Public Space Permit Applications
Applications for permits to use or occupy public space can be submitted at the Permitting Center, located at 1100 4th Street, SW, 2nd Floor, between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:15 pm, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Thursday the hours are from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The Permit Office is on the third floor. Applicants must go to the second floor to apply for permits. There are various types of Public Space Permits issued.
DDOT has launched a web application permitting system called the Transportation Online Permit System (TOPS) which will allow users to apply online for public space permits. In the meantime, printable copies of the most commonly used Public Space Permit Applications are available online.
More information on Public Space Permits and the permitting process can be found from the following:
Public Space Permit Lookup Tool
The GIS (geographic information system) enabled Public Space Permit Lookup Tool gives the public the ability to see permits on an interactive map. The user can enter a specific address or area and pull up all the Public Space Occupancy and Construction permits issued for that location or within that area, and see information including who the permits were granted to and for how long. They can also see permit applications that are pending approval and/or pending payment, and can export the data for the selected area in spreadsheet format.
Preliminary Design Review Meeting (PDRM)
Public Space Management also hosts Preliminary Design Review Meetings (PDRM) to discuss and facilitate the review of proposed streetscape improvements related to complex or large-scale projects or residential developments.
Public Space Oversight
The System Inspection and Oversight Division (SIOD) is the investigative and enforcement arm of the District Department of Transportation and monitor all activities which may impact the public space. The SIOD conducts inspections of the work for which permits are issued to assure that permit holders adhere to permit conditions, requirements and are in compliance with DC laws.
The SIOD also investigates and initiates enforcement actions in cases of work performed in public space without a permit. To report a possible public space violation, please call 311.
Public Space Policy
The Public Space Policy Branch analyzes, develops, implements and manages programs and regulations that affect public space. The work of this office is to design public space policies that will improve the quality of life for residents and effectively manage the competing uses and demands on public space. Managing the new bus shelter program, designing alternative street parking strategies and developing public space regulations or standards are among the Policy Branch programs. The Policy Branch may also act as the liaison between stakeholders and the District Department of Transportation.
Public Space Committee Meetings
The Public Space Committee meets monthly to review and render a decision on a variety of types of permit applications for the use and occupancy of the public right-of-way that do not fall within the regular permitting process such as: sidewalk cafes; over-height retaining walls; over-height fences; and security bollards. The specific dates, times and location of these meetings are available online. For additional information about the Public Space Committee, or to electronically receive Public Space Committee informational notices, please send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Realm Design Manual
The Public Realm Design Manual is a comprehensive review of the District’s public space policies and regulations. It will help business owners, developers, and residents better understand current public space regulations and to determine when waivers from public space regulations are appropriate.
Proposed Public Space Regulations
On November 11 the District Department of Transportation re-published proposed regulations on the Ward 1 Enhanced Residential Permit Parking program. The proposed regulations were originally published on June 17, 2011; the public has 10 days, until November 21, to comment on this proposal.
Comments on these proposed regulations may be sent to Policy.DDOT@dc.gov.
Locate Property/Public Space Lines
To help resolve questions or confusion concerning the location of property/public space lines, information is now available in a Geographic Information System (GIS) map format. Click on "DC Atlas All-in-One Service" to view the map. For a first time user, click on "DC Atlas All-in-One User Guide" prior to opening the map. To learn more, including how to interpret the public space lines on the "1998 Archived ROW Maps." Please note that these maps are for historic reference only. For assistance in determining the public space lines or for public space permitting questions, please call Public Space Management at (202) 442-4670.
Neighborhood Block Parties
Effective Monday, April 23, 2012, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will begin managing the public space permitting process for neighborhood block parties. Residents seeking to obtain a public space permit for an event on their block will need to submit their request directly to DDOT instead of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA).
The change will also streamline the process and set up a one-stop-shop for residents to submit their applications through DDOT’s Transportation Online Permit System (TOPS) . TOPS is DDOT’s fully automated online permitting system for all public space permits. TOPS allows residents to conveniently apply for a block party permit 15 days prior to the event date. Agency reviews will be completed through TOPS. Also applicants can visit the permit center at 1100 4th Street, SW. Our program support staff will be happy to walk you through the permitting process.
- The following criteria governing street closures for Neighborhood Block Parties will remain in effect:
- Applicant must be an adult resident (21 years or older) of the block being closed.
- Area must not exceed two intersecting streets (i.e., must be limited to one block).
- Street must be reopened no later than 10:00 pm
- Applicant must obtain consent of 51% of households on the block.
- Vending is prohibited. No sales, fees, or donations shall be solicited or accepted at the event.
- No sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages allowed.
- Accessibility for emergency equipment via an unobstructed 20-foot emergency access lane must be maintained at all times.
- Posting of street closure/no parking signs must be completed no less than 72 hours prior to date of event.
See the frequently asked questions about neighborhood block parties.
Refund of Deposits to the Construction Community
For refund of deposits to the construction community, please contact Tiffany Tenbrook at (202) 741-5330, desk, or (202) 442-4670, front desk, regarding matters pertaining to refunds of deposits, releases of letters or credit and bonds.
Sidewalk Café Overview
The District encourages restaurants and other qualifying businesses to open sidewalk cafés, wherever feasible. Since sidewalks are primarily intended for pedestrians and regulated by the DDOT as part of the city’s transportation network, the District reviews each sidewalk café application to make sure minimum requirements for clear sidewalks and seating are followed. This guarantees that cafés are a welcoming and safe addition to city streets.
- Call DDOT’s Public Space Permit Office at (202) 442-4670 to learn more about sidewalk café application requirements and the Public Space Committee review process.
- Call the DC Office of Planning’s Public Space Program at (202) 442-7600 to learn more about urban design options to consider when developing plans for the location and layout of sidewalk cafés.
Streetscape for the Downtown Area
A streetscape plan must be approved for any project within the “Downtown Streetscape Area” where 50 percent of the adjoining public space (including sidewalks) is planned for construction. For a detailed listing of all the streets that fall within the Downtown Streetscape Area and an application and instructions for review of a Downtown Streetscape Plan, refer to the Downtown Streetscape Regulations [PDF].
A listing of Suspended Streets, those streets that have recently been restored or repaved by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), is available online. In accordance with Title 24 DCMR, Chapter 34, these roads are suspended from excavation for 5 years unless a waiver is issued by DDOT.
Temporary Traffic Control Manual
The guidelines provided in this manual may be used as a resource in preparing a traffic control plan to submit with your public space permit application for your proposed work zone or construction staging area on public space. For more information, see the Standards and Guidelines section.