In January 2018, D.C. Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie described the infamous Dave Thomas Circle in NoMa as “failing.” He said, “It’s just not safe. Particularly if you’re talking about people who want to walk, or bike, or jog, not just a car.” In a study from 2006, the Dave Thomas Circle was ranked the District’s seventh most-accident-prone intersection. New plans may allow it to be more safe, green, and pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly.
In April 2017, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced five preliminary design alternatives to redeveloping Dave Thomas Circle, also known as “Washington’s weirdest traffic circle.” This circle is bordered by First Street NE and Florida and New York avenues NE with a Wendy’s in the center. Greater Greater Washington reported that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) narrowed down the five alternatives to two, named Concept Three and Concept Six (which is a modified version of Concept Five).
If approved, Concept Six will raze the existing Wendy’s, add new green space around a rerouted Eckington Place NE, and build protected two-way bike lanes on Eckington Place NE. First Street NE and Florida Avenue NE will also be connected by the southern shoulder of New York Avenue NE.
When it comes to what to expect for Concept Three, the Wendy’s will remain, and some of the footprint from the Wendy’s will be taken to create additional space for pedestrians and cyclists, according to Greater Greater Washington. There will also be 10-foot shared paths.
There is currently no timeline on when construction will begin on Dave Thomas Circle.
• DC narrows alternatives for the “Dave Thomas Circle” revamp to two [Greater Greater Washington]
• 5 ways to fix DC’s awful “Dave Thomas Circle” at Florida and New York Avenues [Greater Greater Washington]
• What’s a Wendy’s doing there? The story of Washington’s weirdest traffic circle. [The Washington Post]