News & Politics

Warning: Crash on the Palin Interchange

In honor of Washington’s godfather of go-go, Seventh Street, Northwest, from T Street to Florida Avenue has been “symbolically designated” Chuck Brown Way. The honor was certainly deserved, but why stop there? Here are other area routes that could be named after local personalities:

U Street, Northwest: Jim Vance Street. Washingtonians trust this local mainstay as the go-to source for what’s happening. Cleaned up since the early ’90s, U Street now boasts the same swagger that made it a favorite long ago.

I-270: Ben Stein Highway. You’ll need a pair of dry, clear eyes to make it through the tentacles of this stop-and-go artery without falling asleep during rush hour.

Military Road, Northwest: Dick Cheney Road. With plenty of deer creeping on and around the shoulder of this street near Rock Creek Park, there’s unlimited hunting potential, and heavy traffic means innocent bystanders are always at risk.

14th Street Bridge: Clinton Portis Bridge. Running across the Potomac River, this set of bridges carries 12 car lanes, a Metro line, and a railroad. With its play called so often, it’s no wonder that this overworked structure has sustained enough injuries—a plane crash in the ’80s, a bomb threat in the ’90s—to grow old before its time.

Lee Highway: Jim Webb Highway. It’s a constant battle for Virginians trying to get to work on time from their homes in Falls Church. If you’re not combative, you might not clock in on time.

18th Street, Northwest: George Pelecanos Street. Things heat up here at night. Washingtonians flocking to DC’s Adams Morgan can catch gripping entertainment followed by stomach-churning twists. You can never quite escape the feeling that at any given moment someone might get jumped.

Atlas District: Jon Favreau District. Rising from relative obscurity, this hot ticket on H Street, Northeast, is now billed as Washington’s next big thing and comes alive for partying at night.

Metro’s Red Line: Gilbert Arenas Line. While red is the glue that holds the Metro’s five-member team together, recent construction and mishaps have slowed it down, leaving Washingtonians who depend on it wondering if the good times will ever return.

Dulles Metro Extension: Hillary Clinton Line. Backed by seemingly unlimited funds but encountering lots of stumbling blocks, this ambitious project may not reach its goal.

George Washington Memorial Parkway: Dominique Dawes Parkway. With plenty of twists and turns, this stretch of rock-hard Washington is both drop-dead gorgeous and able to bend itself into impossibly tight angles.

Springfield Mixing Bowl: Sarah Palin Interchange. These roads come together about as coherently as a handful of magnetic words thrown at a refrigerator. Sound familiar?

This article first appeared in the October 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.

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