Traffic Safety Improvements at Intersection of New York Avenue and Florida Avenue, NE

From DDOT:

As previously announced, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is making major safety improvements at one of the busiest intersections in Northeast Washington, where New York Avenue, Florida Avenue, First Street and Eckington Place meet. Now, as the next phase of construction is about to begin, DDOT will be switching the traffic patterns at the intersection. The changes are scheduled to be implemented at 9 pm on Friday, June 4, 2010, weather permitting.

After the changes are made, traffic will flow in a circular pattern around the intersection (see diagram above). Drivers and cyclists will need to pay close attention to the posted signs and lane markings.

With the new traffic patterns:

* First Street will become one way southbound from Florida Avenue to New York Avenue.

* Florida Avenue will be limited to one way traffic westbound between New York Avenue and First Street.

* Eastbound Florida Avenue traffic will be detoured to First Street. From there, drivers can go left on New York Avenue to return to Florida Avenue, or they can use the following detour from southbound First Street: left on M Street, left on Third Street right on Florida Avenue.

* Northbound First Street traffic wishing to access westbound New York or Florida Avenues will be temporarily detoured via M and Third Streets, NE.

* Southbound Eckington Place traffic will no longer be allowed to turn left on Florida Avenue. Eckington traffic will use First Street to reach New York Avenue and eastbound Florida Avenue,

The $3 million reconfiguration of the intersection is designed to improve circulation and decrease accidents. The project is scheduled to be completed in August and final traffic pattern changes will be announced at that time.

Additional information about the project is available online at

View Larger Map

28 Comment

  • Oh jesus. Couldn’t they wait to eff up my East-West commute for H St to be paved….

    Next up on the fix it list: Bladensbug, H St, Minnesota Ave, Maryland Ave and whatever numbered street comes into that intersection.

  • Is DDOT still calling this “Dave Thomas Circle”?

    • Dave Thomas Memorial Circle
      RIP Wendy

    • Nothing wrong with calling it Dave Thomas Circle. Mr. Thomas was a generous philanthropist who passed away nearly eight years ago. A DDOT representative I spoke to mentioned that they may in fact give it this official name at some point in the future, after the area has been re-engineered into a true traffic circle.

  • I hope this works. This intersection gets backed up during the rush hours for really no good reason. Then people get frustrated and their cars sit in the middle of the intersection after it turns red creating more backup.

    • The city does a fantastic job of creating traffic jams at many intersections because they don’t synchronize the traffic lights. It has always been my belief that once you get past this intersection, you shouldn’t really have to stop again until you get to Bladensburg Rd. Not that you should be doing 35 mph, but that traffic should be more stop and go. How many times do you drive down NY Ave, stopping at every other traffic light, only to have 3 cars turn onto the road from the cross street. 3 cars stopping 300 cars, every minute seems pretty foolish… but it happens all the time.

      • Agree 1,000 percent. A good number of traffic problems in this city would be solved by properly timing the traffic lights. They way lights are timed now on many important routes only encourage traffic jams.

        • the problem is that many of our important routes intersect.

          • Step outside the box a bit… if you look at a map, many of the main arteries don’t intersect beyond a certain diameter in the city, yet traffic light timing is atrocious all the way out. CT, MA, GA, NH, RI and NY, once these roads cross each other (basically they are all spokes off of a circle at some point) it is then a straight shot out. NY clearly carries more vehicles out than FL does across the city and should therefore have preferential timing to create enhanced traffic flow. During rush hour, if you are on a cross street, you should expect to wait longer because the volume of traffic traveling perpendicular should have longer light cycles to move more traffic out of the city quicker.

        • 1000% just doesn’t make sense.

      • I love the traffic light patterns where you can only hit a green light ahead if you drive 35MPH in a 25MPH zone. If you drive the speed limit, you get there just as it’s turning red.

        I’m not saying that I have to have green lights all the way to work, but don’t “incentivise” speeding by allowing them to hit the green lights where all the folks who drive the speed limit get red after red after red.

        • Those are a treat. Also enjoyable are the short block intersections where the first light turns red, stopping you, while the next block turns green and you can watch the pedestrian timer to know your green light will result in the second light turning red at approximately the same time. It almost seems intentional with how many intersections that occurs.

        • or 45… or 55

    • No there are some pretty good reasons this intersection backs up, from disappearing lanes, to too many lights on top of one another, to a horrible location for a popular drive in fast food joint.

      They should eminent domain the Wendy’s and give them prime real estate on another corner.

  • As a resident of this neighborhood, I have to say how EXCITED I am to see this new traffic pattern in action! And, um, I hope it works!

  • This is really going to screw things up for me anytime I want to get some crack… I mean Wendy’s!!

    • Depending on the direction you’re coming from, drive through crack service may be even easier. No waiting to turn left from Fla while the fuzz notes your plate. And a nice quick right onto 1st/then NY ave an you can speed back to MD.

  • “Traffic” – yes
    “safety” and “improvement” – not so much

  • And would it kill wendy’s to put up some trees?

  • so there is no way to turn left onto florida from first street?

    and westbound florida traffic can now turn left at NY AND and 1st? that makes no sense to me.

    eliminating that weird swing around from florida to NY ave is a great thing.

    the problem with the intersection is not synchronization.
    its that there has been continuous construction along these routes for years. its the discontinuous nature of 395. its the awkward turnings onto p street or first street. and its that there are too few metro stations in NE. and that people treat ny and florida avenues as highways.

    how does the proposed streetcar along florida avenue play into this scenario.

  • Yea, I’m a bit confused if you’re heading to Eckington from 1st… That’s one of my two bike paths to get South-North.. Hopefully they’ll figure out the nuances. That intersection is NASTY! I’m glad they’re doing something about it.

    • You should definitely try the Met Branch Trail, get on it at M Street by the NY Ave metro entrance

  • a benefit should also be eliminating the back up on Florida for people waiting to turn on the jug handle to get to NY. Because of all of the foot traffic with the metro the jug handle worked poor at best.

  • will westbound florida avenue traffic really be allowed to turn left onto NY?
    why even bother to then have a westbound left hand turn lane onto first?

  • Seems stupid, a waste of $$ and just another way to back up traffic so bad you would rather take metro….except you won’t.

  • I have never seen an accident at that intersection after living in this area 7 years. Someone cross reference the campaign donor lists with whoever got the $3 million contract for this

  • I have never seen an accident at this intersection, ever. Useless work that wasn’t imperative.

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