Has Anyone Else Had Problems Getting Resolution to 311 Complaints in DC?

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Topic: Has Anyone Else Had Problems Getting Resolution to 311 Complaints in DC?

PoPville November 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Has Anyone Else Had Problems Getting Resolution to 311 Complaints in DC?

What have been other people’s experiences trying to use 311 in DC?  I understand that some requests are more complicated and might take more time (like requesting speed studies, changes in road signage or speed limits, etc).  But, what about the “simple” tasks like reporting overflowing garbage cans, walk lights that don’t work, or instances of illegal dumping that need to be cleaned up?
On average, how long has it taken for your requests to get taken care of? Or do they ever get taken care of at all?  Also, for comparisons sake, what neighborhood to you live in?
I ask these questions because I’ve had numerous instances now where 311 requests are “closed” by the agency, but the work never actually gets done.  After waiting weeks to see if they will actually do the work, I have to report the problems again and, in several cases, have had to contact my Councilmembers office or other district officials in order for them to get taken care of.  All the while, the computer reporting systems indicate that the issues have been promptly resolved.  But, in my experience, 4-5 weeks (and only that short because of contacts to district officials) is more like the average time.  Currently, I’ve been trying to get DPW out to cleanup a couple pickup truck loads of construction debris that someone illegally dumped in the bushes on public land in my neighborhood.  We’re going on 8 weeks since my initial request to get it cleaned up.  I’ve been in contact with the head of DPW about the issue, and on Tues they sent out a street cleaning crew.  They cleaned up the fallen leaves and small bits of trash, but left the enormous piles of construction debris…
Popular sentiment would have it that my neighborhood (Brentwood) just generally gets ignored in terms of services.  I don’t want to believe that that is true, so I’m curious to know- is this just par for the course?  Or does it really vary by neighborhood?

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Par for the course on some things, not on others.
Streetlights with burned out bulbs, usually pretty quick.
A simple repair to my supercan lid, 6+ months, required the intervention of my councilmember.
Illegally dumped trash in my alley, 8 weeks, plus a citation to US for the dumping which required 6+ months and the intervention of my councilmember to clear up.

YES.  They totally mark things done without doing them.  Absolutely infuriating.

To be fair, we’ve only called them twice in the last 5 years. The first time, it was because there was a crackhead on our doorstep. He wasn’t harming us (so we didn’t call 911), but he also wouldn’t leave. The woman who answered by call stayed on the phone with me while I opened one of our doors to speak with him. When he wouldn’t leave she sent a police officer out (while staying on the phone with me) and they dealt with him. 
The second time was due to an alarm ringing from either the Safeway or one of the new apartments at 3 in the morning. There wasn’t anything she could do (private property), but she did call the police. The alarm stopped an hour later. I don’t know that me calling the number helped at all, but I don’t know that it hurt.  

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