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North Capitol Cloverleaf Urbanization Study

Thursday, November 18, 2021


The Office of Planning undertook the North Capitol Cloverleaf Urbanization Study to help envision how the cloverleaf interchange at North Capitol and Irving Streets could be redesigned. The existing interchange stifles neighborhood connectivity and good urban design. It is auto-oriented, unsafe for pedestrians, and it cuts off several acres of open space. Moreover, the existing interchange promotes an insular development pattern on large properties in the North Capitol Crossroads Future Planning Analysis Area, particularly the Armed Forces Retirement Home.

This study is an important first step to guide a more urban redevelopment pattern of large adjacent institutional properties and create more interconnected and people-friendly corridors between the rich urban fabric of neighborhoods in Wards 1, 4, and 5. Realizing this opportunity begins with rethinking the cloverleaf interchange, and identifying how it can better serve everyone.

The study recommends an ‘Urbanized Alternative’ to the cloverleaf which accomplishes the following:

  • Replaces the cloverleaf ramps with two new connector roads and four new signalized intersections.
  • Maintains the grade separation between North Capitol Street traversing over Irving Street.
  • Adds shared-use paths and sidewalks on all roadways for direct pedestrian and bicycle connectivity throughout.
  • Optimizes the shape of property parcels created by removing the interchange.
  • Better connects the four quadrants of the intersection encouraging a more robust grid of streets and urban block pattern.

The next step to replacing the legacy highway infrastructure at this location requires investment in roadway redesign. This redesign would leverage private redevelopment and better urban design on land currently separated by the cloverleaf ramps and their free-flowing traffic.

The North Capitol Cloverleaf Urbanization Study built on DDOT’s 2016 Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study and policies in the 2021 Comprehensive Plan update that proposed reconfiguring the cloverleaf interchange to facilitate connected development and multimodal access. The study was generously funded by the Metropolitan Washington Transportation Planning Board’s Transportation Land Use Connections Program.

For more information about the North Capitol Cloverleaf Urbanization Study, contact Kristin Calkins, Senior Transportation Planner at [email protected].