Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The 311 Project: Pedestrian Patrol

Ever since I discovered the powerful use of dialing 311, I feel the City of Los Angeles has another thing to be championed about. There is one thing you cannot complain about in the City and that is 311 - One Call to City Hall. 24 hours a day, you can talk to operators with great names like Amelie, Korea, and my favourite, a cross-dresser named Ms. Sha-nay-nay (well, that's what it sounded like. It was a late night call.)

Tonight I was walking (yes, as in walk commuting) to Siam Cabin in Sherman Oaks for a dinner meeting. At Ventura Blvd. and Sunnyslope, the pedestrian crosswalk button device was hanging by its wires two feet off the ground. Since God knows when this might be noticed by the infamous City Pedestrian Device Patrol, I decided to call 311 and report this broken and possibly this newly invented technocratic cowboy toy (got lasso skills?).

Walking back a hour later, I was pleased to see the situation had been temporarily fixed with some quick wit from DOT (a huge zip tie). So if you see a broken traffic light, drive through an annoying pothole, or have a non-emergency police request, call 311. They are there to help you.

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