311 mobile app: Bonus Consumer Website of the Week

I'm wearing my Watchdog hat while I explain this bonus Consumer Website of the Week: Baltimore's new 311 app and website.

If you've got an iPhone or an Android handset, you can download the free Baltimore 311 app. Use it to report problems such as potholes, street lights that are dark or malfunctioning traffic signals, or check on service requests that you've already submitted.

The app allows people to submit photographs of the problems along with the descriptions, which is really powerful --- inspectors might be able to make some judgments about the issue and send the appropriate equipment as a result.

And if you're curious what bothers other Baltimore residents and visitors, take a look at "recent," which lists a stream of reports that other folks have submitted.

You can click through for details, such as this report from a frustrated driver about a Walther Avenue pothole. It was reported at 11:40 p.m. Wednesday and filled by 2:37 a.m. Thursday --- yes, that's less than three hours later.

It's a unique window into what bothers others in Baltimore, such as this report about sneakers hanging from power lines near Herring Run Park.

Don't have an iPhone or Android phone? You can see service requests at http://311.baltimorecity.gov/. You can also check the status of any service request by entering the confirmation number at http://csr.baltimorecity.gov/.

Still prefer to speak with an operator, who can help you select the right category for reporting? You can call 311 within city limits or 410-396-5352 when elsewhere. Or you can go online at https://baltimore.customerservicerequest.org.

And you don't have to be a city resident --- employees who work within Baltimore and visitors should definitely report problems they see.


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