Barney Circle and Southeast Boulevard Transportation Planning Study

Project Overview

The Barney Circle and Southeast Boulevard Transportation Planning Study will investigate:

  1. Transforming the Southeast Expressway Interstate into a boulevard that is integrated with adjacent neighborhoods between the new 11th Street Bridge and Barney Circle and the Anacostia River Waterfront,
  2. Reconstructing Barney Circle to accommodate vehicle turning movements,
  3. Improving pedestrian and bicyclist connectivity to the Anacostia River Waterfront, and
  4. Evaluating design options that consider multi-modal transportation uses.

Barney Circle is located at the west end of the John Philip Sousa Bridge where the Southeast-Southwest Freeway, Pennsylvania Avenue SE and various local neighborhood streets converge.

Why is DDOT conducting this transportation planning study?

  • As currently configured, Barney Circle prevents several turning movements to and from neighborhood side streets.
  • Southeast Freeway between 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue has been removed from the interstate system, providing an opportunity to reinvest in the right of way to meet the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI) Transportation Planning Principles.

Community Meetings Held

There have been two community meetings for the Barney Circle and Southeast Boulevard Transportation Project, each held at Payne Elementary School, located at 1445 C Street SE. At the first, a scoping meeting held on February 21, 2013, participants discussed issues and opportunities in the project area.

Participants reviewed and gave feedback on the draft design concepts at the second public meeting held on November 21, 20143. The project team is currently evaluating the public’s comments.

Summary of Public Comments

Connections to the waterfront

  • Support for pedestrian & bicycle connections to the waterfront from multiple locations, including 14th Street SE.
  • Opposition to vehicle connections between 13th, 14th, and 15th Streets to the boulevard.

Southeast Boulevard

  • Recommendations against elevating the boulevard roadway to the level of L Street because of increased noise and air pollution, loss of green space near L Street, and a reduction in property values.
  • Suggestions of moving the boulevard away from L Street or eliminate the road completely.
  • Allow direct flow of traffic from Pennsylvania Avenue to Southeast Boulevard.
  • Design economic and community development in this area with mixed uses.

Multi-modal transportation facility

  • Concern that a parking facility would reduce air quality and encourage crime.
  • Preference for an underground facility to allow for green space on top and elimination of fumes and noise.

Barney Circle

  • Allow for bicycle and pedestrian access through the circle.
  • Concerns for increased cut through traffic on 17th Street and Kentucky Avenue.


What is the Status of the Project?

DDOT is conducting a feasibility study to determine the project development process and the economic viability of integrating the land use concepts that emerged from the Office of Planning’s (OP) Southeast Boulevard Planning Study with the transportation alternatives. The feasibility study will involve OP and other agencies as appropriate.

Download Project Fact Sheet PDF

Public Meeting Materials


Milestone Date
Evaluate Public Comments, Conduct Feasibility Study and Finalize Concepts Spring 2015
Prepare Draft Environmental Assessment Summer/Fall 2015
Circulate Draft Environmental Assessment and Hold Public Meeting Winter/Spring 2016
Issue Final Environmental Assessment and Project Decision Spring 2016

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