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Is there a bigger mess in District transportation than the block of 7th St. NW between New York Avenue NW and Massachusetts Avenue NW?

It’s not among the most dangerous intersections in the city. It’s not even the D.C. area’s most intractable transportation problem (Metro, naturally). But that doesn’t stop this Mount Vernon Triangle block from being a consistent debacle and snarling at least two nearby intersections.

This mess can have real consequences. Last year, an elderly pedestrian was pinned under a Greyhound bus turning at the nearby intersection of 7th Street and Massachusetts Avenue. 

It’s not clear how to resolve the mess—demolishing the nearby historic Carnegie Library to make way more roads, for example, might prove unpopular. Unfortunately for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists, the District’s Department of Transportation currently has no traffic plans for the block, according to a DDOT spokesman. 

Below, the anatomy of a mess.

1: Drivers looking to use the protected left turn onto Mount Vernon Place NW back up in the left northbound lane on 7th Street NW.

2: Cars on K Street NW (westbound) looking to take the Mount Vernon left turn or go south on 7th Street run into the blocked left lane and themselves block the rest of northbound 7th Street.

3: Drivers on 7th Street and turning left on K Street NW south of the Carnegie Library angle for the same left lane and block that intersection. 

4: Looking to get ahead of the mess and into the coveted left-turn lane, drivers on Massachusetts Avenue turn right on red lights without stopping for pedestrians.