Archive for the ‘311’ Category

Reporting Potholes to 311 Via Facebook

June 19, 2014

For those of you on Facebook, NYC311 is now accepting Street Pothole Service Requests via Facebook Private Message. If you send NYC311 a Private Message with a street pothole location (an intersection of two City streets and the Borough), they will confirm your request by replying with your Service Request number. You then can track the status of your request online or by adding the SR number to the “My Complaints” section of the 311 App.


Woodhaven Noise Survey

June 7, 2013

Noise has been a persistent ongoing problem in Woodhaven — and now that the warmer weather is here, we’re bound to hear more of it.  We’d like to try something here, a survey — we hope to gather some basic information about noise in our community.  Please take a few moments to fill out this brief survey.



Stink House on 85th Street – FIXED

March 7, 2013

Some good news to report regarding the stink house of 85th Street (see news coverage here and here).  For those new to this story, there was a busted sewage pipe at this location and human waste (feces and urine) was spilling out on to the sidewalk.  This location is directly next to a Church (St. Luke’s) and their nursery school.  Numerous 311 complaints were filed — and a host of city agencies were involved — the Department of Building, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Health, Department of Sanitation — but 2 months after it was first reported, the problem persisted — and some of the 311 complaints were closed (including one that said DEP investigated and saw no need for repairs!!)

ice-02The Stink House of 85th Street During a Deep Freeze

We were in touch with the offices of Eric Ulrich and Mike Miller — we also worked with the Mayor’s Office — and we are very grateful to all 3 offices and happy to be able to report good news.  Last week, we saw a van on 85th Street with some workers — the company’s name on the van said it specialized in cesspools.  At the end of last week, on Friday (3/1) there was another crew — and a large dumpster.

stinkThe Stink House Gets A Spring Cleaning

Best of all, the sidewalk is now dry.  Human waste is no longer gushing out on to the sidewalk.

stink-2About Time!

While we are happy to say that this problem has been resolved (it’s always good to scratch an item like this off of the “To Do” list) we would be remiss in our duty if we patted ourselves on the head and left it at that.  The residents of Woodhaven deserve answers to the following questions:

  • Why did it take over two months to get action on this issue?
  • Some residents noticed that action only seemed to come after the story hit the papers; why did it take such measures to get this resolved?
  • Why was a 311 complaint closed with the reason being that “no repairs were needed”?  Who made that determination?
  • Has anyone gone back to that person to ask why they made that determination?
  • Was this determination made without even visiting the property?
  • Why was this never escalated to a health hazard, particularly with children at the nursery school next door?
  • Why was the sidewalk never closed?
  • The WRBA’s 311 complaint had no status available – when we called it took 15 minutes to get an answer.  Why?
  • How come 311 does not have a better way to handle duplicate complaints?
  • Does 311 ever perform an audit on closed requests to review how well they were handled?  In other words, is there any quality control?
  • If so, we’d like to request a thorough review of this incident.  If not, we’d like to know why 311 does not audit their own results.
  • Local residents say there is still old scraps of toilet paper on the sidewalk.  Are we left to hope for rain to wash the last remnants away?
  • Is this location considered safe?  What kind of hazard was it?  Were local residents ever in any danger of getting sick?
  • Finally, most importantly, what can we do — as a city — to ensure that no one goes through this again?  How can NYC improve their procedures? 

We will work with our elected representatives to get answers to these questions and report back to you on our progress.  But, for now, we’ll allow ourselves a moment of happiness that human waste is not flowing on to the sidewalk of 85th Street.



Woodhaven Fights Noise Online

July 24, 2011


You’re getting ready for bed, but you know you won’t be getting any sleep because — once again — there’s a huge party on your block. It’s after midnight, they’ve got 3 dozen people in their backyard, they’ve got 6-foot tall speakers, and the music is rattling your window.

You think about calling 311 but you remember what happened the last time you called — you were on hold for 35 minutes before you gave up. And even if you got through, the police aren’t going to respond that evening. But it is very important that you, and your neighbors, make it known who is making life miserable in Woodhaven.

So, here’s some instructions on how you can quickly and easily file the noise complaint online.

