Don't Just Stand There, Do Something!

The D.I.Y. ethic has been seen in everything from home repairs to punk rock. There’s always something satisfying about rolling up your sleeves and fixing something or accomplishing a goal without any outside help.

A man named Ronald Thompson is making news for his recent grass-roots efforts to solve a deadly problem on the streets of Washington D.C.

He had requested that the city paint a crosswalk at a dangerous intersection near his home. The city was prompt in their response. They were not prompt in painting the crosswalk, just prompt in telling him it would take at least 270 days to get around to doing it.

In the meantime, a 31-year old man was hit and killed at the intersection. At a vigil for the man, Thompson met another man who was also frustrated about how long it was taking the city to act, and they decided to just handle the matter themselves.

Neither of these guys had any experience in designing crosswalks or in road painting (or any painting really). Yet, the whole project took them about two hours and cost $150 for supplies.And now there is a crosswalk finally!

The city has said that these kinds of projects always run on a 270 day turnaround due in large part to weather conditions. The window for such projects is generally March to November, regardless of when the work is requested.

This isn’t the first time that people have taken road maintenance issues into their own hands. In 2017, masked “anarchists” took to the street of Portland to fill potholes. More recently, in Michigan, 12-year-old Monte Scott filled potholes near his home with a garbage can full of dirt.

Even though it stinks that cities don’t always take care of important business, it’s nice to know that there are some people out there who aren’t afraid to jump in and do something. Not me, of course. I’m lazy.

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