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City Launches Online Map of 311 Complaints

By DNAinfo Staff on February 16, 2011 3:53pm

The city's new 311 tracking map displays residents's complaints at block-by-block street level.
The city's new 311 tracking map displays residents's complaints at block-by-block street level.
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By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

CITY HALL — From complaints about disorderly youth in Hell's Kitchen to concerns about an unregistered x-ray machine on the Upper East Side, a new online map is putting residents' irks in full public view.

Up until now, the tens of thousands of calls logged by 311 each day have been largely hidden from the residents making those calls. But now, thanks to the "Survey Request" map unveiled by the city Wednesday, residents can access those complaints in real time to see exactly what's happening block-by-block.

"Citizens have a right to know where the problems and trouble spots are in their neighborhood," Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith said at a press conference at City Hall, where city officials demonstrated how the program works.

The new program displays both open and recently closed 311 complaints about everything from noise and construction to potholes and overflowing trash bins. Results can be searched by address as well as by intersection, zip code, community board and council district.

The map tells users, for instance, that two residents who live on Rivington Street between between Ludlow and Essex streets called 311 to complain about loud noise, prompting visits from the police.

A day later, the police were back, responding to the same complaint.

Complaints are marked with yellow dots, which can be clicked to display a host of information including the date a complaint was filed and the city's most recent response. Larger circles indicate more complaints. The map will be updated every night.

Goldsmith said he hoped the site would serve both as a tool to hold government accountable as well as a starting point for community groups to come up with solutions for recurring problems. The city also plans to release the full data sets to developers to create new apps in the coming months.

"In the end, my hope is that by having transparent information, we can engage the community in joint problem-solving," Goldsmith said.

311 logs an average of 60,000 calls a day. The highest number of calls in Manhattan come from Inwood and Washington Heights.