Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
August 28, 2004
May 19, 2019 
Half at I, Looking East (see more)

As you approach the South Capitol Street exit on the Southwest Freeway, there's a small blue sign overhead, dwarfed by its siblings and probably all but invisible to everyday users of the highway.
It's a Gas - Food - Lodging sign, ubiquitous across this great land of ours and often a very (VERY) welcome sight, when the gas gauge has fallen below the Empty line and panic has begun setting in.
And while regulations generally say that an establishment can be located within three miles of the exit in order to allow for such a sign to be posted, in urban settings stressed low-fuel drivers have some level of expectation that when they get to the end of the ramp they will be greeted with at least one gas station within view, or a sign pointing where to go to find it and how far it will be.
Up until about nine years ago, that's exactly what would happen when taking the South Capitol exit. There were Exxons on the east side of the street (at I) and the west side (at K). There was a BP Amoco station at N, plus a Sunoco at Half and M and another Exxon at 11th and M if one wanted to stray a little or a lot.
But then they started to close, and were all gone by 2008, though I will note that not a single one of those sites has been developed as of now.
So, if you are a desperate driver looking for gas, and you see that sign, and you start to head south on South Capitol Street, where is the first gas station you'd come across? You'd have to be smartphone-equipped to find your way 3.4 miles to the King Gas Station on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, just north of the intersection with Malcolm X Avenue.
But more likely you'd stay on the Suitland Parkway, and perhaps your Spidey Sense might then lead you north on Alabama Avenue to the BP at the intersection with Alabama, Naylor, and Good Hope Roads, 4.6 miles away from your exit.
Chances are though that you'd follow the Suitland Parkway until you are alerted otherwise. There's no signs as far as Google Street View shows for stations at Naylor Road (4.8 miles) and Silver Hill Road (6.3 miles), though the stations at the latter can probably be seen once you passed the exits, launching just the sort of in-car recriminations that end up being the highlight of so many car trips.
Eventually you end up at a T-intersection with Rt. 4/Pennsylvania Avenue, where if you are lucky--and clearly you aren't--you will guess that you should turn left, and be rewarded with a BP about a mile later, a total of 14.1 miles and God knows how many minutes since you exited the Southwest Freeway.
If instead you decide to keep heading forward in your same general direction, you could be all the way to the Sunoco in Lothian before you at last find your station, though of course you would totally have run out of gas somewhere during the 19.7-mile divorce-inducing trek.
The reality is that Pennsylvania Avenue SE is a frantic driver's best bet from the South Capitol Street exit, either by getting back on 695, heading across the 11th Street Bridge, and then going north on DC-295 to the Sunoco at the Pennsylvania Avenue interchange (2.7 miles), or by getting yourself north of the freeway and then taking a pick of the stations at 9th, 12th, or 13th (we're just going to ignore the Platinum-Coated Exxon at 4th and Pennsylvania), all of which are 1.5 miles-ish from the exit.
Residents figure these things out, so there's not the same scenario of needing gas, seeing a sign, and expecting a relatively simple path to a fill-up. And it's not exactly a news flash that gas stations are becoming increasingly scarce in the downtown core.
But maybe this poor blue sign could be moved to the spiffy newish 11th Street/Southeast Blvd. exit.
Ditto on all of this for the similar blue signs pointing drivers coming south out of the 3rd Street Tunnel to the South Capitol Street exit.
(And to think that this was originally just going to be nothing more than a snarky tweet of the photo of the blue sign!)
Comments (9)
   
 
 More About South Capitol St.

JDLand.com Home

Comments

Alan says: (1/11/15 8:42 PM)
While out walking the dog, I get stopped multiple times each month by people asking where the gas station is.


SWer says: (1/12/15 3:31 AM)
I moved to SW (from Nova) just as I began to see all of the gas stations disappear? I reached out to the SW Preisident Kael Anderson to see when any would return. His reply was that they would not. That DC was moving towards a more green, walkable/bikeable community. That's perfect for any other city....especially one that is not inviting visitors in via the baseball stadium & future stadiums. Further, what is proposed in the meantime? I moved here with a car & am not able to walk or bike to my clients in VA, MD, NJ & NY. This green plan by the SWNA would have been appreciated before I decided on moving to SW. However, I doubt seriously that SWNA really had any "play" in the matter. Ya think?


