Since it was originally laid out by French-born architect Pierre L’Enfant, the District’s street grid has been defined by diagonal roads and traffic circles interspersed with horizontal and vertical lines. That’s why navigating D.C. can feel relatively easy once you get your bearings.
At least in the city’s core area, that is. Generally speaking, the farther out you get, the more complicated the District’s layout becomes. Post-L’Enfant additions and reconfigurations can be nightmarish for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter riders alike—particularly when you consider the number of car lanes on specific streets. Hence, some interesting geometry.
A new graphic of D.C. intersections helps break down the city’s street grid into some of its components. Earlier this week, Hawaii-based artist Peter Gorman published on Reddit his “Intersections of DC” design, a representation of 20 distinct road shapes across the District. The design is part of a series of intersection prints for various cities that Gorman is creating.
“For each Intersections print, I start by including any intersections that I remember, and then do research into which ones are the most notorious,” Gorman tells Curbed in an email. “I think DC has the most agreement about a single intersection (Dave Thomas Circle) than any other city I’ve done.” He adds that he brainstormed about which intersections to feature with his sister, who lives in the District, and her coworkers. The print is available on Etsy for $25 to $38—depending on the size—and Gorman says his next step is to self-publish a book of 100 map designs based on a yearlong, 11,000-mile, solo bike trip he took around the U.S.
Two other D.C.-themed prints from Gorman follow below. One is of 20 traffic circles in the District with their adjoining streets; the second is of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.