Best D.C. Government Agency
Department of Transportation
Figuring out which is the highest-performing District government agency is a process of elimination. Out of contention are all agencies that have been either subject to court administration or subject of a multi-part investigative series in the Washington Post. Those criteria rule out pretty much every social-services provider. Next to exit the race are the cops and the schools. Yes, there’s been progress in these agencies under Chief Cathy Lanier and Chancellor Michelle Rhee, respectively. Yet these bureaucracies have been mired in muck for too long to reach the top in 2010. What’s left? Mainly the yuppie agencies, the ones that, when they screw up, prompt lots of chatter on blogs and Listservs within the city’s gentrification plume: DPW, DDOT, DMV. Of these three elite service providers, DMV is the first to get voted off the island, if only because of the decision to eliminate vehicle safety inspections yet maintain the inspection fee. That leaves DPW and DDOT in an arm-wrestling match for supremacy. On the merits, DPW looks like the clear winner, especially after completing a round of trash collection right in the middle of the Snowpocalypse. Yet I am going with DDOT on the basis of its relentless and admirable quest to make the District a more walkable and bikeable city. “Contraflow” says it all.