Ye Olde Signal Postes


Last week GM wrote about the signs put up in the 1950s around Georgetown celebrating the old names for the streets. In response, somebody pointed out to him that another somewhat rare relic of DC transportation past shows up around Georgetown: the Pineapple topped signal poles.

They seem to have only been used for traffic signals. And perhaps since most traffic signals in Georgetown are the more elaborate Washington Globe-style with lights, GM could only find these poles at intersections that only previously had traffic signals.

For instance, they are at 30th and P, where there was a traffic signal until about five years ago. Here you can see how the were converted from traffic signal posts to not-really-doing-anything-anymore posts:


Interestingly, you can sometimes use this knowledge to discover that an intersection used to be signalized. For instance, GM never knew the intersection of Volta Place and Wisconsin Ave. to have signals, but the presence of three of these poles strongly suggest that it once did:

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-6-51-10-pm screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-6-50-52-pm screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-6-50-37-pm

GM has no clue if or when there really was a signal here, but surely some longer term resident can chime in. Either way, it’s really cool that this street furniture can communicate information like this across the years.


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