December 18, 2018
Did you know you can file your City of Buffalo service requests straight from the comfort of the smartphone glued to your palm?
As urban dwellers, we are all responsible for the vitality and advancement of our city. Whether our participatory action is voting, representing our communities through elected positions or non-governmental organizations, or speaking up on behalf of underrepresented individuals and ideas through marches, rallies, and letter-writing campaigns, these actions are essential to creating a collective, thriving and inclusive city.
We have a suggestion for an easy way to act, right now, to make Buffalo a better place for all of us to live: download the 311 app and start reporting. When you encounter inadequate bike infrastructure, unshoveled sidewalks, broken pedestrian-crossing buttons at intersections, sidewalk encroachment (e.g., a construction project blocking a sidewalk), or an illegally parked car, why not take 30 seconds to report the problem to the City of Buffalo and, hopefully, resolve the problem permanently for both you and your fellow community members? Your reports will also help the City of Buffalo prioritize citizen concerns, demonstrating to the City how much we care about safe infrastructure.
The app is handy because it allows you to easily include a photo of your report and automatically locates your position. A response to your service request is filed with your report and you can easily reference previously filed reports.
The app is fairly stringent on the categories on which you can report. We recommend choosing the category most applicable; for example, to request service for bike infrastructure or pedestrian-crossing buttons at intersections, we filed our reports under, "street pothole" to ensure the request ended up with the Department of Public Works.
If you don't have access to a smartphone, you can call 311 to file a complaint.
To the 50 percent of our audience reading this article on your smartphone, we see you! Head to your app store now to download the 311 Buffalo app. To the remaining 50 percent, consider downloading the app next time you pick up your phone (which most of you will do, on average, within the next 9 minutes or less).