- I-395/695 – runs along the south side of the city in Southwest and Southeast
- Constitution/Independence Avenues – run along the north and south sides of the National Mall, respectively
- K Street – six-lane road that runs through downtown
- U Street – four-lane road (with parallel parking) through the U Street neighborhood\
- Military Road – four-lane parkway that runs along the north side of the city
The one not on this list is Columbia/Harvard Roads because the road does not match in capacity of the others on the list. Columbia Road, from where it intersects with Connecticut Avenue to where it splits and mirrors Harvard Road, is a pot-holed two-lane road. Driving eastbound, Columbia Road turns into one-way Harvard Road. During rush hour, this three-lane road allows for one lane of parallel-parked cars and two lanes of traffic. However, the lanes aren’t painted, so most people assume it’s one wide lane. (I’ve lived in the area for three years and despite a recent repaving the road still doesn’t have lines on it). The same applies for Columbia Road heading west. Most of the time, an illegally parked car will block the second lane, which is supposed to be open, causing all of the traffic to merge to one lane. Let’s also remember that Columbia Road between 14th and 15th Streets is more dangerous for your car than driving on Route Irish in Baghdad.
7) 15th Street just ends? – Speaking of 15th Street, can someone explain why it just ends? Shortly after 15th Street crosses Columbia Road, it veers to the left, crosses Irving Street and then merges into 16th Street. What? Why? The crazy part is that there are two other places north in the city where 15th Street “continues,” one a mile up the road where it continues for about seven blocks before it ends again. Even stranger, another mile or so north is another 15th Street, but this one is about 400 feet long. ???
8) I-395 just ends? – Speaking of things that just end, how does I-395 just end at New York Avenue? Taking I-395 North into the city puts you in a 1.5-mile tunnel with three exits to the Capitol, Union Station, and New York Avenue. But that’s where it ends. The highway simply stops. Why did no one build this through to somewhere more reasonable, like another highway? Yes, I understand tunnels are expensive, but so is my and other peoples’ time sitting at the end of the highway waiting to merge onto a city street.
9) Bike Lane in Grant Circle – This is a lesser grievance of mine, but it still applies to a larger problem. In the Petworth neighbor, Grant Circle brings together New Hampshire Avenue, Varnum Street, 5th Street, and Illinois Avenue. It has a cordoned-off bike lane that reduces the circle to one lane. I love bike lanes, but I don’t like when the city puts bike lanes in places that are unnecessary and simply because it was the “easy” thing to do. Grant Circle sees far less traffic, both in cars and cyclists, than Dupont, Logan, Scott, Thomas, or Washington Circles, yet none of those four have cordoned-off bike lanes. The city spent money to put it a fancy bike lane where it wasn’t needed and doesn’t put them in where they should because it’s too hard to do.
10) What is with Florida Avenue? Start on the east side of the city and head north on 22nd Street. Suddenly, you’re on Florida Avenue. Cut north of DuPont Circle and south of Adams Morgan and you’ll find that Florida Avenue turns into W Street after crossing 16th Street. What happened to Florida Avenue? Don’t worry, drive one more block east on W Street to 15th Street and you can veer left to Florida Avenue. Continue on the south side of the Cardozo Education Campus until Florida Avenue suddenly becomes 9th Street, but only for two blocks before you can make a left to get back on Florida Avenue. As you continue driving on Florida Avenue, you cross North Capitol Street. Wait. What? Florida Avenue becomes one way? You’re directed to the right where you are now on 1st Street. Make a left, cross New York Avenue, veer to the left onto O Street, and make a slight right to get back on Florida Avenue. Keep driving on Florida Avenue until you get to the intersection of Maryland Avenue, H Street, Bladensburg Road, and Benning Road. What happens to Florida Avenue? It just ends…