Merrit Drucker’s Double Poles Report

The following is a guest post by Mr. Merrit Drucker, a neighbor from Shepherd Park who has been working diligently to encourage the city government to address infrastructure issues that affect quality of life in our neighborhoods.


Since my last report, three poles that I had been intensively following have been removed:

  1. 1600 block Roxanna Road, NW
  2. 1600 block Portal Drive NW, broken off pole
  3. 1400 block Sheridan Street NW

Mr.  Fleitman of the Ward 4 CM’s office receives a weekly report of all the poles removed in Ward 4. Those interested in following removals may contact him and ask to be added to the report.

My plan is to locate and work on 10 poles at a time until they are removed.

I have written to a senior PEPCO official asking for rapid and complete removal District; my plan is to consistently contact PEPCO and DC officials asking for a definitive solution DC wide.

It appears that our own DC DDOT is the lagging utility, needing to move over streetlights and traffic signals from old to new poles so the old pole can be removed.

Please see below the link to the PEPCO web site listing the locations of double poles and the utility needing to move its lines over:

A resident asked me why I bother with double poles.  Here are my reasons:

  1. They are a hideously ugly urban blight.
  2. They pose a danger in that there are now two poles that could be potentially be struck by a vehicle.
  3. They are treated with toxic chemicals which are detrimental to human health and the environment:

(I would suggest printing this out and saving; US EPA under the current administration will likely remove.)

  1. I think all infrastructure should be well maintained to very high technical standards.
  2. I refuse to accept low standards of municipal maintenance of any type.
  3. There is no local government entity with legal authority to cause the removal of double poles.
  4. If I can get the utilities to work together in a cooperative way during normal operations, they will be better prepared for a real emergency.

As a general comment, I have seen many, many problems, some fatal, resulting from poorly maintained facilities.  There are invariably problems when waste or excess materials are abandoned or allowed to accumulate.  Double poles are not the only problem we face with the electrical industry, just a locally visible and obvious one.

Best regards,

Merrit Drucker
12th Street NW

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