News & Politics

Rest in Pieces, Dave Thomas Circle

You are lost, and hopefully forgotten

Dave Thomas circle. Picture via Flickr Commons by Tom Bridge

In a long overdue measure of basic civic responsibility, the DC Government announced last night they will be seizing the New York Ave Wendy’s by eminent domain, and have proposed a plan to amend the stain on our town that is Dave Thomas Circle. Formally known as the intersection of New York Ave, Florida Ave, and First Street NEthis triangular homage to the Prince of Darkness has served as the ultimate middle finger to all things logical and decent since 2010.

It is unclear why it took over a decade for the District’s government to decide to remove Dante’s tenth Circle of Hell from our fair city, as well as why they’ve decided to act now. Perhaps after an entire year of living in an occupied state rife with unwanted military forces, lockdown-inducing rebellions, and an inability to even bring their bills for Congressional approval (as required by law), DC Government simply needed to feel they had control over anything. They may not be able to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene or take down that hideous Capitol fence, but at least they can fix this aberration of urban planning and finally grant Pierre L’Enfant some eternal peace, allowing him to move on to the next life.

Design plans will be finalized this summer, and construction is expected to begin early next year. When completed, the new intersection is expected to restore First St and Florida Ave to a modicum of functionality, add protected bike lanes, and create three new public park spaces.

Generally when one writes about the incumbent death of a cultural icon, they find something nice to say to provide comfort to those who loved it. I will deign to do no such thing. As someone who has almost been made victim of this isle of Murphy’s law as a pedestrian, cyclist, and driver, I simply cannot find any redeeming qualities with which to pay homage. This relic of lazy civil servitude is an affront to civilized society, and it must pay thusly for its crimes against humanity.

Nor will I mourn the Wendy’s that, too, has been sentenced to walk the gallows. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a sober individual in search of a greasy burger will choose Wendy’s disarmingly square patties zero percent of the time when there are better options in the area. In the case of the New York Ave. Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Five Guys are both just around the corner. And while an argument can be made for the merits of a drunken Frostie and fry combo, it is physically impossible to make it across that intersection with all of one’s limbs when even the slightest amount of inebriation is involved.

So, I say, burn in Hell ye island of misfit roadways. I will not miss making three turns to continue going straight on Florida Ave. I will not miss watching the Wendy’s girl’s smirking display of Schadenfreude as she watches me eff up any hope of making my way out of the triangular pit of despair. I rejoice in the fact that, in this year of chaos and uncertainty, some balance is being restored to the world. Rest in pieces, you filthy animal.

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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.