December 31st marked the second birthday of Philadelphia’s 311 extension, that direct line to City Hall designed to help citizens with anything from business-zoning issues to neighbors who won’t pick up after their dogs. So how’s it been working? Here, some reviews.
“The service has been inconsistent. So now I just call the city departments directly if I have an issue.” — Audrey Taichman, Owner of Twenty Manning Grill and Audrey Claire restaurants
“I think overall the system works pretty well, though it’s best for simple repair issues.” — Matt Ruben, President of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association
“I called in about people parking in the bike lanes on Spruce and Pine. I never got a response. Though in its defense, the government isn’t cued to respond to bikers.”
— Michael McGettigan, Co-owner of Trophy Bikes
“It’s a great idea, but it hasn’t quite lived up to its promise. I’ve found that going onto the city’s website and reporting a complaint — like illegal dumping, one of my favorites — produces the best results.” — Steve Duross, Co-owner of Duross & Langel
“I don’t think it works. People are just referred to a department. It’s added 40 more people to 311 instead of to the departments themselves.” — Bill Green, City Councilman-at-Large