Photo Friday: Mini-Circles Protest

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A post we published a couple weeks ago titled “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About 42nd St. Circles,” seems to have sparked renewed opposition to the mini-circles. Though our intent was neither to advocate for nor against the circles – just to provide information on how they came to be and current plans for the installation of permanent ones – the post appears to have been a catalyst for those who oppose the circles to make their case against them.

Joan Silver, whose home is adjacent to the southern-most circle, recently published on the Tenleytown listserv a series titled “Everything You Should Know About The 42nd St. Mini-Circles” (her emphasis). The series seeks to counter claims of neighbors’ support of the mini-circles and how the issue of the circles has been portrayed by the Tenleytown Advisory Neighborhood Commission, the District Department of Transportation, and the Tenley Campus Neighbors Association. Silver’s three initial installments have been compiled here for those interested in learning more about the viewpoints of opponents of the circles.

Her emails struck a chord with other neighbors who subsequently launched a petition calling for “no work [to] be undertaken to make these traffic circles permanent before an independent and objective assessment has been carried out to address a broader range of traffic-related safety issues (not just traffic calming/speeding issues) on 42nd St. NW and at its intersections with Warren St. that affect the neighborhood.” As of 5:00 p.m. on Thursday evening, the petition, which is addressed to the ANC, American University, DDOT, and Councilmember Mary Cheh, had 71 signatures.

Another neighbor purchased signs for circle opponents to put in their yards, images of which are included as this week’s Photo Friday.



  • Marcello Muzzatti

    Look, to me only the people affected by the appearance and the way this problem is going to be handled should be heard. How hard is that? I think what they have there is ugly and does not work! I support the residents affected in whatever they decide.

  • Agreed. While I do live near them and use these intersections frequently (both on foot and in a car), I am fine with the residents right next to these dumb things being heard first. But as for my $.02, I think that they are very ill conceived, cause just as many problems as they are trying to solve, and have no discernible positive impact on pedestrian safety.
    No one knows how to actually go through these intersections and that has made them much more dangerous for vehicle traffic (3 near misses with other vehicles who disobeyed the rules in 2 years vs 0 in the previous 5).
    They also seem to indicate to drivers that they do not need to stoop for pedestrians like at a stop sign (they do, BTW). I have just as hard a time crossing the street in these locations as I did before.
    DDOT needs to stop trying to get fancy and put in stop signs here (as they should at every intersection in AU park). It is just simpler to alert everyone that you need to stop at every crossing than have a mixed bag. Our great little neighborhood is packed with kids and foot traffic, and as such should be as safe as we can make it. Poorly executed, confusing traffic calming silliness doesn’t help.