(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated the announcement of “Mamie ‘Peanut’ Johnson Plaza” as the new name for the public spaces currently under construction at the intersection of Florida Avenue and New York Avenue NE, formerly known as “Dave Thomas Circle.” Following a community input process led by the NoMa Business Improvement District (BID), the redesigned intersection will be renamed in honor of the first woman to pitch in the Negro League and longtime DC resident: Mamie ‘Peanut’ Johnson. More than 4,300 residents cast their vote during the process to name the spaces being transformed by a District Department of Transportation (DDOT) initiative that will also streamline the intersection to increase safety for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
“Our community is ready to start a new chapter at this intersection, and we are off to a strong start by naming it after such an iconic woman,” said Mayor Bowser. “Mamie ‘Peanut’ Johnson was a pioneer. Now, it is fitting that her name will represent these new spaces where residents and visitors can rest and play. I thank the Noma BID for engaging the public and going through a thoughtful process of renaming this intersection.”
In July, the Mayor and District officials kicked off the $41 million infrastructure project at the intersection of Florida Avenue and New York Avenue NE, which is positioned between some of DC’s busiest neighborhoods, including Eckington, NoMa, Union Market, and Shaw. Once complete in December 2024, the redesigned intersection will realign and add two-way traffic to First Street NE; restore two-way traffic on Florida Avenue NE; include protected bicycle lanes; and include the three new public park spaces.
“We appreciate the community’s continued engagement and input in both the renaming and redesign of this intersection,” says Interim DDOT Director Sharon Kershbaum. “The transformation of this roadway continues on track, and when completed in December 2024, the result will be a much improved and safer experience for everyone who lives near and passes through this space.”
“Thank you to the many thousands of people who took the time to vote and select Mamie ‘Peanut’ Johnson Plaza as the name for the trio of new public spaces coming to NoMa,” said NoMa BID President Maura Brophy. “These three new green spaces will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, and the mobility and safety improvements resulting from this overall roadway reconfiguration project will benefit everyone who lives, works, visits and passes through this area of northeast DC.”
With the community vote determined, the next step in the process is the introduction of formal legislation before the DC Council to officially recognize the name for the new trio of public spaces.
The new public spaces are being designed by the award-winning landscape architecture firm, SWA Balsley. To view renderings of the future public spaces and red background on the community naming process, visit NameThisNoMaSpace.org. For more details about the reconfiguration of the Florida Avenue/NY Avenue NE Intersection, visit floridaavene-intersection.ddot.dc.gov/.