BID Experiments With TCOs at Wisconsin and M

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Last week the BID experimented with adding traffic control officers at the intersection of Wisconsin and M. The officers were there directing traffic and preventing gridlock. When GM stopped by on Friday, there were four officers in the intersection.

The effort was only from April 8-13th, but the hope is that it will become a permanent addition. This is part of the BID’s newly invigorated focus on transportation thanks to its new transportation director, Jonathon Kass. In the BID’s press release, Kass stated “We¬†are hoping that intersection management will improve conditions for everyone, including bus riders on the two DC Circulator Routes and five Metrobus routes that traverse this spot.”

Any discussion of officers directing traffic at that intersection is bound to bring up memories of the late, great Joe Pozell. For those unfamiliar with the sad story: Pozell was the manager at Oak Hill Cemetery, where he lived with his family in the caretaker’s house. On the weekends, he volunteered as a police officer directing traffic at M and Wisconsin.

Standing at the center of the intersection, he was a maestro. Turning and spinning, waving his arms, he played traffic like a finely tuned instrument.

Sadly, on May 14, 2005, he took a misstep in front of an SUV. He died several days later from the injuries.

The city later renamed the intersection “Joe Pozell Square”. While several signs hang on posts, you’d be forgiven for not noticing them. There really ought to be a more visible tribute there to Pozell.

Although perhaps the greatest tribute is that it takes four officers to do what he did by himself.

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4 Comments

Filed under Transportation

4 responses to “BID Experiments With TCOs at Wisconsin and M

  1. Nemo

    At least through the late 1960s, a Metropolitan Police officer was sometimes present at the Wisconsin and M intersection during the evening rush hour. They usually wore white gloves — a nice touch, but also very useful for letting the motorists see the officer’s hands and follow his directions. Some of the officers had great moves, approaching those of a ballet dancer or toreador, as they eased the flow of rush hour traffic.

  2. Dizzy

    Great idea – hope it sticks.

    I actually have a distinct memory of walking around near the intersection of Wisconsin and M on that day, May 14, 2005. There was still police tape and cars everywhere and there was a real…heaviness in the air. Without knowing any of the particulars, it was somehow evident that something had gone horribly wrong.

  3. JWS

    Ditto that it’s a great idea.

    I’d suggest they might want to consider moving one officer to the intersection of Wisconsin and N. On at least 3 recent occasions, I’ve had to sit through the light multiple times due to traffic on Wisconsin “blocking the box.”

  4. Brett

    How about some better traffic control entering Georgetown near the Key Bridge? I think it’s the biggest (worst) chokepoint in the area

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