New Online System Allows Tracking Of 311 Calls In Chicago

In 2007 a giant concrete chunk fell
from a viaduct in Chicago landing on a pregnant woman’s windshield causing her
injuries. The lawsuit, which was recently settled by the city for $450,000,
alleged that the city new about the condition five months prior based on a 311 call
from a man who complained that a concrete block had fallen on his car from the
same location.

As a result, the  Chicago
Sun-Times
 reports that the city has implemented a new online tracking
system that residents can use to follow the results of their 311 calls. The
so-called, “service tracker” feature will allow people who call 311 for 14 of
the most requested city services to track their service requests from the time
they are submitted and receive an email when the issue is resolved.

Nearly 40 percent of the most requested service calls
fielded by the 311 non-emergency system are duplicates or follow-up calls from
Chicagoans checking on the status of their requests.

By giving people a tracking number that allows them to chart
the progress of their requests online, call volumes and waiting times should be
reduced.

“Allowing Chicagoans to track and submit service requests in
real-time brings an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability to
city government,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated in a press release. Emanuel’s
transition report called for an “Open 311” system to provide an “easy and
transparent way” for Chicagoans to submit and monitor their service requests on
the Internet.

The service-tracker technology was developed by Chief
Technology Officer John Tolva and Innovation and Technology Commissioner Brett
Goldstein in partnership with Code for America. The program is being funded, in
part, by a $300,000 grant from the Chicago Community Trust’s so-called “Smart
Chicago Collaborative.”

Chicago is one of eight cities chosen to participate in Code
for America’s national fellowship program and the only city in the country to
include a service tracker in its open 311 system.

I love this new system for multiple reasons. First, I think
it will make our city safer by helping prevent accidents that happened to the
pregnant woman in 2007. Second, transparency in government is always important
as residents want to know what is being done to correct issues and also keep
transparent where tax dollars are being spent. Hopefully this new system will
help our city government be more efficient while also protecting people from
dangerous situations.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a
Chicago car accident or a Chicago premises accident, then call Chicago personalinjury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to
the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.