When I was learning how to drive, it was made very clear to me that when waiting in a line of cars, whether at a stop sign, a traffic light, or just in traffic, one needs to be careful not to obstruct intersections with cross-streets. The appropriate protocal is to stop before any such intersection, and move forward only when there is room for your car on the other side.
Walking through downtown DC, however, it is clear that I am one of the few who is aware of this practice. Hence, irritating offense number two.
Imagine this scenario:
1. A long line of cars is waiting at a red light.
2. The light turns green, and the cars begin driving through.
3. The cars on the far side of the light begin lining up at the next light, and the line backs up to the current light.
4. The cars on the near side continue crossing, and the line backs up through the current light, BLOCKING THE INTERSECTION.
5. The light changes.
6. Cars traveling along the cross-street cannot proceed, because the intersection is blocked.
I saw this happen at nearly every intersection I walked through on my way home last night. And it gets worse.
You would think that the drivers who are being obstructed would realize the problem, and make a mental note about how one should behave in such a situation so as not to perpetuate this bad behavior. But no. Eventually the intersection clears, and the line of cars on the cross-street begins passing through the intersection. You will recognize this as step 2, above. Now repeat 3 through 6. Over and over again.
The icing on the cake? What follows, invariably, after step 6: