Barney Circle and Southeast Boulevard Transportation Planning Study

Project Overview

Barney Circle is located at the west end of the John Philip Sousa Bridge where the Southeast Boulevard, Pennsylvania Avenue SE and various local neighborhood streets converge.

The Barney Circle and Southeast Boulevard Transportation Planning Study is investigating:

  1. Transforming the former Southeast Freeway into an urban boulevard that is integrated with adjacent neighborhoods between the new 11th Street Bridge, Barney Circle and the Anacostia River Waterfront;
  2. Reconstructing Barney Circle to accommodate vehicle turning movements;
  3. Opportunities for land development adjacent to the boulevard and a transit vehicle storage facility beneath the boulevard;
  4. Improving pedestrian and bicyclist connectivity to the Anacostia River Waterfront; and
  5. Evaluating design options that consider multi-modal transportation uses.

Why is DDOT conducting this transportation planning study?

  • As currently configured, Barney Circle prevents several turning movements to and from neighborhood side streets.
  • Southeast Freeway between 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue has been removed from the interstate system, providing an opportunity to reinvest in the right of way to meet the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI) Transportation Planning Principles.

Community Meetings Held

There have been two community meetings for the Barney Circle and Southeast Boulevard Transportation Project, each held at Payne Elementary School, located at 1445 C Street SE. At the first, a scoping meeting held on February 21, 2013, participants discussed issues and opportunities in the project area.

Participants reviewed and gave feedback on the draft design concepts at the second public meeting held on November 21, 20143. The project team is currently evaluating the public’s comments.

Project History

In 2013, DDOT embarked on a transportation planning study for Southeast Boulevard and prepared several concepts for the roadway that focused on the transportation facility itself. During the course of the study, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B and the Ward 6 Councilmember asked the DC Office of Planning (OP) to get involved and assist in evaluating additional street design options, as well as the broader urban planning context for the boulevard.

OP initiated a rapid response planning analysis referred to as the Southeast Boulevard Land Use Study. The study:

  • Developed concepts for urban design/land use
  • Evaluated concepts in the context of District-wide planning objectives
  • Delivered solutions/strategies to inform the future planning efforts

The study resulted in a report released in June 2015 that includes three recommended concepts for further analysis.

Concept A Concept B Concept C

Summary of Public Comments

Connections to the waterfront

  • Support for pedestrian & bicycle connections to the waterfront from multiple locations, including 14th Street SE.
  • Opposition to vehicle connections between 13th, 14th, and 15th Streets to the boulevard.

Southeast Boulevard

  • Recommendations against elevating the boulevard roadway to the level of L Street because of increased noise and air pollution, loss of green space near L Street, and a reduction in property values.
  • Suggestions of moving the boulevard away from L Street or eliminate the road completely.
  • Allow direct flow of traffic from Pennsylvania Avenue to Southeast Boulevard.
  • Design economic and community development in this area with mixed uses.

Multi-modal transportation facility

  • Concern that a parking facility would reduce air quality and encourage crime.
  • Preference for an underground facility to allow for green space on top and elimination of fumes and noise.

Barney Circle

  • Allow for bicycle and pedestrian access through the circle.
  • Concerns for increased cut through traffic on 17th Street and Kentucky Avenue.


What is the Status of the Project?

DDOT conducted a Feasibility Study to determine the project development process and the viability of the three concepts from OP’s Southeast Boulevard Land Use Study. The final draft of the Feasibility Study was completed and released on January 7, 2016. See below to view DDOT’s Final Draft Southeast Boulevard Feasibility Study.

Download Project Fact Sheet PDF

DDOT Feasibility Study Materials

Public Meeting Materials


Milestone Date
Office of Planning Southeast Boulevard Land Use Study Summer 2015
DDOT Feasibility Study Winter 2015