DC Plans to Buy Wendy's, Reconfigure Dave Thomas Circle

Dave Thomas Circle — where New York Avenue, Florida Avenue and several other streets meet in Northeast D.C. — is widely regarded as perhaps the worst intersection in the city, but its days likely are numbered.

Nicknamed for the founder of the fast-food chain Wendy’s, which sits on the triangle created by New York and Florida avenues and First Street, the intersection is infamous for its traffic jams.

“Every day, 20 minutes or more to get past two lights,” driver Mike Scampone said. “Every single day, 10 years. They change the patterns around — it doesn’t work; nothing helps. It’s terrible. It’s the bane of my existence.”

But the District Department of Transportation is moving fast to make big changes.

“It is reflected in the mayor’s budget that we intend to do that reconstruction,” DDOT Director Jeff Marootian said.

The city is waiting on an appraisal for the Wendy’s and the land to start negotiating a sale, sources say.

Mayor Muriel Bowser has put $35 million in her budget to change the area.


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“Well, we are taking out the Wendy’s out of the intersection,” Marootian said. “So what that means is that the turning movements into and out of that intersection will go away so we can more closely align Florida Avenue in particular.”

DDOT said it will have public meetings about changing the intersection soon and believes it all can be completely reconfigured within the next four years.

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