Environmental Services

Clarendon Circle Pedestrian Improvements


The intersection of Wilson, Clarendon, and Washington Boulevards, commonly known as Clarendon Circle, is being redesigned to improve pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist access and safety. The project study area includes eight surrounding intersections. Associated improvements are being planned for Clarendon Circle and the intersection of 10th Street and Wilson Boulevard. The redesign is based upon a concept developed for the Clarendon Sector Plan, but is being adapted for implementation without waiting for redevelopment.  View the current Clarendon Circle Study Presentation (PDF) >>

 Rendering: Clarendon Circle Concept Plan.

Project Goals 

Improvements to the intersection will provide street, sidewalk and related safety upgrades to one of Arlington’s most active intersections. The major goals are to:   

  • Normalize the intersection geometry
  • Improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and access
  • Maintain or improve traffic flow, including changes to surrounding intersections
  • Reduce pavement area/intersection size
  • Integrate “Green Street” elements into the project
  • Improve traffic control (signals, signing, markings) and lighting
  • Integrate streetscape and place making elements into the project

Travel across the intersection whether on foot, by bicycle or in a car can be difficult due to its extreme width and the skewed alignment of the roadways. N. Irving Street also enters the circle area in two offset locations, which further complicates the traffic pattern.

Design analysis for this intersection was performed as part of the development of the Clarendon Sector Plan and more recently with the Clarendon Multimodal Transportation Study (PDF), which provides an in-depth review of the data and methodology used. The January 2012 Clarendon Circle Study Presentation (PDF) summarizes the site analysis and alternative street alignment options proposed as ways to improve the intersection.

Both studies began with the analysis of potential design options including roundabouts, one-way street couplets and other alternatives. The analysis strongly suggest these types of designs would have negative impacts on all modes of transportation, especially pedestrians, and recommend improving the intersection by normalizing the existing geometry and reducing the size.  

Conceptual Views of Proposed Design

Rendering: View looking south down Washington Boulevard from northeast corner.

View looking south down Washington Boulevard from northeast corner.
Rendering: View looking south on Washington Boulevard.

View looking south on Washington Boulevard.
Rendering: View looking west on Washington Boulevard at Wells Fargo and Olmstead Building corner.

View looking west on Washington Boulevard at Wells Fargo and Olmstead Building corner.
Rendering: View looking west on Wilson Boulevard at Clarendon Central Park and Liberty Tavern corner.

View looking west on Wilson Boulevard at Clarendon Central Park and Liberty Tavern corner.

Proposed Timeline

  • Begin production of 60% engineering plans - Winter 2014
  • Schedule second round of public meetings to focus on project details, sidewalk paving patterns, streetlights, site amenities, etc. 
  • Provide second update to County Manager’s Office, County Board, commissions and civic associations with 90% engineering plans  
  • Finalize plans and prepare construction bid package/schedule construction - Fall 2014
  • Award construction contract and begin construction in Spring 2015.

Community Involvement

County staff held presentations on the study and received public input from the Transportation Commission, civic associations, the Clarendon Alliance, and also conducted an Internet based survey in early 2012.  View the summary of input received.   

In 2013, the next set of engineering plan updates will be provided on this website and at future Transportation Commission, civic association and Clarendon Alliance meetings.


Throughout the history of Arlington, Clarendon Circle has always been an important intersection and has changed dramatically from a small crossroads in the 1800s to a circle with trolley lines in the 1900s. The current design was implemented when the Orange Line was constructed and the major surrounding streets were relocated. Clarendon Circle has only been modestly upgraded since Metro was constructed.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact the Project Manager, Tom Hutchings or call (703) 228-3809.


Last Modified: March 05, 2014
2100 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201 Tel: 703-228-3000 TTY: 703-228-4611