Nominee for Worst Road in the District – 6th Street, SE


A reader nominates 6th Street, SE (from G Street to Independence Ave):

“The road always has been horrible. I believe that the street has been that way for more than few weeks or months. Not only me, but we, drivers, have to drive on bike lane to avoid the rough roads.”

Looks like maybe there was/is utility work? Anyone know what’s up here?

17 Comment

  • Nebraska Ave construction in front of AU is absolutely awful right now. Tore up my car left and right last night. 🙁

  • SouthwestDC

    For some reason my girlfriend and I always take 6th street after getting off 395, but it’s gotten so bad that we’re trying to reprogram ourselves to use 7th instead.

  • I’d also nominate P Street NW between North Capitol and 7th.

    • Yes, that one is pretty terrible! I’m assuming it won’t be fixed for a few months though…

  • accendo

    I hate the way this city allows road construction to be done. This whole, half-asphalt/half-concrete or crappy patch job for weeks/months after a job is ridiculous. It should be Dig, Fix, Repair Properly, Done.

  • If you look at the right photo, you’ll see what is making this a really bad stretch for bicycling. There is supposed to be a bike lane there, but the cars prefer to align their right wheels in that torn up strip so they don’t have to repeatedly bump over the cuts into the vehicle lane. Can’t say I blame them too much, but it’s squeezing the bikes.

  • As a long-time resident of G Street between 6 and 7 SE I have many thoughts. Yes, they are doing a lot of utility work and ripping up 6th in the process. Today drivers were not even allowed past G and directed down to 7th. For me 6th St. SE is a nightmare because it is utilized by thoughtless drivers zipping off the freeway and completely ignoring the speed limits and many stop signs in my residential neighborhood. Just a few years ago a neighbor girl was hit by a car on her way to school by a driver rushing off the freeway and ignoring the road rules. As for those who want to use 7th Street as an alternative funnel off of 395, this is a much narrower street than 6th and a two-way street as well, so the thought of the maniacs clogging this residential street is even more depressing than seeing them on 6th. Also, for the foreseeable future, the work being down between G and E on the new Mormon church building is making 7th Street even more congested, and you may very well be stuck waiting for construction crews to let you pass. I for one wish there were only an exit off 395 for 8th Street, which is wide enough to handle the traffic and has stoplights, which are much harder for the freeway speed demons to ignore.

    • Totally agree with your thoughts on the crazy commuting drivers in our neighborhood. I bike down 7th, and that can be a pretty tricky place when you have (usually) Maryland drivers zipping up and down the street. Seriously, they can be total jerks going that fast when you have people like me biking or just other people walking around. If I had control of the city, non-DC drivers would not be allowed to drive on residential streets on the Hill- haha!

    • Hi, Neighbor! Agree with your assessment here.

      This particular project is a replacing a bunch of water line. It’s scheduled to be done in June (so we’re almost there) and is being actively worked on. Had a chat with some of the contractors this morning.

      I’d also add, this does not “force” anyone to drive in the bike lane. One can take another road. Or SLOW DOWN and drive over the rough road. And if one is going to drive in the bike lane, please watch out for bikers and remember to allow them their three feet of space on all sides.

    • Hey-

      I live on 6th and totally agree. This is a complete joke. How long does it take to just pave over this thing and call it a day? A main concern should also be that no vehicles over 3 axles are supposed to be driving on this street. Not only for the roads sake, but for the neighborhoods sake. Totally think its worth discussing with the ANC. Thanks for posting this @popville!

  • As a biker, I’ve been avoiding just crossing this street (and I’m definitely not riding on it!). When I do cross it, I have to slow way down and carefully navigate the rough terrain. There are some other lousy streets in Capitol Hill SE. Yesterday, I saw a HUGE pothole on D St SE near the WSC gym. Thankfully, I was paying attention, but the depth and length of that sucker could have taken a biker out easily. Gotta watch out for this stuff!

  • Add to the list: Rhode Island Ave in the blocks just north and south of 12th Street NE.

  • I vote 14th Street NE between G and E streets as one of the worst.

    • Yes, 14th St is terrible right there…and is bad all the way down to East Capitol and places farther south. 14th is the situation that should be highlighted in posts like this, not 6th which is due to a construction project…yes, it sucks, but at least at the end of the project is going to have a shiny new coat of pavement for sure. Lots of other streets in the district…you’ve got a better chance of seeing…

  • I’ve written in about this before. This stretch is SO frustrating as a biker and driver who uses 6th daily to get from 7th & I SE to NE (this is the only northbound bike lane, and 7th gets cut off at North Carolina by the market, so driving 7th isn’t realistic). Those photos are good but don’t really show how there’s new asphalt flung willy-nilly around manhole covers and other seemingly random areas, so the road (and bikelane!) turns out not just uneven, but dangerously bumpy. TL;DR: dangerous and has been this way for too long to just be “more construction.”

  • Speaking of road resurfacing, I’m glad that DDOT improved R Street NW between 15th and 12th, but does anyone know when they will be painting the bike lanes back on? They finished weeks ago with the resurfacing. I can’t imagine that painting a single line would be that big of a deal.

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