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Before You Scream At Your Neighbor...

Ever wondered if a construction project in your neighborhood is actually legit? Now you can find out for yourself with DDOT's Public Space Permit Lookup Tool—an unwieldy name, yes. But, a helpful tool since it lets you look up permits on an interactive map. This is part of the Transportation Online Permitting System (TOPS) that has had a couple of other upgrades. Read all the details in the press release after the jump. [CurbedInbox]

*For Immediate Release
*Tuesday, November 1, 2011

*DDOT Releases New Online Permitting Tools**/
/*/Public Can Now Search Geographically for Permit Details/*//*

(Washington, D.C.) – The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today announced it has added new features to its Transportation Online Permitting System (TOPS) that makes the program even more user friendly for the public. The changes will make it easier for some businesses to apply and pay for permits, and also enable residents to search online for information about public space permits.

*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 canexport the data for the selected area in spreadsheet format.

“We get a lot of inquiries about permits and this new tool puts the information directly in the hands of our residents,” said DDOT Director Terry Bellamy. “They can now check themselves to see if work being done in public space on their block is permitted, and whether the applicant is abiding by the provisions of that permit.”

The Permit Lookup Tool was developed in house by DDOT’s Office of Information Technology and Innovation (OITI) in partnership with the District’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO). By utilizing OCTO’s mapping and geocoding services DDOT was able to develop a robust tool to better serve the public.

*Permits for Oversize/Overweight Vehicles*

DDOT has also enhanced TOPS to create a more efficient method for commercial vehicle operators to apply for Annual Tags and Single Haul permits for oversize/overweight vehicles:

·TOPS will now store operator and vehicle information for frequent users of the system. Users can select from a list of vehicles and/or operators and auto-fill application fields without having to retype information.

·Users can now create a company account and have employees linked to the business or organization. Company administrators can manage user accounts and employees can share information and the status of applications.

·Annual renewals of Truck Tags can be completed with the click of one button. No additional information has to be provided as long as the vehicle was applied for the previous year. All vehicle information will be carried over and online payment is available. Tags can be mailed out to a business address.

·To help reduce duplicate applications for multiple vehicles the permitting system tracks the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) already pending in the system.

*Online Payments*

Permit applicants now have the ability to pay online for Construction related fees and Inspections fees. Once an application is approved and pending payment, a user can pay for the permit and the associated fees with either Visa or MasterCard. After the payment is verified, the user will be able to print the permit at home or office without visiting the permit office.

*QR Coded Permits*

Description: Description: cid:image006.jpg@01CC8EF4.0D69BE60 Residents curious about what is happening in their neighborhood can now find out by scanning Quick Response (QR) Codes printed on the ‘Emergency No Parking’ and ‘Reserve Parking’ signs DDOT issues. Using a smart phone residents can download a free application that scans and reads QR codes, which are two-dimensional barcodes now used for a variety of purposes. Scanning a QR code on a ‘no parking’ sign will retrieve detailed information about why the sign was posted.

*Utility Work*

Utility companies now have the ability to submit emergency work notifications online for loss of vital services, prior to applying for any permits. DDOT’s Public Space Office is immediately notified of the emergency and an inspector is deployed to the site.

*Coming Soon*

Starting next month applicants will also be able to go online to schedule inspections for construction in public space. That change will improve the current process for refunding damage deposits.

*TOPS Overview*

DDOT Transportation Online Permitting System (TOPS) allows users to apply for permits from their home or office computer. In many cases, permits can also be printed at home eliminating the need to visit the Public Space Office in person.

TOPS is available on the DDOT website at or directly at .

Since its launch in December 2009, more than 56,000 permit applications have been entered in TOPS and more than 17,000 permits have been issued automatically by the system without requiring any assistance or approval by DDOT staff. There are now more than 22,000 registered users and nearly 1,000 registered companies.