E. Masquinongy says: (1/12/15 10:41 AM)
Loss of gas station is not limited to urban areas, but is a nationwide issue: the total number of US gas stations has been in decline for years. link shows a decline from north of 200,000 in 1994 to 168,000 in 2004. The current number is 121,000.

What causes the loss of gas stations is the loss of profitability; high land cost and low margin for fuel sales. (Joe Mano says his company is mainly real estate investment.) It has little to do with "DC is moving towards a more green, walkable/bikeable community".


JES says: (1/12/15 11:36 AM)
Regardless of DC's green initiatives, DC isn't obligated to provide gas stations right off its highways for the convenience of through traffic. There are plenty of gas stations just off the highways in MD and VA and if you're on a road trip that's longer than 10 or 15 miles, you're guaranteed to pass at least one of them. As far as local residents buying gas, there are still plenty of places on Capitol Hill to get gas. You just have to drive over to PA Ave SE.


MJM says: (1/12/15 11:54 AM)
Oh you can get gas on Cap Hill but you might as well............(NSFW). Have you noticed the the little price gouger at PA and 4th SE is almost $2 more per gallon than places in Arlington?


JD says: (1/12/15 11:56 AM)
Why do you think I called it the Platinum Coated Exxon? :-)


Realist says: (1/12/15 11:57 AM)
Long time reader, first time commenter...LOL for "19.7-mile divorce-inducing trek"! Poor/missing/misleading signage is one of my pet peeves, and we certainly have plenty of those in the DC metro area. Desperately needing gas and following a gas sign to non-existent gas stations is infuriating. I had a flat on a rental car on I-95 recently and followed a blue gas station sign, only to drive over 5 miles with my heart in my mouth before I found a gas station. Perhaps the appropriate DC or US highway agency can make your suggested sign changes promptly and without the need for extensive studies and stakeholder meetings.


Tom says: (1/12/15 8:33 PM)
SW'er, try the Exxon and Sunoco up on Pa. Ave. near 12th/13 st., SE. Not that far.


Tom says: (1/12/15 8:33 PM)
SW'er, try the Exxon and Sunoco up on Pa. Ave. near 12th/13 st., SE. Not that far.

Add a Comment:

Comments are closed for this post.

JDLand Comments RSS Feed


 More News


See All Current News Items | Full Blog Archive

 
 Recent Posts

bdj on Nom News: There’s some signs up on the Tishman Speyer development on 1st and K/I that name...
conngs0 on Nom News: The return of Congressional Cleaners if fantastic news! Same ownership and ever...
JD on Nom News: It will be the return of Congressional Cleaners (the place that used to be at Ca...
GarfieldPark on Nom News: Good news for I and NJ Ave residents: signs on door of I ST space has a dry clea...
conngs0 on Nom News: I agree that it's strange that the senior center appears untouched (perhaps work...
walt on Nom News: Anybody have an update on the reconstruction for the Senior Center? It's nice ...
  
Get JDLand Updates In Your Inbox!



City Government Data for Near Southeast Records added or updated recently displayed here; click the "archive" links to see additional detail and older records. All data from DC Government databases and RSS feeds. JDLand takes no responsibility for errors, omissions, etc. (read CapStat disclaimer). Data is retrieved daily.

Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 05/23/19
1000 B/O 7TH ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft First Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 05/22/19
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/17/19
500 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 05/17/19
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree - Felony (all Other Larceny)
 05/17/19
1100 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   ROBBERY
Assault W/i To Commit Robbery (simple Assault)
 05/16/19
1000 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 05/15/19
300 K ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/14/19
70 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/12/19
1100 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 05/11/19
200 B/O K ST SE   ROBBERY  05/11/19
300 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/10/19
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/08/19
1300 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 05/08/19
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 05/01/19
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 04/29/19
1500 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST   THEFT
Theft First Degree (theft From Building)
 04/26/19
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 04/25/19
300 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 04/25/19
1200 B/O HALF ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 04/24/19

