Top 5 DC neighborhoods, by MobilityScore

Posted by Rachel Karitis on 9/22/17 9:15 AM

All neighborhoods in a city are not created with equal mobility. Even in a city like Washington, DC, with so many different ways to get around, some areas are going to be better-served than others.

(What precisely defines the boundaries of a neighborhood can be ambiguous. For the purposes of this list, we’ve decided to use the map you find on the DC neighborhood Wikipedia page, reposted and discussed in depth over at Greater Greater Washington.)

5. Adams Morgan - 81

Colorful street of Adams Morgan
A row of stores on 18th Street in Adams Morgan. (Photo courtesy 

Washington DC’s official website describes Adams Morgan as “the neighborhood of hipsters, tacos, and chic decor,” which is true. But there’s also falafel! In all seriousness, 18th Street is a bustling hub of activity at any time of day, and it’s just a short walk over to Meridian Hill Park.

The area is served by the 42 and 43 buses with close access to the S-series buses on 16th Street as well. Unfortunately, it’s not particularly nearby any one Metro stop — the U Street station is at least a 15-20 minute walk.

4. Dupont Circle - 83

Citygoers sitting at Dupont Circle fountain
The very heart of Dupont Circle. (Photo courtesy 

Perhaps the most straightforward of neighborhood names, Dupont Circle actually encompasses more than the name suggests. This area extends, depending on who you ask, all the way to 16th Street and up to U Street, bordering Logan Circle, Adams Morgan, and the U Street Corridor. You can find local bookstores, happening bistros, and plenty of beautiful homes.

There is, of course, a Dupont Circle Metro station, and most major bus lines that pass through the area. There are plenty of bikeshare stations, and the area is pretty central to anywhere you’d want to go.

3. Shaw - 85

Shaw townhouses in the sun
A row of houses in Shaw, soaking up the sun. (Photo courtesy  True District.)

 Historically, Shaw was a shining hub of African-American culture. Now it is a millennial enclave, home to increasingly excellent restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. These days, it’s hipper than ever, and its prime location plays no small part.

Served by the Shaw-Howard University Metro station’s Yellow and Green lines, the neighborhood also has excellent bus availability connecting it to other parts of the city. Bikeshare, carshare, and rideshare access round out its excellent mobility.

2. Logan Circle - 91 

Studio Theatre, Logan Circle
Studio Theatre, on the corner of 14th St and P St, in Logan Circle. (Photo courtesy

Is Logan Circle cooler than Shaw? It depends who you ask. It does have a Whole Foods, a very short walk to the Trader Joe’s, and about a million cool restaurants on 14th Street. From M Street NW to S Street NW, you can walk from Shake Shack to an Instagram-ready plant store.

You can easily access all Metro lines by walking to either the Shaw-Howard University, Farragut West, or Dupont Circle stations. There’s also the 50-series buses that run up and down 14th Street, which will take you all the way to Silver Spring if you’re trying to get out of the city.

1. Downtown - 95

Streets of downtown DC
A view of Downtown DC, in the heart of the city. (Photo courtesy CB International.)

Downtown: below Dupont and Logan circles, between West End and Penn Quarter, above the White House. Also known as: Jose Andres’s main haunt. There are also plenty of office spaces (including our former one) and an awful lot of hotels.

Being in the center of town, the excellent MobilityScore is no surprise. You have close access to every Metro line, all sorts of bus lines, the Circulator, all kinds of bikeshare stations... and that's about all you can ask for! From Downtown, you can get anywhere you want to go with ease. It's up to you to choose.

What do you think?

Does this change your mind about any of these neighborhoods? Have something to say about the way we defined the boundaries? Sound off on Twitter @TransitScreen.

Topics: Mobility, MobilityScore