The Final Designs For Transforming Dave Thomas Circle

  • November 15th 2021

by Nena Perry-Brown

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A final design has been presented for one of DC's most famous and dangerous intersections. 

The intersection of First Street and New York and Florida Avenues (map) has long been known for its awkward and dangerous configuration. Since the public got a look at the potential park design surrounding Dave Thomas Circle a year ago, the colloquial namesake Wendy's at the site closed in September and the designs for both the streetscape and the park are in their final iterations. 

As shared by District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and consultant JMT at a public meeting Monday night, here's what's planned.

Final design of traffic configuration around Dave Thomas Circle. Click to enlarge.

The intersection will be tweaked to demystify the driver experience and improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. In addition to improved signage and wayfinding, Florida Avenue and First Streets will become two-way streets through the intersection. First Street will also be realigned to be more perpendicular, and the slip lane at O Street will be closed.

Existing and planned protected bike lanes around intersection. Click to enlarge.

A concurrent plan from DDOT will begin improvements along Florida Avenue NE between 2nd and H Streets, including a protected bike lane (PBL) to First Street/Eckington Place. Additional protected bike lanes will also be located along Eckington Place from Florida Avenue to R Street between the parking lanes and the curb, buffered by concrete barriers with flexposts between. Bicycle boxes will be added at the Florida Avenue-Eckington Place intersection, and all the medians will be six feet wide and ADA-accessible.

Before construction starts, speed limits will be reduced from 30 to 25 miles per hour on New York Avenue between Fourth Street NW and Florida Avenue; a speed camera will also be added on the westbound 100 block of Florida Avenue NE.

Rendering of planned park at Parcel 3. Click to enlarge.

There will also be three new parks delivered south of New York Avenue along the intersection, including on the central parcel where the Wendy's building sits. The design, by landscape architect SWA/Balsley, has been tweaked somewhat based on feedback from the Commission of Fine Arts, including nixed screening elements and changing an "adult playground" on Parcel 3 to an all-ages playground.

DDOT will solicit a construction contractor starting this winter, and construction, including demolition of the Wendy's building, will begin in summer 2022. The project is expected to be complete in summer of 2024.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/construction-to-reconfigure-and-improve-dave-thomas-circle-to-start-summer-/18954.

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