Dawson Street is a major one-way street running southbound through Downtown Raleigh. Together with McDowell Street, Dawson Street carries US 70/401 and NC 50 through the city, connecting Capital Boulevard to South Saunders Street. Dawson Street is separated into north and south segments by Hillsborough Street.
Dawson Street begins at Lane Street on the north side of Downtown Raleigh. Carrying three lanes southbound through the central business district, the roadway is a straight line throughout the majority of its route, with the only deviations from its path being a slight jog in the roadway at Lenoir Street to allow the street to cross under the CSX bridge and a southwestern curve at the interchange with Western and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards.