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“Can you commit to coming out and getting this pile of trash cleaned up and citing this and very illegally and unsafely kept rental property via DCRA?”

by Prince Of Petworth January 19, 2017 at 12:30 pm 28 Comments

Alley behind Simms Place, NE

“Dear PoPville,

Kenyan, you committed to my neighbor on the other side of this property to having this cleaned up last week. She has since reached out on Twitter and you have stopped responding to her.

This garbage has been in this alley for MONTHS behind the north side of Simms Place. The District continues to fail proactive homeowners that want basic services. Multiple 311 requests to Mayor Bowser’s call center have all been closed out as “completed” without any action having been taken.

Not only does that do a disservice in the short-run when trash isn’t picked up, but it cheats reporting. Any honest review of City services can no longer be accurate, closing out these requests so quickly without any action having been taken makes the reporting deceptively prompt and falsely successful. You are setting the Mayor and her administration of services up as a success when in reality nothing is getting done.

The District’s continued neglect of basic services on blocks like this, when residents ask and ask and ask for a fair share of their tax dollars be applied to basic services, is probably why there were multiple shootings in broad daylight on this block last year. Clean up some trash and start enforcing blighted and abandoned buildings. Clean up slums of properties whose landlords have let slide into unsafe and structurally unsound condition.

This is an easy fix!! Can you commit to coming out and getting this pile of trash cleaned up and citing this and very illegally and unsafely kept rental property via DCRA?

Is anyone able to help get this trash moved and this property owner cited? We have given up hope of action from DC 311 and our Council Representative’s office after multiple conventional and unconventional attempts.”

  • B’Dale Res

    311 does seem to be quick to close out tickets with no action taken, despite submitting numerous tickets for same issue.

    • psoccer55

      Per my complaints to 311, the issue seems to be that 311 just manages the tickets and then sends them to the various agencies. Some of the agencies use the tracking platform (Salesforce) that 311 does, others get the tickets, and transfer the data to their internal tracking system and close the tickets, so 311 doesn’t have visibility if it was complete or just closed out (thus what you see in the App).
      Some agencies are good at following through on the requests (potholes, tree trimming, street lights) others are not (garbage pickup), but 311 is just the clearing house.

      • textdoc

        My experience with 311 requests that fall under DPW’s jurisdiction has been that DPW usually closes out my 311 request almost immediately and then opens a new 311 request to get the appropriate section of DPW to address the problem.
        This smacks of “padding the stats” to me; it seems like the original 311 request should remain open UNTIL THE PROBLEM HAS ACTUALLY BEEN ADDRESSED.

  • houseintherear

    311 is a joke. At some point I want to call a local news station and show them the 311 app and all the closed tickets and subsequent NO WORK DONE, and let them have a field day. And PS, good luck getting Kenyan to help… I really regret voting for him.

    • AnonJohn

      Now I dialed 311 a long time ago
      Don’t you see how late they’re reacting
      They only come and they come when they wanna
      So hit the popville and cry to yo mama
      They don’t care cause they stay paid anyway
      They treat you like an ace they can’t be betrayed
      A no-use number with no-use people
      If there’s trash in the alley it’s a big rat holiday

      With apologies to a classic …

      • Patrick Division

        This is outstanding! Very well done.

    • zipdc

      Get Pat Collins on the case. He can measure the garbage levels with his snow stick.

  • Roger Dorn

    This is disgusting but unfortunately not very surprising. Hopefully a little attention will prompt the Councilman to take some action.

  • bloomingdale res

    This is what happens to about half of the issues I report on 311. The file is closed and marked as complete with no action and the agency responsible gets a pat on the back for great stats. There needs to be an option for the citizen to re-open it and indicate that the reported problem is not resolved. Easy problem to solve if anyone was willing to potentially look bad in the short term…

  • Nathan

    Yeah good luck. 311 is a joke. It took us nearly 3 months to get a similar pile of trash cleaned up in our Bloomingdale alley.

    • katie

      Have similar issues basically once a week in Edgewood.

  • textdoc

    OP, have you tried the MOCR (Mayor’s Office of Community Relations) rep for your ward? I’ve found the MOCR reps for my ward to be very helpful.

    • SB_DC

      I have a similar problem in Ward 5 and Mr. Rogers from the Mayor’s office routinely blows off the requests, though McDuffie’s office is not much better.

      • textdoc

        That’s unfortunate.
        My experience in Ward 1 has been that Nadeau’s staff aren’t very helpful, but the MOCRs are.

