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Mapping The Most Cringeworthy Intersections in D.C.

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[Photo by Flickr user NCinDC]

The one way streets are frustrating, the traffic circles are ubiquitous and irritatingly enough, those aren't the worst things about commuting in D.C. Ignoring how residents within city lines may feel about drivers from neighboring states for a second, the plethora of diagonal streets come to a lot of unfortunate intersections with weird dips, quick turns and several blind spots. Curbed previously spotlighted five of the worst intersections, but multiple readers recommended several others that came up regularly in accident reports or caused them personal hell. Consider the map below a guide of spots to avoid while commuting unless it really cannot be helped.


· Driving Hell: Investigating The Worst Intersections In D.C. [CDC]

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1. Dave Thomas Circle

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New York Avenue
Washington DC, D.C.

This headache is so bad that DDOT is considering a fix for this not-actually-a-traffic circle in front of the Sirius-XM building. It is argued by many to be the worst intersection in the city.

2. Columbus Plaza

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Columbus Circle
Washington DC, D.C. 20002

It's slightly better than it was when this article was released but it's still a nightmare for cyclists and pedestrians. As for drivers, they'd better hope they're in the correct lane.

3. Missouri & Georgia Avenue NW

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Georgia Avenue Northwest & Missouri Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20011

The issue isn't just that Missouri Avenue hits Georgia at a curve, which is terrifying all on its own. The other problem is that due to timing, anyone approaching Georgia from Missouri will probably sit there for awhile.

4. 14th Street, Park Road & Kenyon Avenue NW

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14th Street Northwest & Kenyon Street Northwest, DC USA
Washington, DC 20010

Although several readers nominated the 14th & Irving intersection due to the plethora of pedestrians entering and exiting the metro station and the painfully slow crawl across 14th Street for drivers on Irving, the award for crappiest Columbia Heights intersection goes to this nonsensical and frightening five points spot.

5. Blair Road, 4th Street and Cedar Street NW

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Blair Road Northwest & 4th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20012

The issue is not just that this is a five points intersection (which just suck on the whole) but that some of the left turns (and even right turns) leave huge blind spots. It's shocking there aren't more accidents here.

6. West Virginia, Montana and New York Avenue NE

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West Virginia Avenue Northeast & Montana Avenue Northeast
Washington, DC 20002

This has been the Curbed editorial team's most terrifying discovery since the previous list. This mini-traffic circle not only stops traffic for several blocks back during the heavy traffic hours, but it's extraordinarily easy for drivers to realize a minute too late that they really meant to be in a different lane. The signage is that unclear. And if you're a cyclist or pedestrian, just avoid this one at all costs.

7. North Capitol Street & New York Avenue

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New York Avenue Northwest & North Capitol Street Northeast
Washington, DC 20002

Seriously, screw this intersection. This bottleneck is the most visible way to get from points north to I-395, so no matter the day or the time of day, the right turn lanes are backed up for four blocks and twenty minutes. Forget turning on red because due to the angle of the street, it's difficult to see what's barreling down New York Avenue. It's no safer for pedestrians who want to cross New York Avenue.

8. 13th Street, New York Avenue & H Street NW

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New York Avenue Northwest & H Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20005

There are no good places for horribly designed intersections, but the middle of the financial sector has got to be one of the worst. H Street comes at New York Avenue at a curve, so, hello blind spots. As a cyclist, it's equally frustrating.

9. New Jersey Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue, Florida Avenue & S Street NW

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S Street Northwest & New Jersey Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

Four streets, and four generally busy ones at that all converge in Shaw in this intersection of doom. This sort of problem should not exist and certainly shouldn't exist without a traffic circle.

10. Pennsylvania Avenue, 25th Street & Minnesota Avenue SE

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Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast & Minnesota Avenue Southeast
Washington, DC 20020

The "good" news about this hellish intersection is that 25th Street is a one-way street. More than one Curbed reader pointed out this space which also gets negative points for the number of people going into and out of that gas station. What a scary place for a Bikeshare station.

