Upcoming Meeting to Discuss 18th and Potomac Ave SE Intersection

On July 22 at 10 am, I’m hosting a meeting to discuss options for improving the intersection of 18th Street SE and Potomac Avenue SE. The meeting will be held at the intersection which is located right in front of the main gate at Historic Congressional Cemetery.Representatives from the District Department of Transportation will be on hand to listen to resident concerns and share what can be done to improve both pedestrian and vehicular safety at this extremely dangerous intersection.

Numerous vehicle accidents have taken place at 18th and Potomac, primarily due to Potomac Avenue’s transition from a two-way to one-way street at 18th Street SE. When traveling east on Potomac Ave, vehicles often move over to the left lane prior to its conversion to a two-way street, leading to collisions or near collisions with vehicles turning right onto Potomac Ave from 18th Street.

Additionally, numerous pedestrians with dogs cross this intersection daily to access the main gate of Congressional Cemetery. Vehicles rarely yield to pedestrians and drivers often honk or yell if a pedestrian attempts to cross Potomac Avenue. Pedestrian and vehicle traffic at the intersection tend to be high during the same times (morning and evening rush hour), exacerbating the situation.

All are welcome to attend the July 22 meeting.

7 Responses to Upcoming Meeting to Discuss 18th and Potomac Ave SE Intersection

  1. Evan handy says:

    How about a roundabout? There is plenty of space for one.

  2. Molly Wyman says:

    Also, as you approach 18th heading east on Potomac, a left turn signal is ambiguous — it could indicate turning left onto 18th, or moving into the left lane as Potomac becomes one-way. A couple times now we’ve had drivers try to pass us on our left, as we’re turning left. Neither incident resulted in a collision, but they were alarmingly close calls.

    Is there a compelling reason for the 1800 block of Potomac to be one-way? Why not make it 2-way?

    • Evan says:


      You make a very good point. The one-way streets we have in our neighborhood benefit only the commuters passing through.

      Hill East would benefit from converting them all to one-way, which is probably how they all started.

    • bflahaven says:

      Hi Molly, Thanks for the comment. Biggest question with converting 1800 Potomac from one-way to two-way would be how vehicles would access that block traveling west. 19th Street is one-way northbound. Someone could take the 1800 block of E Street, turn left on 19th and then turn left on Potomac. Question is would DDOT be OK with such a configuration. I’ll ask tomorrow.

      • Denny says:

        Why not make 19th (and 17th) two-way streets along with that end stretch of Potomac? Seems like that would do a lot to mitigate a lot of the concerns we as residents have with all three streets.

  3. Lee Davis says:

    I’m sorry, but I have to point out that this is the exact intersection where Dolores Landingham from the West Wing is killed in a car accident.

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