Demolition work began Wednesday at “Dave Thomas Circle,” the infamous and dangerous intersection in Northeast D.C. that includes portions of New York and Florida avenues and First Street.
It is a $41 million infrastructure project meant to improve safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Some of the changes will include adding two-way traffic to First Street, restoring two-way traffic on Florida Avenue, building protected bicycle lanes and adding three new public park spaces.
“This day has been a long time coming, but we are finally saying goodbye to the chaotic and dangerous intersection known as Dave Thomas Circle,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We want it to be a safer, less frustrating experience for everyone who comes this way.”
Construction is starting this month, and is expected to continue through late 2024. Crews on Wednesday began tearing down the Wendy’s restaurant that was once at the center of the intersection.
“When this project is done, we will deliver a much safer and better-connected corridor with more green space for the thousands of people who travel through this intersection every day,” Bowser said.
The intersection is positioned between some of D.C.’s busiest neighborhoods, including Eckington, NoMa, Union Market and Shaw.
“Today’s demolition reflects years of planning with residents and stakeholders to design a roadway that supports all modes of transportation,” said Everett Lott, director of D.C.’s transportation department.
The city will officially give the intersection a new name. Residents can vote on what the name should be. There are five options, including:
- Douglass Crossing
- Three Stars Plaza
- Mamie “Peanut” Johnson Plaza
- Tiber Gateway; and
- People’s Plaza
The public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite of the five names until the end of the day on Friday, August 25. Votes will be solicited through local pop-ups and postcard mailings, as well as online at NameThisNoMaSpace.org.
Those without internet access can call 202-289-0111 to request a ballot be sent in the mail. Returned ballots must be postmarked by August 25.
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