My Dysfunctional Relationship with Route 7

Some folks in this town live the Pennsylvania Ave life, going between the Capitol and the White House and Foggy Bottom beyond. Some folks like and die on Wisconsin Ave between Georgetown and Bethesda. Me, I live and die on Route 7.

All six years that I’ve lived in the DC area, I’ve had this peculiar relationship with Route 7 in Northern Virginia. It’s four lanes, and it stretches from the Washington Masonic Memorial all the way out to Leesburg, where it’s called the Leesburg Pike and all the names in between. On that road is my Church, my Target, my dry cleaners, my Starbucks, my gas stations…the list goes on.

But I hate driving that road. There’s traffic up the ying-yang, but I can’t avoid it! If I want Elevation Burger, there’s no way around except the beltway. Heading to Church on Sunday? No way round. There’s just too much that lies along that critical corridor and so I sit there and suffer in my car, tuning in and tuning out. There must be a better way.

It strikes me, though, that we all have this bizarre dysfunctional agreement with our streets. With 14th St into the District. Mass Ave. Connecticut. 16th Street. They are the center of our lives, and yet we loathe them so. How’s that supposed to work?

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