11. 15th & Maine Street SW

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Maine Avenue Southwest & Raoul Wallenberg Place Southwest
Washington, DC 20024

Nothing about this intersection is okay except the view of the Potomac and the Jefferson Memorial. Then again, that just adds to the problem as inexperienced tourists do that en masse and by the way, there's a freeway entrance here. This visual alone should demonstrate the problem with the intersection.

12. 11th & M Street SE

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M Street Southeast & 11th Street Southeast
Washington, DC 20003

Come to think of it, many of the streets where entrances and exits onto the highway are involved are just awful. Getting onto the highway from the Southwest DMV should probably be preceded by a McDonald's break and the entrance onto I-395 in Mt Vernon Triangle is a headache, but readers, you nominated this one and rightfully so.

13. Good Hope Road, Naylor Avenue & 25th Street SE

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Naylor Road Southeast & 25th Street Southeast
Washington, DC 20020

What genius decided that this would be a good idea? The split between two of Southeast D.C.'s biggest roads might not be such a problem, but then you bring 25th Street's dead end into the equation and it's a headache.

14. East Capitol Street & Benning Road SE

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East Capitol Street Northeast & Benning Road Southeast
Washington, DC 20019

East Capitol Street is not a fun road at almost any point in its trajectory. Other streets intersect at odd angles and it's punctuated by more than one giant park. However, with Benning Road turning sharply and hitting it out of nowhere, this is probably the worst part of the street.

15. H Street, 3rd Street & Massachusetts Avenue NW

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Massachusetts Avenue Northwest & H Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

It's the unofficial gateway between Northeast and Northwest, but it's also right by an entrance onto I-395. Pretty much the only thing to be said about this intersection for motorists is that the signage is helpful. However, if you're a cyclist or a pedestrian, just find another way. It's also wizardry that Google Street View shot this spot with no cars because that NEVER happens.

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1. Dave Thomas Circle

New York Avenue, Washington DC, D.C.

This headache is so bad that DDOT is considering a fix for this not-actually-a-traffic circle in front of the Sirius-XM building. It is argued by many to be the worst intersection in the city.

New York Avenue
Washington DC, D.C.

2. Columbus Plaza

Columbus Circle, Washington DC, D.C. 20002

It's slightly better than it was when this article was released but it's still a nightmare for cyclists and pedestrians. As for drivers, they'd better hope they're in the correct lane.

Columbus Circle
Washington DC, D.C. 20002

3. Missouri & Georgia Avenue NW

Georgia Avenue Northwest & Missouri Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20011

The issue isn't just that Missouri Avenue hits Georgia at a curve, which is terrifying all on its own. The other problem is that due to timing, anyone approaching Georgia from Missouri will probably sit there for awhile.

Georgia Avenue Northwest & Missouri Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20011

4. 14th Street, Park Road & Kenyon Avenue NW

14th Street Northwest & Kenyon Street Northwest, DC USA, Washington, DC 20010

Although several readers nominated the 14th & Irving intersection due to the plethora of pedestrians entering and exiting the metro station and the painfully slow crawl across 14th Street for drivers on Irving, the award for crappiest Columbia Heights intersection goes to this nonsensical and frightening five points spot.

14th Street Northwest & Kenyon Street Northwest, DC USA
Washington, DC 20010

5. Blair Road, 4th Street and Cedar Street NW

Blair Road Northwest & 4th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20012

The issue is not just that this is a five points intersection (which just suck on the whole) but that some of the left turns (and even right turns) leave huge blind spots. It's shocking there aren't more accidents here.

Blair Road Northwest & 4th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20012

6. West Virginia, Montana and New York Avenue NE

West Virginia Avenue Northeast & Montana Avenue Northeast, Washington, DC 20002

This has been the Curbed editorial team's most terrifying discovery since the previous list. This mini-traffic circle not only stops traffic for several blocks back during the heavy traffic hours, but it's extraordinarily easy for drivers to realize a minute too late that they really meant to be in a different lane. The signage is that unclear. And if you're a cyclist or pedestrian, just avoid this one at all costs.

