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RE: [MPD-5D] more crossing guard nonsense

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  • Thembi Butler
    I do have to say, I see a great deal of value in the crossing guard at Florida and Eckington who begins at around 8:00 a.m. each weekday morning. She does
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 1, 2009
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      I do have to say, I see a great deal of value in the crossing guard at Florida and Eckington who begins at around 8:00 a.m. each weekday morning. 


      She does nothing more than enforce the traffic laws at a location that is dangerous for pedestrians when she isn’t there (i.e. she forces cars turning right onto Florida Ave to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk across Florida Ave when they have a walk signal).  I’ve never seen her direct anyone (car or pedestrian) against a traffic signal, and she always moves as quickly as possible to get traffic going again as soon as pedestrians are out of the way, or to usher cars through before pedestrians actually reach the crosswalk.  She does a great job, and blows her whistle only when necessary to get the attention of a driver who ignores her clear hand signals. 


      Now, her presence DOES slow traffic, and you often have to sit through more cycles of the light when she is present, but in my opinion, that is proper.  There are hundreds of people crossing at that intersection to go to school and work, and if it takes me a few minutes longer to get through that intersection so that they can reach their destinations safely, that’s fine with me.


      Thembi Butler

      Metaformers, Inc.

      Mobile 202.431.1169| Thembi.Butler@...


      From: MPD-5D@yahoogroups.com [mailto: MPD-5D@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Steven Conn
      Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 7:43 PM
      To: MPD-5D@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [MPD-5D] more crossing guard nonsense


      Unless crossing guards monitor and are posted where school kids cross, I have never seen their value. I always see mayhem in the intersections where DDOT employees are attempting to direct traffic... Take 17th and K for example. A lot of whistle blowin, and not enough doing.


      As far as playing devils advocate, I wonder if there is a red light camera monitoring the intersection in which y'all were trying to pass. We all know the D.C. Government has celebrated the recent money crunch by getting very aggressive in writing parking tickets, and recently divided the time earned for depositing a quarter in a meter in half. You now only get 7.5 minutes for each quarter, instead of the 15 minutes of pre-recession days.


      If there is a red light camera, I wonder if DDOT has turned crossing guards into revenue generators, by delaying drivers from passing through the intersection until the light is a stale yellow, and turns to red, and presto, a picture is taken and a ticket is generated. :)


      From: Thembi Butler <thembi.butler@ metaformers. com>
      To: " MPD-5D@yahoogroups .com " < MPD-5D@yahoogroups. com >
      Cc: " Eckington@yahoogro ups.com " < Eckington@yahoogrou ps.com >
      Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 12:43:06 PM
      Subject: RE: [MPD-5D] more crossing guard nonsense

      We had a strange encounter at the same intersection during afternoon rush hour last Friday. 


      The light was green and just about to turn yellow (based on the counter on the walk signal) as we approached the intersection.  There were no pedestrians attempting to cross, and we were going straight.


      Had there been no crossing guard there, we would have proceeded through the intersection and the light probably would have turned yellow when we were halfway through. 


      My husband who was driving, and I who was in the passenger seat were both so confused by the crossing guard (as was the driver of the car in the middle lane to our right) who was frantically blowing her whistle and waving her arms, that both drivers paused right before the intersection in attempt to comply, though not sure WHAT they were being told to do, stop, or go.  None of us could tell if we were being told to stop at a green light (which the light was as we approached the intersection) , but since our stopping seemed to increase the intensity of frantic waving and whistle blowing and anger the crossing guard, we went instead, though by this time the light had turned red, and the guard continued to blow and wave behind us, so at that point we had NO idea what we had been expected to do at that intersection. 


      I’ve been in many situations where traffic was being directed by an individual, sometimes contradicting mechanical traffic signals, but that marked the first time that I had NO idea what I was being directed to do.



      From: MPD-5D@yahoogroups. com [mailto:MPD- 5D@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Bill
      Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:02 AM
      To: MPD-5D
      Subject: [MPD-5D] more crossing guard nonsense


      This morning, 9:00 am, at the intersection of N. Cap and Florida Ave. , there were 2 crossing guards on duty (both wearing bright yellow "Crossing Guard" vests). One of them was reading the Express, paying no attention to vehicular or pedestrian traffic. The other one was in the middle of the intersection, guiding an 18-wheeler as it made an illegal left turn from N. Cap SB onto Florida Ave. EB. (There are 2 "no left turn" signs here, so it was a very clear violation -- and yet the crossing guard aided in making the illegal turn.) She also appeared to be wearing headphones, thereby endangering herself and others.

      Who manages and trains these people, and how can citizens more efficiently report these sorts of infractions? These crossing guards are setting very poor examples and meanwhile making our streets LESS safe!


      Bill on Adams



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