Pennsylvania and Potomac Avenues SE Intersection Improvement Project

Project Overview

The Pennsylvania and Potomac Avenues SE Intersection Improvement Project proposes to enhance safety at these street intersections for neighborhood pedestrians and transit users of the Potomac Avenue Metrorail Station and the numerous area bus stops.

Despite the numerous crosswalk locations, pedestrians traverse the intersection through the grassed median of Pennsylvania Avenue SE. The proposed project would remove some of the current conflicting pedestrian crossings and replace them with more direct routes for pedestrians and transit users.

The project was originally proposed in the 2005 Middle Anacostia River Crossings Transportation Study (MAC) as a mid-term improvement for enhancing the transportation network in the Middle Anacostia River region.

Why Is DDOT Evaluating This Intersection?

  • The Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Potomac Avenue SE, and 14th Street SE intersection has multiple striped crosswalk locations, which creates pedestrian and driver confusion.
  • Current striped crosswalks provide indirect means to cross Pennsylvania Avenue SE.
  • Pedestrians have created a more direct path through the grassed median of Pennsylvania Avenue SE. This path is not striped and not included in the pedestrian signal timing.


Project Needs

  • Enhance pedestrian safety for residents and multi-modal transit users traveling in and around the Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Potomac Avenue SE, and 14th Street SE intersection.
  • Meet District of Columbia Comprehensive Plan Transportation Planning Elements and Policies investing in pedestrian connections as a means to enhance multi-modal use.
  • Align with Regional and District transportation planning policies to reduce reliance on the automobile through investment at transit centers.


What is the Status of the Project?

A number of community meetings have been conducted about the project. During a scoping meeting held January 31, 2013, the public discussed pedestrian safety, traffic patterns, bicyclists, the Potomac Avenue Metrorail Station, and green space.

At a follow-up meeting on May 16, 2013, community members gave comments on four design concepts—No Build, Mid-Block Crosswalk, T-Intersections, and Signalized Oval. The public’s feedback, along with the feedback from the National Park Service, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, National Capital Planning Commission, and the State Historic Preservation Office, have helped to improve the designs for the project.

The current project alternatives — Triangle Parks, Rectangle Park, and Ellipse Park — were presented to the public for review from November 6, 2014 to January 16, 2015. Public comments on these alternatives will assist in the preparation of the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA).

The Draft EA will be circulated to the public for review in Winter 2015-2016. The study is anticipated to be concluded with the completion of the Final EA in Spring/Summer 2016 and the issuance of a Record of Decision (ROD).

More Information

The pedestrian improvement project for the Pennsylvania and Potomac Avenues SE intersection is one in a series of transportation, environmental, economic, community and recreation projects included in the larger Anacostia Waterfront Initiative Program. From the Tidal Basin to the city’s northeast border with Maryland, the 30-year, $10 billion AWI Program is transforming the shores of the Anacostia River into a world-class waterfront.

For more information about the design concept alternatives being evaluated for the Final Environmental Assessment, to follow the project’s progress or join the email distribution list for the project, please visit the project page or send an email to To join the project or AWI community contact list or ask questions, please email  or call 202-741-8528.

Proposed Project Design Alternatives

Four design alternatives are currently under DDOT review for the project. For more information view the information brochure.

No Build

No changes would be proposed to the intersection of Pennsylvania Ave SE, Potomac Ave SE, and 14th St SE.

Triangle Parks

  • 4 lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue SE
  • Maintains existing lane widths (10 feet)
  • More direct paths for pedestrians
  • Tighter geometry to encourage lower traffic speed and better visibility between pedestrians and motorists
  • Maintains location of 5 existing bus stops
  • Maintains all existing routes at the intersection
  • Creates approximately 25,000 square feet of public space

Rectangle Park

  • 3 lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue SE inside rectangle
  • Lane widths vary between 12 and 16.5 feet inside rectangle
  • More direct paths for pedestrians
  • Rectangle creates sharp turns to encourage lower traffic speeds
  • 5 total bus stops, 2 stops relocated
  • Creates approximately 25,550 square feet of public space

Ellipse Park

  • 3 lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue SE inside rectangle
  • 12 foot lanes inside rectangle
  • More direct paths for pedestrians
  • Ellipse shape reduces need for wide lanes
  • 1 bus stop removed
  • Creates approximately 34,300 square feet of public space


Public Meeting Materials


Download Project Fact Sheet PDF


Milestone Date
Circulate Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Hold Public Meeting Winter 2015-2016
Issue Final Environmental Assessment and Project Decision Spring/Summer 2016

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