News & Politics

BLM Plaza Is Now Open to Cars

DC opened 16th Street NW between H and K streets to traffic over the weekend.

Photograph by Dan Swartz.

Two-way traffic will be permitted on Black Lives Matter Plaza, Northwest, until mid-April. The DC Department of Transportation announced Friday that it would open one travel lane in each direction on the stretch of 16th Street, Northwest, between H and K streets and preserve the center of the plaza for pedestrians.

BLM Plaza has been closed to cars since last summer. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser renamed the street, the preponderance of which culminates at Lafayette Square in front of the White House, last June and directed that the phrase “Black Lives Matter” be painted on it in very large yellow letters.

Bowser used the plaza as a backdrop when she addressed the DNC last year and was criticized for blaming President Trump for tear-gassing protesters, one of severable questionable tactics DC police employed over the summer.

A spokesperson for DDOT has not yet responded to a query about what will happen with traffic in the plaza after April.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.