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Block Party Permits Will Now Go Through DDOT

Block parties can still take place, but permits will no longer go through the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA). Instead file that paperwork through the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). See the full press release after the break, especially if you want to know the rules (shut down by 10pm, 51% of block residents must agree, etc.).

DDOT To Manage Public Space Permitting Process For Neighborhood Block Parties

All Block Party Permit Requests Now Will Be Processed Through DDOT

(Washington, D.C.) 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 permit from any remote location with online access, and it has reduced the 15 business day processing timeline for permit requests down to seven business days.

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 p.m.
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.

More information about DDOT’s Public Space Permits is available online at

Image from Shutterstock/Stanislaw Tokarski