photo by Dan_DC
here's an email passed along from alice thompson of the mayor's office of community relations and services:
Great news community!! As promised from the Mayor's Walk-Thru in the Bloomingdale Community in December 2008; a safer First Street, from Michigan Avenue NW to New York Avenue NW has arrived as of today.i'm personally excited to get (what sounds like) the zebra-stripe (or piano-keys, whatever you like to call it) crosswalks. automobile drivers seem to ignore standard crosswalks in this city, but they tend to notice if there's more white paint on the street letting them know without a doubt that there is a space where pedestrians have the right to cross the street.
As we all know -- speed humps can not be installed on First Street. Thus, we have elected to install Car Box Lines and Pedestrian Friendly crosswalks.
DDOT has started lining from the south end of First Street NW.
The Car Box Lines will guide and assist our citizens with parking closer to the curb. It's major feature will give the allusion that the street is narrower. Thus, drivers will slow down because it appears -- they are too close to parked autos.
The extra, extra wide crosswalk stripes will also slow drivers down; thus making them more conscious of the pedestrian.
Please give a shout out to DDOT Gloria Bosse-Kouabo, for her diligence in pursuing this much needed safety feature for our community.
some will argue that the zebra-stripe crosswalks instill a false sense of security in pedestrians, leading them to step out into the street without paying the utmost attention to oncoming traffic. i agree that this is a concern, but i also believe that we have more to gain than lose by seeing pedestrians gain at least a little more attention in the eyes of our city's traffic engineers.