West Virginia Avenue Northeast & Montana Avenue Northeast
Washington, DC 20002

7. North Capitol Street & New York Avenue

New York Avenue Northwest & North Capitol Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20002

Seriously, screw this intersection. This bottleneck is the most visible way to get from points north to I-395, so no matter the day or the time of day, the right turn lanes are backed up for four blocks and twenty minutes. Forget turning on red because due to the angle of the street, it's difficult to see what's barreling down New York Avenue. It's no safer for pedestrians who want to cross New York Avenue.

New York Avenue Northwest & North Capitol Street Northeast
Washington, DC 20002

8. 13th Street, New York Avenue & H Street NW

New York Avenue Northwest & H Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20005

There are no good places for horribly designed intersections, but the middle of the financial sector has got to be one of the worst. H Street comes at New York Avenue at a curve, so, hello blind spots. As a cyclist, it's equally frustrating.

New York Avenue Northwest & H Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20005

9. New Jersey Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue, Florida Avenue & S Street NW

S Street Northwest & New Jersey Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20001

Four streets, and four generally busy ones at that all converge in Shaw in this intersection of doom. This sort of problem should not exist and certainly shouldn't exist without a traffic circle.

S Street Northwest & New Jersey Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

10. Pennsylvania Avenue, 25th Street & Minnesota Avenue SE

Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast & Minnesota Avenue Southeast, Washington, DC 20020

The "good" news about this hellish intersection is that 25th Street is a one-way street. More than one Curbed reader pointed out this space which also gets negative points for the number of people going into and out of that gas station. What a scary place for a Bikeshare station.

Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast & Minnesota Avenue Southeast
Washington, DC 20020

11. 15th & Maine Street SW

Maine Avenue Southwest & Raoul Wallenberg Place Southwest, Washington, DC 20024

Nothing about this intersection is okay except the view of the Potomac and the Jefferson Memorial. Then again, that just adds to the problem as inexperienced tourists do that en masse and by the way, there's a freeway entrance here. This visual alone should demonstrate the problem with the intersection.

Maine Avenue Southwest & Raoul Wallenberg Place Southwest
Washington, DC 20024

12. 11th & M Street SE

M Street Southeast & 11th Street Southeast, Washington, DC 20003

Come to think of it, many of the streets where entrances and exits onto the highway are involved are just awful. Getting onto the highway from the Southwest DMV should probably be preceded by a McDonald's break and the entrance onto I-395 in Mt Vernon Triangle is a headache, but readers, you nominated this one and rightfully so.

M Street Southeast & 11th Street Southeast
Washington, DC 20003

13. Good Hope Road, Naylor Avenue & 25th Street SE

Naylor Road Southeast & 25th Street Southeast, Washington, DC 20020

What genius decided that this would be a good idea? The split between two of Southeast D.C.'s biggest roads might not be such a problem, but then you bring 25th Street's dead end into the equation and it's a headache.

Naylor Road Southeast & 25th Street Southeast
Washington, DC 20020

14. East Capitol Street & Benning Road SE

East Capitol Street Northeast & Benning Road Southeast, Washington, DC 20019

East Capitol Street is not a fun road at almost any point in its trajectory. Other streets intersect at odd angles and it's punctuated by more than one giant park. However, with Benning Road turning sharply and hitting it out of nowhere, this is probably the worst part of the street.

East Capitol Street Northeast & Benning Road Southeast
Washington, DC 20019

15. H Street, 3rd Street & Massachusetts Avenue NW

Massachusetts Avenue Northwest & H Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001

It's the unofficial gateway between Northeast and Northwest, but it's also right by an entrance onto I-395. Pretty much the only thing to be said about this intersection for motorists is that the signage is helpful. However, if you're a cyclist or a pedestrian, just find another way. It's also wizardry that Google Street View shot this spot with no cars because that NEVER happens.

Massachusetts Avenue Northwest & H Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001