Kleber Rodriguez" />

New Yorkers are notorious for being busy people, and having a fast-paced life. But what people don’t realize is that natives or New York City have to move at a fast pace because it’s a part of the hectic life here. We have to get accustomed to all different kinds of crazies, including the good and the bad of the city lifestyle. One service that comes in handy and helps New Yorkers deal with everyday gripes is the service provided by 311.

New York City has a 24-hour phone number for government information and non-emergency services called 311. The number is toll-free from any phone in the city. New Yorkers utilize it for different services such as noise complaints, parks and recreation complaints, garbage pick-up complaints, odor complaints, or for information regarding street parking rules or snow removal schedules. There’s also an official website. They even have a mobile app which makes it more convenient, especially since mobile phones are being used for everything nowadays.

311 was designed to report any type of complaint imaginable. It’s a service to help solve the problems seen in our neighborhoods. It’s an easy way to report broken streetlights, graffiti, potholes, illegal parking, rodent sightings, noise complaints, unsecured parks, or after-hours construction. These are all complaints affecting quality of life. All these issues may seem petty, but all the information logged is crucial because it supplies data back to the city. The data is used for analysis, and the end result detects a pattern and improves the quality of life for New Yorkers.

The issue with the 311 system is that logging a complaint online is much easier than calling. When calling 311 the representative constantly places you on hold, and often times they don’t know how to handle the situation.

Making a complaint via the 311 website is more convenient, and less stressful. Expect for your complaint not to be addressed for at least 24 hours. Depending on the severity of the complaint, it may be considered a non-emergency issue, and it could take days for someone to handle it. By the time someone tackles the problem, it may or may not still exist anymore.

For example, if a complaint is made about an abandoned vehicle parked in a residential neighborhood on an alternate side street cleaning street, the city classifies it a harmless, non- emergency complaint. It won’t be addressed immediately, and by the time someone investigates the issue, the owner of the car may have already driven the car away.

We are all aware that other emergency events take precedence, but the estimated response time for non-emergency issues should also be treated as time sensitive, and should be addressed in less than 24 hours.

The service is a work in progress. Unfortunately, New Yorkers must continue to gripe about basic quality-of-life complaints until the issue is resolved and the city makes improvements on how to manage the response time for these types of matters.