News & Politics

DC Has Released a Plan for Redesigning Dave Thomas Circle

The once-hazardous intersection will have safer crosswalks, bike lanes, a park—and no Wendy's.

Photo courtesy of the District Department of Transportation.

The infamous “Dave Thomas Circle” will soon no longer be a burger-scented death trap for innocent Washingtonians trying to get across Northeast DC.

The intersection, so named because of the Wendy’s restaurant that occupied a traffic island, was for years a running local joke—at least to people who didn’t suffer fender-benders at the dangerous and confusing confluence of Florida and New York Avenues. But after the District used eminent domain to shutter the eatery in September, officials completed work on a proposed redesign, which was released to the public in a virtual meeting last night.

When construction is finished, according to the plans, the intersection will have high-visibility crosswalks with audible pedestrian signals, protected bicycle lanes, two-way traffic on First Street and Florida Avenue, and three new public gathering spaces. Mayor Muriel Bowser hopes the new design will make the intersection safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers to maneuver through. The move is a part of her new Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries.

Construction is expected to begin in Summer 2022. DDOT will present more details about the construction timeline at a later meeting.

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Damare Baker
Assistant Editor

Before becoming an assistant editor, Damare Baker started out as an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.