I know that jaywalking is not exclusive to DC, but if you live in DC, you jaywalk. If you spent time waiting for the walk sign, you’d probably spend an extra 10 minutes getting to your destination. Not to mention, it doesn’t guarantee you won’t get hit.
At the intersection of 16th and T NW, my boyfriend has witnessed at least 2 people get hit while crossing in the crosswalk when it was their turn. Both times it was a cab. Cars, and especially cabbies, turning left there do not pay attention to who is in the crosswalk.
My guess is that if you, as a pedestrian, are actually paying attention, it could be almost safer to jaywalk. If you’re paying attention.
DC has started a campaign against jaywalking with some terrifying ads. See for yourself:
The guy’s legs are already messed up in the ad. That’s some attention to detail.
PoP has a good post on this, and quite apropos: http://www.princeofpetworth.com/?p=3926