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Most dangerous DC intersections of 2018

WASHINGTON — Getting around D.C. comes with a higher risk at some intersections than others, a new list of 2018’s most dangerous intersections in the city shows.

A weighted ranking of 2018’s most dangerous intersections that accounts for the severity of crashes finds the following:

  • Wisconsin Avenue, NW and M Street, NW in the heart of Georgetown in the top 10 for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians;
  • 14th Street and U Street, NW in the top 10 for both pedestrians and drivers;
  • 14th Street and Columbia Road, NW, in Columbia Heights in the top 10 for cyclists and e-scooter users;
  • Bladensburg Road and New York Avenue, NE near the National Arboretum in the top 10 for both drivers and pedestrians.


In raw numbers also provided by the District Department of Transportation, New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road, NE also had the most car crashes in 2018, with 165. It is also rated the most dangerous intersection for drivers on a three-year rolling average and had the highest total number of crashes over the past three years, 435.

Last year, there were 102 crashes at 1st Street and New York Avenue, NE and 102 crashes at Fairlawn Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE just off D.C. 295. When adding the 69 crashes recorded at Pennsylvania Avenue, SE and Prout Street, SE just a few feet away from Fairlawn Avenue, that area becomes the location with the most crashes in the city in 2018, and the second highest, 400, over the last three years.

In 2018, there were 93 car crashes at Firth Sterling Avenue and Howard Road, SE, 72 crashes at New York Avenue and North Capitol Street, and 74 at 14th and U Street, NW.

The most crashes involving a pedestrian — eight each — were at 14th Street and U Street, NW, New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road, NE, and 14th and Irving Street, NW, in Columbia Heights.

The largest number of bike crashes at an intersection were six at 18th Street and Belmont Road in Adams Morgan and five at 17th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

No single intersection had more than one scooter crash in 2018.

Crashes between cars and pedestrians and the number of injuries from those crashes overall continue to rise, District Department of Transportation data show. The number of crashes between cars and bikes declined last year after a spike in 2017, but the number of people killed while biking rose from two to three.

There were 49 scooter-involved crashes in 2018, including one person killed when run over by a car.

Any changes coming?

A DDOT study of causes and potential solutions for bike and pedestrian crashes is expected to be completed soon, and additional recommendations are due next month from a major crash review task force.

Separate studies of specific intersections continue, some which have dragged on more than a decade.

At “Dave Thomas Circle”, where New York Avenue, NE, Florida Avenue, NE and 1st Street, NE meet, the Eckington Civic Association is asking for more urgent action.

Connor Shaw told a D.C. Council committee Monday that the recorded crashes making the area one of the top ten most dangerous for drivers are just the tip of the iceberg.

“Many other near misses happen every day,” Shaw said. “It is an unavoidable risk that is part of our daily routine.”

DDOT Director Jeff Marootian said long-awaited safety plans could become clearer this summer.

“We may not have a full plan but we may have some significant steps forward,” Marootian said.

Separately, DDOT promises to start to provide fixes along Maryland Avenue, NE, address the Blair Road/Cedar Street/4th Street NW intersection in Takoma, and to begin to work on safety issues along Alabama Avenue, SE.

Along Connecticut Avenue NW, Marootian said designs in the Cleveland Park area should be finished by June, and a study of removing the reversible lane on Connecticut Avenue NW and adding bike lanes to the corridor should be started and completed by the end of the year.

At the Potomac Avenue Metro in Southeast, Marootian said a process that’s already dragged on more than a decade is not yet ready to move forward, in part due to ongoing discussions with the National Park Service.

“Over the last 10 years there have been 779 crashes, that’s one every four-and-a-half days at that intersection, and there have been 178 people injured,” Councilmember Charles Allen said.

Most dangerous intersections over last three years

Over the last three years, the most dangerous intersections for drivers, based on DDOT’s weighted composite crash index are:

  • New York Ave. and Bladensburg Rd. NE
  • Firth Sterling Ave. and Howard Rd SE
  • Minnesota Ave. and Benning Rd. NE
  • 14th St and U St. NW
  • 1st St. and Union Station Plaza NE
  • Wisconsin Ave. and M St. NW
  • 9th St. and Massachusetts Ave. NW
  • 7th St. and Florida Ave. NW
  • 13th St. and U St. NW
  • 1st St and Florida Ave. NE

Over the last three years, the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians, based on the index are:

  • 17th St. & L St. NW
  • 9th St. and U St. NW
  • 7th St. and G St. NW
  • 14th St. and U St. NW
  • Firth Sterling Ave. and Howard Rd. SE
  • 14th St. and Irving St. NW
  • 17th St. and K St. NW
  • Alabama Ave. and Stanton Rd. SE
  • 18th St and Adams Mill Rd. NW
  • 9th St and New York Ave. NW

Over the last three years the most dangerous intersections for cyclists are:

  • New Hampshire Ave. and M St. NW
  • 1st St. and Florida Ave. NW
  • 16th St. and V St. NW
  • 17th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW
  • 15th St. and Q St. NW
  • Wisconsin Ave. and M St. NW
  • 9th St. and New York NW
  • 5th St. and K St. NW
  • 10th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW
  • 15th St. and M St. NW

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