On my campaign trail, I often find it amusing to see the level of expectations many residents have on various services our city provides.
I like the plain simplicity in their expectations – if everything within the city boundary belongs to the City administration, shouldn’t they take care of them when something goes wrong?
Unfortunately things don’t quite work like that. Some services, especially anything related to utilities, are managed by the respective utility companies. Pepco fixes street lights, WSSC water lines and Washington Gas does gas lines.
Things get a little different when it comes to street repairs. Most of the City streets belong to the City thus they take care of their repairs. However the City does not own some streets, even though they run through it. For example, Rhode Island Avenue is owned by the County. On the other hand, Route 1 is owned by the MD State (the SHA, more precisely).
I was at a house recently, when a neighbor asked me to help in fixing his street light.
“Can you please ask the City to fix it? It’s been broken for so long..” – he asked.
I had to explain to him the way things work when it comes to street lights. The City does not fix street lights, it’s Pepco who does this.
Pepco provides a toll – free 24-Hour Outage Report Line – 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662). Better yet, we can report street light outages by filling out this online form.
Regardless of the the way you choose to report, please make sure to provide the pole number that you can find engraved on an aluminium label (here is the format 767452-1464, please see the picture). Things may get delayed if we don’t report this pole number.