As we reported back in February, the Street Use & Urban Forestry division of the Seattle Department of Transportation is embarking on a series of customer service improvements. It’s a great time to work toward enhanced efficiency, as permit applications for work in the right of way are up approximately 30% over this same time last year.
In the first quarter of 2014, more intuitive and user friendly permit application forms were launched, and more permit technicians were hired to provide one-on-one guidance at the Permit Services Counter. The Permit Services team reviews, issues and inspects about 32,000 permits annually.
With such high volumes, the goal is to continue refining the way permits are processed. That said you may not know the different ways to go about getting a permit from Street Use & Urban Forestry. Besides coming to see us at the Permit Services Counter the easiest way to apply for a permit is with our now fillable PDF forms…
The fillable PDF forms guide permit applicants to enter the necessary information, and include both the required general Street Use (top of each PDF compilation) and project-specific permit application forms in one place. That added efficiency for the thousands of permit applications that come in each year is expected to significantly improve processing speeds.
The work comes from listening to customers’ concerns, as well as identifying ways to address the challenges raised. On the horizon, in the effort to better serve permit applicants, is an entirely new online application system; an undertaking expected to take place in the next several years.
By ensuring critical permit information is submitted consistently, with user friendly fillable PDF forms guiding applicants and added applicant coaching at the Permit Services Counter, we hope to make the permitting process more pleasant!