    • Co-OP

      Co-OP here,

      This post was a joint venture between myself and my neighbor in an effort to get this resolved. I tweeted McDuffie’s office Monday of last week with a promise to get an answer the following day. Thursday I had reached back out and heard nothing. Called his office on Tuesday and was told I would get a call back that afternoon or the next day. When I still hadn’t heard back yesterday I called a second time and was told that my MOCR rep would be returning my call next week. The trash in this picture has been out there for no less than four months. Ive probably done at least six 311 requests with all of them being closed for various reasons and yet I still get to see this every day. I’m so over it!

      But as for the comment a little further down about tweeting Trump, I’ll try that next ;-) Im sure a couple of the people coming for the inauguration drive big trucks that they could just haul all the trash away in for me! Problem solved.

      • textdoc

        OP — If you aren’t getting any traction with Kenyan McDuffie or with your MOCR rep, maybe try one or more of the at-large Council reps?

  • U neighbor

    I would try the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services. Find the rep for your ward and send them an email:
    The mayor’s office deals with enforcement of laws, which seems applicable here. They can prod the agencies (DPW) to do their job. Council is more limited to writing the laws.

    • textdoc

      Councilmembers are often good at prodding D.C. agencies to do their jobs. Unfortunately, it really varies by Councilmember — in Ward 1, Jim Graham was pretty good at this, but Brianne Nadeau is not.

  • Michael Pierce

    Torching it would be the quickest way to get rid of it all, but let me tell you: it’s a terrible idea.

  • GS

    Try tweeting at donald trump. it has worked miracles in the recent past. check out service request 16-00877310 on twitter

  • Julia Vipsania

    We have a dumpster in front of our property for construction and someone has decided to put not one but two enormous mattresses up against it. Just because it’s a dumpster doesn’t mean you can just throw shit next to it, you guys! Both I and my contractor have put in tickets to 311 with no avail. I want to put up a giant sign on our house reading “WE ARE NOT BEING JACKASSES WITH THE MATTRESSES, WE SWEAR”.

    • Michael Pierce

      That sucks. Years ago I had a big chest of drawers and a futon that I needed to get rid of, and the city picked it up promptly. It took maybe three days, tops.

  • Hookdntx

    I’d like to add, tow the numerous cars with no license plates and or clearly inoperable from the area as well. 311 closes it out without towing yet they are super quick to ticket for street sweeping

  • substnz

    I had a similar problem in Shaw area, I called 311 and after a week the rubbish still wasn’t picked up. I then emailed my councilman about 311 being nonresponsive, and reminded him that D.C. is ranked third most rat infested city in America, and the failure of 311 to remove it is exacerbating the problem. I received an email back from his Chief of Staff and it was removed within 48 hours. I would recommend that route, I even lost my confirmation number when I called 311 and complained how I couldn’t be helped because I didn’t have that number.

  • Leaving town for trump weekend

    Hi all–my strategy has been to email the Dpw director, Christopher shorter directly. I had a similiar situation and they came out within a few hours to collect the bulk trash.

  • also anon

    Non-response by 311 and the neglectful owner of the property is inexcusable but I don’t see how you’re drawing the direct line between trash not being picked up and shootings on your street?

  • John

    City government is a joke. It’s a widespread waste of taxpayer money.

    311 and DPW just seem to be more involved with ineptness, but it’s everywhere.

    About 18 months ago, the alley behind my block was closed off for repair. They broke up the old concrete and hauled it away. Then they started putting in new concrete. As luck would have it, they stopped one afternoon right behind my garage. Sure enough, the neighborhood scamps noticed and they came by to etch gang slogans and other crap in the not-yet-dry cement. I called 311 the same evening, and noted to the lady who answered that the work crew still had equipment in my alley to break up this mess and haul it away. The lady assured me that it would be fixed the next day. I even got an e-mail message from Councilmember Todds office saying the same thing.

    The next morning I met the work crew when they arrived to continue with their project. Yeah, I got the runaround. Everyone claimed they couldn’t speak English. I’m sorry, you don’t need a good command of the English language to read “FUCK” in large letters.

    You betcha, I still have this crap etched in the concrete behind my garage. Nobody in city government is worth a shread of toilet paper.

  • Vered

    Have you contacted your ANC? Look up which one is yours and who is the commissioner that represents you and your neighbor here: anc.dc.gov. This is exactly what ANCs do.


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