Best North-South Artery

Best: 15th Street NW
2nd Best: Sherman Avenue/9th Street NW
Last year, Franklin Street NE won honors as the best east-west shortcut (both for its low congestion and its scenic possibilities). We turn now to north-south thoroughfares. Fifteenth Street rocks as an early-afternoon exit from downtown to points north, though the configuration of its several lanes is under review by the city’s transportation department. If this route gets ripped up, Sherman Avenue NW will ascend to the crown. Georgia Avenue’s country cousin, this quiet strip will get you downtown from Columbia Heights, Petworth, and beyond in peace. And unlike Georgia or 14th Street, it has almost zero traffic and fairly well-timed lights.