Washington DC's traffic circles are one of the most unique features of the design of the city. George Washington appointed Pierre L'Enfant in 1791 to design the federal city which specified that most streets would be laid out in a grid. Some streets run in an east-west direction, while others travel in a north-south direction. Diagonal avenues cross the grid and are intersected with circles and rectangular plazas. The circles slow down traffic, create a circular flow in one direction and can often be confusing to drivers who are not familiar with the area. Some of the circles in Washington DC also serve as a park providing recreational and public gathering space.
A Guide to DC's Traffic Circles
This map shows the locations of the traffic circles in Washington DC. Most of the circles are in the NW Quadrant. The following lists the circles and their locations by quadrant. See a larger map of the traffic circles in Downtown Washington DC on the next page
Traffic Circles In Northwest Washington DC
- Anna J. Cooper Circle - Intersection of 3rd and T Streets.
- Blair Circle - Intersection of 16th Street, Eastern Avenue, Colesville Road, and North Portal Drive. Part of the circle is located in Silver Spring, Maryland.
- Chevy Chase Circle - Intersection of Western and Connecticut Avenues, Chevy Chase and Magnolia Parkways, and Grafton Street. Part of the circle is located in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
- Dupont Circle - Intersection of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire Avenues and 19th and P Streets. The Dupont Circle neighborhood surrounds the traffic circle and is one of the largest in the city.
- Grant Circle - Intersection of New Hampshire and Illinois Avenues and Varnum and 5th Streets.
- Juarez Circle - Intersection of New Hampshire and Virginia Avenues, 25th St, and Interstate 66.
- Kalorama Circle - Intersection of 24th Street and Kalorama Road.
- Logan Circle - Intersection of Rhode Island and Vermont Avenues and 13th and P Streets. The Logan Circle neighborhood is primarily residential but borders on the busy 14th street corridor.
- Observatory Circle - Intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and 34th Street. The roadway does not form a complete circle. This is the location of the home of the Vice President.
- Peace Circle - Intersection of First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. This circle is located in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.
- Pinehurst Circle - Intersection of Western and Utah Avenues and 33rd and Worthington Streets.
- Plymouth Circle - Intersection of Plymouth Street and Parkside Lane.
- Scott Circle - Intersection of Rhode Island and Massachusetts Avenues and 16th Street.
- Sheridan Circle - Intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and R and 23rd Streets.
- Sherman Circle - Intersection of Kansas and Illinois avenues and Crittenden and 7th Streets.
- Tenley Circle - Intersection of Wisconsin and Nebraska Avenues, Fort Drive, and Yuma Street.
- Thomas Circle - Intersection of Massachusetts and Vermont Avenues and 14th and M Streets.
- Thompson Circle - Near the intersection of 31st Street and Woodland Drive.
- Ward Circle - Intersection of Massachusetts and Nebraska Avenues.
- Washington Circle - Intersection of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania Avenues and K and 23rd Streets.
- Wesley Circle - Intersection of Massachusetts and University Avenues and 46th and Tilden Streets.
- Westmoreland Circle - Intersection of Western and Massachusetts Avenues, Butterworth Place, and Wetherill Road.
Traffic Circles In Northeast Washington DC
- Columbus Circle - Intersection of Delaware, Louisiana, and Massachusetts Avenues and E and First Streets. This is the circle in front of Union Station.
Traffic Circles In Southeast Washington DC
- Barney Circle - Intersection of Pennsylvania and Kentucky Avenues and 17th Street.
- Randle Circle - Intersection of Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Branch Avenues; K and 32nd Streets; and Fort DuPont Drive.
Traffic Circles In Southwest Washington DC
- Benjamin Banneker Circle - Off L'Enfant Promenade, south of Interstate 395.
- Garfield Circle - Intersection of First Street and Maryland Avenue. This circle is located in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.
- Lincoln Memorial Circle - Intersection of 23rd Street, Henry Bacon and Daniel French Drives, and the Arlington Memorial Bridge. The circle surrounds the Lincoln Memorial.
- Unnamed circle at the western end of Arlington Memorial Bridge connecting the bridge to the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Memorial Drive (which leads to Arlington National Cemetery), and Washington Boulevard (Virginia State Route 27).
See a larger map of the traffic circles in Downtown Washington DC on the next page
Traffic Circles in Downtown Washington DC
This map shows some of the busiest traffic circles in Downtown Washington DC. See the previous page for more details.