Just A Phone Call Away New York City's Got the 311

The old axiom about New York City government is that it's a bureaucratic hell, an exasperating nightmare in which John Q. Public gets passed from department to department whenever a problem crops up and immediate assistance is needed.

Does your upstairs neighbor play his stereo at all hours of the night? Is the pothole on the corner big enough to double as the neighborhood swimming hole? When is the next garbage pickup for your building?

Well, answers to those types of questions and more are just a phone call away with the debut of 311, a citizen service hotline where operators can answer frequently asked questions and respond to quality of life issues like unreasonable noise, dangerous road conditions or a broken streetlight. The new hotline for non-emergency service calls launched in March, and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is staffed by professionally trained operators who will answer all types of questions, log service requests and refer callers to appropriate city agencies, according to the mayor's office.

One, Two"¦ Sound Off!

The

311 hotline, according to mayoral spokesman Jonathan Werbell, has logged 720,000 calls as of May 11, with callers sounding off about everything from noisy neighborhoods to potholes to irascible landlords.

Noise is the number one issue on the minds of city residents followed by questions about the smoking ban and requests for smoking cessation information; pothole complaints; blocked driveways; traffic signal defects; landlord complaints; requests for information about the earned income tax credit; requests for information on chlorofluorocarbon/freon removal; requests to repair defective streetlights; and rules for alternate side of the street parking.

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4 Comments

  • pissed off property owner on Friday, January 16, 2009 3:47 PM
    so what you can file a complaint for a blocked driveway-- no one ever comes to check it out or to do anything about it -- My neighbors, the parents from the school across the street, city workers and con ed block my driveway on a regular basis -- it is getting worse and not better as some folk have been raised with no common decency or any sort of manners or compassion and seem to think they can part wherever they like and screw everyone-- Then there are the folk who follow the rules and what do they get for it ? CRAP on a stick --if NYC wants to meet its parking ticket quota I suggest they come and patrol 79th ave in Glendale Queens where PS 113Q school is -- If only i could make a living at writing tickets what a goldmine ..........they park cleary where it says no parking so the school buses can get on the block and drop off the kids welll I dont even want to have a weekday off any more because of this situation
  • I have called 311 complaining about a noisy neighbor with loud music at all times specially from 8pm- 5am. 7 days a week and I have called the cops and they have came 4 times daily and haven't arrest or ticket anybody so they have no respect for them. this is New York City Housing-LUIS Armstrong Houses in Brooklyn and Housing Police S3 25 CENTRAL AVENUE.they also use drugs and alcohol and have a billiard in this apt. it's a club. they are retired and they have young people all ages coming back and forth 24 hrs a day..so working people can't rest. 311 doesn't answer when I call them lately for the past 3 weeks, so may they are not taking noise complaint anymore. this is NY CITY
  • I just made a complaint about this unfit nasty house on 169 & college in the bronx..it smells like cat urine all over the place! I gag when I visit family..so tired of my aunt complaining I called 311 myself...but I dont have a comment more like a question, does 311 give your info to the owner when they come to inspect the house?
  • People loitering and noise and smoking pot in the stoop very unsafe