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Traffic Officers On Duty at Midday

Some of you who leave your offices for lunch in downtown Washington have been telling me there's something different in the air: the sound of whistles.

In fact, you're right. The District's Department of Public Works figured out it had enough traffic control officers between the morning and evening rush hour shifts to start a midday patrol at 16 dowtown intersections. I saw three of them working last week at Connecticut Avenue and K Street. One officer took the center of the intersection and the other two monitored crosswalks, where the lunchtime crowding was heavy.

Another three officers were right nearby at 17th Street and Connecticut. That's a lot of whistles.

The DPW program is two years old. It used to be that if you saw the traffic officers at midday, they were trainees, getting their first experience before being assigned to the more demanding rush hour shifts. But since the end of September, DPW says, the officers have been assigned to cover intersections at midday as well.

We can talk more about that and any other transportation news or question that's on your mind at 1 p.m. today during a Dr. Gridlock Live Online discussion. You can submit a question or comment here right now.

By Robert Thomson  |  November 6, 2006; 8:10 AM ET
Categories:  Safety  
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