Friday, August 24, 2007

"People's 311" Looking for Brooklynites

[Photo courtesy of ol slambert/People's 311 Pool/flickr]

We got an email from one of the organizers of the new "People's 311" project, which is a sort of citizen-based counterpart to the mayor's 311 Scout Program in which those little vehicles are going to be driving the city looking for 311-type problems. Every street in the city is said to be getting a drive-by monthly. It only makes sense that someone would organize a citizen's effort to photograph and document problems on a neighborhood basis. There's a new flickr pool with some early pics, and people are being asked to contribute the photo and the location of the problem. The request came to us in the form of particular interest in Gowanus, but the concept applies to every neighborhood in Brooklyn. are looking for reps in various Brooklyn neighborhoods to help us launch "People's 311," a flickr photo pool documenting 311 conditions around the city. They write:
Here's what we need photos of:

* street potholes
* dead or dying street trees
* illegal outdoor advertising
* peeling paint in public places (subways)
* damaged or open fire hydrants
* missing or dangling traffic signs
* sidewalk hazards
* fallen over newspaper boxes
* illegal dumping

...and the like.
Such as construction-related issues, for instance. We can think of neighborhoods where this kind of "crowd sourcing" effort would yield major results. The effort will eventually produce a website called The People's 311. We can see this working brilliantly if enough people participate. On the other hand, the key will be getting city agencies to respond in a meaningful way to problems. We can't think of hundreds of instances that we've come across in which problems have been called in and documented and have been ignored.

They're accepting cell phone shots in addition to camera photos, so if you see something, take a picture and upload it along with the address of the problem.


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