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1100 2ND PL SE   
04/30/19 
CBRE / HELEN M MAPPLEBECK
TL1900080 / CONSTRUCTION
First generation finish out of Suite #100 at Square 769N Building, first floor for a 1,374 SF hair salon
   
05/17/19 
CAPPER 769N CONDOMINIUM / WILLIAM J. ANDERSON
P1906344 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/22/19 
HELEN M. MAPPLEBECK / HEE YEOL HWANG
E1907663 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/22/19 
CBRE / DOMINIC E TOTARO
M1902700 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1331 4TH ST SE CU   
05/01/19 
FC 1331 LLC / BEN BEDDO; BEN BEDDO
SG1900282 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALL WALL MOUNTED BLADE SIGN WITH EXTERNAL ILLUMINATION. SIGN DOES NOT ENCROACH PUBLIC SPACE.
   
05/09/19 
FC 1331 LLC / BEN BEDDO
B1908465 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLATION OF RESTAURANT SUMMER GARDEN WITHIN PROPERTY LINE.
1331 4TH ST SE R-2   
04/29/19 
FC 1331 LLC / ALAN W. CARTER
E1906870 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
04/29/19 
FC 1331 LLC / ALAN W. CARTER
E1906871 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1017 4TH ST SE   
05/17/19 
MIKE MORAWSKI / KYLE YOST; KYLE YOST
SOL1901148 / CONSTRUCTION
rooftop solar pv system, less than 4' above roof
150 I ST SE   
05/21/19 
WILLIAM C SMITH CO / null
E1907650 / SUPPLEMENTAL
250 M ST SE   
05/20/19 
SWUARE 769 LLC / PATRICK B. MCATEER
P1906137 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/20/19 
SQUARE 769 LLC / CHRISTOPHER J. PETRAKES
M1902543 / SUPPLEMENTAL
880 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/29/19 
880 NEW JERSEY AVE LLC / null
M1902401 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
05/02/19 
880 NEW JERSEY AVENUE LLC / null
M1902440 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1200 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 7TH FL 20590   
05/13/19 
JBG/FEDERAL CENTER LLC / null
P1906172 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1200 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 7TH 20590   
05/01/19 
JBG/ FEDERAL CENTER LIC / null
P1905855 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
05/02/19 
SQUARE 742, LLC / SAM HOLLEN; NA
B1909008 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR RENOVATION TO 6TH FLOOR OFFICE SPACE. DEMISING PARTITIONS, FURNITURE, MECHANICAL , ELECTRICAL AND LIFE SAFETY. 980 SQUARE FEET. ALION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1200 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 20590   
05/09/19 
JBG/FEDERAL CENTER LLC / CARLOS E. MONTES
P1906111 / SUPPLEMENTAL
79 POTOMAC AVE SE   
05/08/19 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / null
E1907222 / SUPPLEMENTAL
227 TINGEY ST SE   
05/10/19 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
B1909472 / CONSTRUCTION
First Extension to B1801871, to Expire on 11 / 25 / 2019. Original Scope: Yards Parcel L-2. New 11-story mixed use building with residential, retail on ground level, and underground parking garage. TPR. 6-month extension of permit B1801871.
AH = After Hours; B = Alteration & Repair; D = Demolition; E = Electrical; FB = Boiler; M = Mechanical; P = Plumbing and Gas; PC = Post Card; R = Raze; SG = Sign; TL = Tenant Layout; TN = Tent; RW = Retaining Wall;

Real Property Sales Archive  
No commercial transaction records added or modified in the past two weeks.


Project Directory
Completed
Yards/Guild Apts. ('19)
Capper/The Harlow ('19)
New DC Water HQ ('19)
Yards/Bower Condos ('19)
Virginia Ave. Tunnel ('19)
99 M ('18)
Agora ('18)
1221 Van ('18)
District Winery ('17)
Insignia on M ('17)
F1rst/Residence Inn ('17)
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Cap. ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)


Overviews
Capper/Carrollsburg
Anacostia Riverwalk
New Jersey Avenue
M Street
South Capitol Street
The Yards
Lower 8th Street
East M Street
Boathouse Row





                  © Copyright 2019 JD.