But I never drive through that intersection if I can avoid it because of the way DC implemented it.
are you saying there are only three phases?
north-south, no turns
east-west, no turns
rinse and repeat?
Sort of, with a clarification to underscore how the pedestrian signals work. 7th Street runs north/south and H Street runs east/west. So this is what it does:
(a) 7th Street traffic has a green light and pedestrians crossing H Street get "Walk" signals (for conventional straight-across crossing only). No turns allowed.
(b) H Street traffic has a green light and pedestrians crossing 7th Street get "Walk" signals (again for straight-across crossing only). No turns allowed.
(c) All-way red for drivers and the pedestrians get "Walk" signals for both straight-across and diagonal crossing. No turns allowed.
After (c) it goes back to (a) again.
Turns are occasionally allowed when one of the streets is closed, of course; 7th is sometimes closed south of H after a game or a concert and H is periodically closed east of 7th if there's some sort of Chinese festival going on (the name "Chinatown" isn't too accurate anymore and "Chinablock" might be more accurate to refer to that one block).