Note: This is not going to solve the noise problem in Woodhaven. It will take a number of different approaches. But all roads lead back to having a solid database of chronic noise offenders. If we don’t file noise complaints — and keep track of them — they will never get resolved.

Entering a Noise Complaint Online

1) Click here to access 311’s Night Noise Survey.

2) Enter a description of the noise — and enter the date and time. Then click the arrow to move to the next screen.

3) At the next screen identify the type of location, the borough, the street address and any other pertinent information about the location.  (Note: We have blurred out the address in the image below). It is extremely important that you enter the exact address. Once you are done with this screen, click the arrow.

Once you click the arrow, 311 will verify the street address you entered. This may take a moment or two — be patient.

4) Next, review all of the information that you’ve entered. If you spot a mistake, you can click edit to go back and change it. When finished, you need to look at the letters in the graphic, enter it into the box, and click Submit Form.

The 311 system will display the following while your complaint is being submitted. Please be patient, it will take a moment or two.

5) Last step, the 311 system will display a message that your complaint has been successfully submitted. It will give you a Service Request Number. You Need To Keep This Number and Report It To The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association.

You can e-mail it to the WRBA at Or, you can call the WRBA at 718-296-3735 (if no one answers, leave a message).

Please pass along (1) the street address as well as (2) the Service Request Number.

The WRBA will build a database of chronic noise locations and advocate on your behalf that action be taken. And once increased fines are in place, thanks to Councilman Eric Ulrich’s pending change to the Noise Bill, these locations will be visited.

Here is a brief video showing you how easy it is to enter a noise complaint online:

Pass this link along to your friends and (especially) your neighbors. Let’s start building that database.

Click here for a printable version of these instructions.


If you have any comments, or would like to suggest other projects, drop us a line at or





Return to Project Woodhaven’s Home Page


Photos by Joey Wendell

4 Is Not Enough

June 22, 2011

In recent weeks, the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association have been hearing more and more complaints about noise. This week, we began collecting statements from residents to be used in testimony in front of the New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection in relation to the noise control code. The response in the last 24 hours has been strong — with some very vivid descriptions of the degradation of quality of life because of noise. Many thanks to all who have written in, it will help put together an impressive message from the residents of Woodhaven. To those who have yet to submit their thoughts, you have until 5 PM tomorrow — sent it to

One of the common complaints that we’ve received is that when 311 is called, or even if the Precinct is called directly, a response is not immediate. Or sometimes not at all. That’s because Noise Complaints are treated as non-emergency, and the 102 is not adequately staffed to handle non-emergencies.

So that raised a question that we posed last night on Facebook. It read as follows: Think of the size of Woodhaven — from 75th to 100th St — from Park Lane South to Atlantic Avenue. During an average shift, how many patrol cars do you think would be sufficient to cover Woodhaven? The majority of the answers were in the 5 to 8 range, meaning that it should take 5 to 8 patrol cars to cover Woodhaven.

So, let’s measure this against reality — just how many cars does the 102 have out on patrol?

Would it surprise you if we told you 4 patrol cars? Because that’s how many are out there.

For the entire 102nd Precinct. 

Covering Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens, and the Northern part of Ozone Park.

4 patrol cars.   Covering this area.

That’s inadequate. We salute the 102 for their hard work and hearing this makes us further appreciate everything they do. It also makes us realize that on top of calling for increased fines for noise violations, we need to call for more patrol cars, and more police to handle emergency situations — and we need to call for noise violations to be handled by a different agency.

D e v e l o p i n g  .  .  .

Send Us Your Noise Complaints

June 21, 2011

The most common complaint received by the WRBA from residents of Woodhaven is Noise. Please take a few moments to answer one or more of the following questions —

  • How have noise conditions in Woodhaven adversely effected your quality of life?
  • Do you think enough is done to handle noise complaints?
  • Do you feel noise conditions have gotten better or worse over the last 3-5 years?
  • What steps would you like to see taken to improve noise conditions in Woodhaven?

Please send your replies to no later than 5 PM EST THURSDAY JUNE 23rd. If you feel comfortable doing so, please include what street you live on — but it is not necessary.

These statements will be used in testimony in front of the New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection in relation to the noise control code next week, hence the deadline.

Your testimony is important.

