The demolition of the old Washington Post building and work on new construction in its place caused an uproar when the many pedestrians and bicyclists who regularly travel routes near the 15th Street NW and L Street NW site realized their protected spaces were being taken away, a move expected to last a whopping two years. There is currently no route for pedestrians along the northern side of L Street, and we have already heard of at least one incident in which a pedestrian was struck in the unsafe mixing zone. The closure came as an insult to advocates who pushed for the 2014 law and subsequent DDOT rulemaking that required construction sites to provide safe accommodation to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Now DDOT has taken an important step toward Open Data. As of today DDOT will begin publishing Traffic Control Plans (TCPs) for occupancy permits at construction staging areas online. People who rely on city sidewalks can now use this tool to identify potential problems and demand better accommodations from the city and construction permit holders.
The information in an open data format through the Transportation Online Permitting System (TOPS).
DDOT announced that through TOPS, residents can now download TCPs and any permit issued by DDOT. To view TCPs for construction staging events, users must search for occupancy permits. The data will be available in open format to facilitate analysis, and can be accessed using DDOT’s mobile app. The TCPs show where portions of roadways, sidewalks, bike lanes and other types of public infrastructure will be temporarily occupied or altered as part of an approved occupancy permit.
Searches for construction and occupancy permits can be performed on permits that are up to 6 months old. Additionally, unlike some TOPS features, you do not have be a registered user to perform a permit search.
For more information about TOPS, please visit www.tops.ddot.dc.gov.
Following advocacy efforts by All Walks DC and others, Mayor Bowser announced that as part of her Vision Zero Action Plan, DDOT will begin offering greater access to agency data, including approved TCPs. DDOT has also taken steps to release better information on crashes in which bicyclists and pedestrians are struck. However, much of this information is siloed in different agencies, meaning DC is still falling short in making available the kind of comprehensive data on crashes that our peer cities are releasing.