D.C., like Manhattan, is a place that’s remarkably easy to navigate. The streets are straight. They are numbered, or in alphabetical order. There are a few avenues and circles and what not but it’s easy to find your way around using the street grid. Helping residents or tourists find their way around doesn’t seem like it needs to be a priority for the District.
Yet D.C. goes beyond the call of duty. I don’t think we give the District enough credit for those blue signs that tell you where things are. In particular, pointing out which direction to walk for Metro stations is a real benefit. Tourists must really love it, but even I definitely find myself not remembering exactly which intersection a station like Archives is on and looking at sign to tell me. It’s not a big thing—it probably shifts a few people who otherwise would get lost and hail a cab into the subway, but not many more—but it’s exactly the small, cheap kind of action that gets you a few more people walking and taking transit at the margins.