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad — 311 Follow Up

May 6, 2011

In a previous post, we listed 3 different issues that were called in to 311 and said that we would follow up on them.  First, let’s look at the abandoned car that, at last glance had been sitting at the corner of 91st Street and 86th Avenue 3 weeks after being called in to 311.  In fact, the car had been there for over a year — but we were tracking it from the time we called it in.  If you recall, it had been collecting a lot of tickets as well as dust!

Good news!  On Wednesday, May 4th we noticed that the hood was up — and it was getting a boost!

A neighbor had told us that he was told (by the NYPD) that the car was likely a stolen car — and it was from a car rental agency.  Someone must have put 2 and 2 together and, ladies and gentlemen, here it is — something residents of this street were beginning to think they’d never see — this car in motion —

And the empty spot it left behind?  Someone parked there in about 2 minutes 🙂

Okay, so now we turn our attention to the fallen street light —

We called it in to 311 who transferred us to the Department of Transportation and they had it taken care of within 48 hours.  So, Kudos to the DOT for fast action — here it is:

BTW, you can report issues with street lights online:

DOT Repair Request Form

Okay, as for the tree on Jamaica Avenue — the dangerous condition above the train trestle near 98th Street — it’s still there.

So, here’s our updated chart:

We will make a follow-up 311 call and continue tracking the tree.  If you have items you’d like us to publicly track — potholes, dangerous conditions, etc. drop us a line at

Charting 311 Calls — How Are They Doing?

April 23, 2011

When things go wrong, that aren’t emergencies, we’re told to call 311.  And so, over the past few months, we’ve called 311 on a few occasions.  First, was the dangerous condition on Jamaica Avenue — the large broken branch hanging perilously over the heads of pedestrians.  We made that call to 311 on February 25th —

8 weeks later, the tree is still there.

Then, we reported an abandoned car to 311 — one that’s been sitting at the corner of 91st Street and 86th Avenue for nearly a year.  It’s been ticketed dozens of time.

We just recently got involved and called it in 3 weeks ago.  The 311 complaint was CLOSED the same day — and it says that it was entered in the 102 TOW LOG.  3 weeks later, the car is still sitting there.

So, when we came across this scene — what did we do?

Well, we decided to give 311 another chance — hey, we’re optimists!    Over the phone, they promised us that it would be reviewed within 4 hours — heck, our last call was closed the same day — doesn’t mean it was resolved.

Our complaint number with 311/Department of Transportation is 4219701.

We’ll let you know how it turns out.   We’re keeping tack of these issues —

Tell us your experiences with 311 — and the next time you make a complaint, let us know — e-mail us at, or call our office (if no one answers, leave a message) — 718-296-3735.  Make sure you get the 311 Complaint Number.  Let’s keep track of our 311 complaints together and see how they’re doing.

Anyone Want A Car?

April 1, 2011

There’s an abandoned car down the street from me — it’s been there for quite a while but I never noticed it until a neighbor pointed it out.  The traffic agents have been having a field day, writing ticket after ticket after ticket.

First, let’s introduce you to our friend, a 2009 Chevy — here it is sitting on the corner during our big blizzard.  At this point, it had been sitting there for about 5 or 6 months already.

Here’s a better view of it

As the snow thawed, a bunch of tickets were revealed.  But that didn’t stop the ticket agents from writing even more tickets.  2 days ago we saw one of these guys writing yet another ticket, so we engaged the agent and he told us only if a car had a “ton” of tickets would they not write another one.

You tell us — does this look like a ton of tickets?  Keep in mind, a few of the tickets were destroyed by the snow and the rain —

There was around a dozen tickets and who knows how many that disintegrated.  And then they came along and wrote 2 more.  So we packed them up in a plastic baggie and left the agent a message —

Already Ticketed a Dozen Times and Reported to 311.

Please Tow!

We reported it to 311 and were given the report number of C1-1-642978092.  The 311 was called in at 5:30 PM on Friday 4/1.

We were advised that if the vehicle had no plates, we would have been routed to Sanitation and they would have it towed.

However, since this vehicle had both plates, it needed to go to the NYPD for investigation first.  And as it wasn’t an emergency, it would be prioritized appropriately.

So, now, we wait . . . and keep track . . .