Washington Major Streets and Roadways

Washington D.C. is the only planned capital city in the world, designed by Pierre Charles L'Enfant during 1791. The city was planned with a grid system, intercut with avenues on broad diagonals that radiate from open-spaced rectangles.

The geographical center of the city is the Untied States Capitol, from which all four quadrants originate in the Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast parts. The pattern followed is that of the city of Karlsrule in Germany.

Streets in Washington are oriented in the north/south direction and are given numbers that count in the ascending order from the east to west, starting at the Capitol. The same streets repeat in the Northeast and Southeast quadrants, but here they count in ascending order from west to east, going further away from the Capitol. The East/West-oriented streets use a letter of the alphabet rather than a number.

The major streets of the City are the Connecticut Avenue NW, K Street NW, MacArthur Boulevard, Pennsylvania Avenue, Georgia Avenue, New York Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr st, Independence Avenue, Constitution Avenue, 14th st NW, 16th St NW, and 7th st NW.

Major Freeways, Highways, and Streets

  • I-495 - Circles city
  • I-66 - Branches from city center to W
  • I-95 - Traverses city from SW to NE
  • I-270 - Branches from city center to NW