dupont Circle. And not only is it a hazard due to its requiring people to walk in the street in a high-traffic area, but the base is also a trip hazard, since it’s low and sticks way out past the sign.

And to add insult to injury, they’re not even using it. This is what it looked like this morning from the front:

Message sign on the sidewalk in Dupont Circle

Blank. And it’s been blank the entire time it’s been there. I don’t think anyone knows why DDOT placed it there, and the fact that they haven’t used it while creating a hazard with its presence just really burns me up. My best guess is that it was placed in Dupont to warn about traffic detours for the recent nuclear summit, but they didn’t even use it then.

The usual use of these signs in DC seems to be to display public service messages to motorists at key locations. On the days that I drive to work, I pass by two of those things, with one at 16th Street and North Portal Drive at the DC line, and the other at roughly 16th Street and Columbia Road. They say things like, “BRAKE FOR PEDS”, “CLICK IT OR TICKET”, and “BUZZED DRIVING IS DRUNK DRIVING”. There’s also one that states that handheld cell phones are illegal to use while driving in DC, and states the fine and the license pointage for such an offense. If this sign eventually turns into one of those, I’m going to scream, and then I’m writing every official that I can think of in the DC government. By the way, Dupont Circle is in Ward 2, and Jack Evans represents that ward on the DC Council. Maybe he’ll listen.

Otherwise, we finally filled some small picture frames at work, and that meant removing the litle inserts that came with the frames. However, I hung all the frames some weeks ago, and so that meant that the inserts were prominently on display for a bit. And here is what the insert looked like:

"Hayleigh" and "Kayla"
Image: MCS Industries

We used the insert as an opportunity to make fun of stereotypical yuppies. The parents had that look, and then we gave their kids some stereotypical new-agey names. We named them “Hayleigh” and “Kayla”, though “Mackenzie” could have easily fit in there, too. I don’t know… that family just looks a tad too wholesome right there. Thus fun had to be poked at it.

Web site: How to hack an electronic road sign. I'm not saying you should actually do it, though I admit I would laugh if a crazy message was on that sign one day.

Song: Me singing "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" by Tom Lehrer, recorded on my cell phone. I do a good rendition of Tom Lehrer's "The Hunting Song" as well. I'll have to sing that for you all some time...

Quote: So yeah, DDOT has my panties in a bit of a wad right now...

Categories: Amusing, Washington DC