CHICAGO (CBS) — You make a 311 request and it’s marked completed – that means the job is done, right?
In the City of Chicago? Wrong.
A South Side woman said an abandoned car has been sitting on her block for months, despite complaints dating back to early 2020. CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas on yet another example of the city closing an incomplete job.
Parking on East 69th Street can be tough, but the driver of one car has found a spot to stay and stay in.
“This car has been parked here over a year,” said a woman who lives on the block.
With a flat tire and no license plates, the woman thinks the car was stolen. And it doesn’t look like the driver will be moving it anytime soon.
“It’s very frustrating,” the woman said. “Somebody is missing a car and we need a parking space.”
The woman asked us not to share her face or name. But she does want us to share her 311 requests.
One from September was marked “completed,” with the note, “Gone on arrival.”
“It’s not completed,” the woman said.
And gone the car is not.
Just last month, CBS 2 discovered the city marked multiple 311 requests complete, but didn’t clean up the heaps of junk. That was farther south in the 34th Ward.
The city finally cleaned those properties of the junk after CBS 2 started asking questions.
And back on 69th Street, sure enough, a ticket and tow notice appeared on the car after we called the city.
“Just do your job,” the woman who lives on the block said. “When the requests come in, just come and remove the car.”
The woman said the city workers should reach out to residents about 311 complaints to make sure the job is done correctly, rather than just marking it complete online.
The City of San Diego sometimes attaches pictures to the request online to prove the work was done. In one instance, they posted before-and-after shots of a graffiti cleanup.
It is similar to the way Amazon and other companies snap photos to confirm where your package was left.
“You’re getting paid to do a job,” the woman said. “Do it correctly.”
She said she also complained about the car back in April. But on that request, the city somehow changed the address to a different one about three miles away.
“I don’t even know where that address is located,” the woman said. “They say they’ll get to it in 40 days. This has been over a year.”
Without plates, the city considers cars abandoned after just two days on the street. The woman hopes this car gets more than just a notice.
Wat does the city say? We got a couple of vague statements from the two departments involved.
The Department of Streets and Sanitation said:
“The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) remains committed to ensuring the safety and cleanliness of all Chicago communities. We understand the importance of quickly and efficiently removing abandoned or hazardous vehicles from the roadway and we are reviewing the circumstances that led to the delay in addressing the vehicle in question. DSS has issued a two-day tow notice on the vehicle and a parking ticket for lack of a visible license plate. If the vehicle is not moved within the requisite time period, it will be towed per our policy.”
The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) said:
“Whether it’s through our 3-1-1 Call Center, the CHI311 mobile app or our website at Chicago.gov/311, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) works diligently to ensure all residents can receive and request City services from all departments and agencies at all hours of the day. The 3-1-1 Call Center operators take in all non-emergency requests for services and provide information to residents. Once requests are received, they are sent to the appropriate City of Chicago Department responsible for that service. Each respective department is responsible for updating their outcomes in the 3-1-1 system regarding their delivery of services pertaining to the 3-1-1 requests. While the overwhelming majority of 3-1-1 requests are completed by the City’s departments and agencies, a number of unprecedented factors in 2020 have impacted services or caused delays. These include the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and multiple severe storms.”
OEMC also said:
“We see the value in having an external-facing component to include photos when service requests are closed and have flagged this topic for future conversations related to our ongoing system enhancements.”
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