News & Politics

Redditors Celebrate the Apparent Death of a DC Traffic Camera

"We must salt the earth so it does not grow back come springtime."

On Sunday, a Reddit user named u/-BananAnimal- posted a photo that, depending on your point of view, either represents wanton disregard for civilization or the opening volley of a liberation campaign:

RIP ( north capitol and Missouri) from washingtondc

That’s right, a downed traffic camera at what very much looks like one that, in happier days for our machine overlords, perched proudly at North Capitol Street and Missouri Avenue. (Neither the DC police, DDOT , nor u/-BananAnimal- have yet responded to Washingtonian‘s queries about this photograph.) How are people on the responding to this purported triumph of anarchism? Do you remember the time someone destroyed a bunch of DC speed cameras and the story went mega-viral? Yeah, kind of like that.

“This is God’s work,” one commenter writes. “We must salt the earth so it does not grow back come springtime,” another says. “Ah, justice,” writes yet another. I myself hate these things because they’re more about revenue than public safety, but as Ben Freed wisely wrote in 2018, it’s not only reasonable to expect people to obey traffic laws, a map of the city’s most dangerous places for pedestrians “correlates fairly well with with the publicly available map of camera locations.”

This is the end of the year, though, and being reasonable is somewhat optional. You’re allowed to at least fantasize about destroying yet another form of robot surveillance, right?

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.