It often seems to me to be the case that public services are worse-provided in the poorest neighborhoods where needs are highest. But my impression is not the same as a systematic study. Lindsay Pettingill, a Georgetown graduate student, has undertaken such a study to look at one aspect of this—response times to calls to DC’s 311 hotline by neighborhood. Daniel Hopkins has the chart:
The city started out with large gaps, though no clear discriminatory pattern. The worst-served neighborhoods where the fancy west of Rock Creek ones and then the rest was all pretty similar. During Anthony Williams’ administration there were large improvements in response time and a narrowing of the gap, and under Adrian Fenty both of those trends have continued at a more modest pace.