For a while, the District has been one of the hottest localities in the country for development projects.
Currently, there are more than 60 cranes hanging over construction sites in the city. The District has also become a “Top 10 City” for density of population per square mile in the nation. This break-neck development leads to increased economic opportunities (2,174 construction jobs and 1,419 permanent jobs were estimated to have been created by the 19 large-scale development projects that were completed in FY 2013).
With all of these factors in play, DDOT is running full-steam ahead trying to keep pace with the public space permits that all of this continuing development requires. In the past three fiscal years, the agency has been getting exponentially better at “getting it done.”
- FY 2011 – 22,658 permits issued
- FY 2012 – 30,621 permits issued
- FY 2013 – 39,594 permits issued
This equates to 92,873 permits issued in the last three fiscal years and a 75 percent increase in permits issued between FY 2011 and FY 2013. These figures are sizeable, especially when compared to amount of permits issued by similarly-sized cities: Baltimore issued 7,133 permits in FY 2012; Denver issued 11,760 in the same fiscal year.
Despite shouldering such a heavy workload, DDOT’s Public Space Regulations Administration (PSRA) does not sacrifice customer service. In fact, their efforts at serving District residents and visitors throughout the public space permit process might be more noteworthy than their Samson-esque efforts of keeping pace with development in the District.
For more than a year, PSRA has helped DDOT receive “A”-level marks under Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s Grade DC initiative, which ranks District agencies’ customer service competency. In FY 2013 alone, PSRA had 167,000 customer service “touches,” which combines customers served through permits reviewed, calls received, inspections, and office walk-ins.
DDOT is doing everything it can to welcome new development, and the opportunities it brings, to the District.