So Long to DC’s Infamous Dave Thomas Circle

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The Dave Thomas Circle roundabout has long confounded Northeast Washington, D.C. residents, but things are finally going to change.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was on hand Wednesday, along with the District Department of Transportation (DoT), the NoMa Business Improvement District and community members to kick off the transformation of the notorious traffic circle, which will transform the intersection of Florida Avenue and New York Avenue Northeast.

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The $41 million project will include bike lanes, ADA-compliant ramps and open green space.

The area sees about 80,000 vehicles daily and has been the site of a large number of accidents, according to the DoT. In 2021, the District used eminent domain to purchase a Wendy’s at the center of the triangular block, which had been there since the mid-1980s and closed in 2021. In fact, the roundabout is named after Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, who died in 2002.

“We all know that we could and should do better, so let’s say goodbye, Dave Thomas Circle,” Bowser said at the event. “We are ready to transform this chaotic and dangerous intersection.” 

Once completed, the project will improve safety for all who travel through the corridor and create new public spaces for residents and visitors, she added.

City officials said the project is expected to be finished by December 2024.

With the Wendy’s gone, residents will have a chance to choose one of five names for the revamped intersection: Douglass Crossing, Three Stars Plaza, Mamie “Peanut” Johnson Plaza, Tiber Gateway and People’s Plaza.

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.