Public safety at downtown construction sites is a sham. Apparently, the courtesy that is extended to D.C. development corporations in the form of financial incentives and tax breaks extends to overlooking unsafe public sidewalks and passageways that endanger the public.

A nuisance is one thing, a public danger quite another. Walking through six inches of water and mud through a sidewalk enclosure on a construction site border is inconvenient. Also inconvenient is the traffic that is blocked when a cement truck chooses to park in a major thoroughfare during rush hour.

But way beyond inconvenience is the construction site that forces pedestrians onto a major city street with vehicular traffic traveling at speeds that could kill.

I wandered in shock and amazement on a trek I recently took from the D.C. public library to my downtown office at 18th and H streets NW. I finally stopped counting the number of times I was forced to walk side by side with cars traveling at potentially life-threatening speeds. The site at 19th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue is a perfect example of a site that forces pedestrians to vie for space with fast-moving vehicles.

Do the construction moguls act with impunity when it comes to public safety? It doesn't take an investigative reporter to know there is a problem. Will it take an investigative reporter to find someone in the District government willing to remedy this problem? J. BRIAN MUNROE Washington