Most people write about their dealings with bureaucrats to complain. Not this time.
The process for renewing your passport has been streamlined - and it worked very well for me. You can download the form and instructions on line. You can get anyone not related to you to be a reference (no need to go looking for a registered professional) and if you are just replacing a current or recently expired passport you don't even need to get the pictures signed.
One puzzler for me was that the office in Richmond has moved - something I could have checked on the downloaded form. But I know where the passport office is - I've been there before only a little while ago (in my mental map) - but all there is now at that location is a big hole. Fortunately the photo shop that used to do a brisk trade in passport snaps has a sign on its door telling you where to go.
I was in and out of the passport office in ten minutes precisely. I did not have to wait in any line up and was seen immediately at two separate counters. I don't know why it cannot be done at one, probably some seniority thing. And while there was capacity to deal with lengthy line ups, today at 3pm there were none. And the service was polite and efficient.