Public Space and Right of Way


As the agency responsible for the maintenance of the District's public space, and fully aware that the way public space is designed impacts, residents, workers, and visitors, DDOT shall ensure consistent application and enforcement of public space policies and regulations that give the District a distinct character defined by open spaces, which results in a greener and more walkable city.

DDOT shall review and approve public space permit requests within public rights-of-way; maintain official public space records; perform regular inspections of the transportation system infrastructure; and with the consent of the Chief Property Management Officer, acquire real property, by purchase or lease, grant or gift for use by DDOT, and dispose of real property through sale, lease, or other authorized method, and exercise other acquisition and property disposition authority delegated to the Mayor. (DDOT Establishment Act, D.C. Code § 50-921.04). 

Public Space refers to all the publicly-owned property between the property lines on a street, park, or other public property, as such property lines are shown on the records of the District, and includes any roadway, tree space, sidewalk, or parking between such property lines. 

Public Right-of-Way (ROW) refers to the surface, the air space above the surface (including air space immediately adjacent to a private structure located on Public Space or in a Public Right-of-Way), and the area below the surface of any public street, bridge, tunnel, highway, lane, path, alley, sidewalk, or boulevard.

Also, see, Public Space Permits

Procedures & Services

DDOT Right of Way Policies and Procedures Manual

Policy for the Use of the Public Right-of-Way for Security Related Purposes

Policy for the Use of the Public Right-of-Way for Non-Security Purposes

See Related

Additional Information

Legal References

Design Standards & Specifications

Transportation Plans & Studies

  • n/a

Other Resources