In recent weeks, there have been a number of readers who have sent us emails commenting on the state of the city’s streets, as they relate to pot holes. It’s true. Sometimes driving and biking around Buffalo can be somewhat hazardous. That’s why I decided to reach out to one of the city’s councilpersons, Joel Feroleto (Delaware District) to see what he thought about the perceived crises. Surprisingly, Feroleto was confident that there was an easy fix to take care of the problem – the phone app Buffalo 311.
“It’s the City’s 48-hour pothole repair guarantee,” said Feroleto. “And it works. The problem is, if people don’t use it, the potholes are not going to get fixed. It’s so easy to download the app, and take care of the problem. Unless the City knows about it, and it’s documented, chances are that no one os going to go out and fix it.”
Similar to the brilliant user-friendliness of the Buffalo Roam parking app (if you’re not using it, you’re missing out), the Buffalo 311 app will also save you a lot of headaches. “When I first got onto the Common Council, someone living on Chapin told me that he had been trying to get a pothole on his street fixed for two years,” Feroleto told me. “I told the guy to call 311. The next time that I saw him, he told me that the pothole was fixed within three days. He was stunned. So I tell everybody that complains about potholes to do the same thing. The service is there to be used. Also, people can get same results by calling 311 if they don’t have app.”
Unfortunately, not a lot of people think to download and use the 311 app if a pothole is located outside of their own neighborhood. They might assume that it’s not their problem, or that it’s too time consuming. But it’s not. The 311 app actually pins the location! So you can pull your car or bike over to the side, grab your phone, pull up the app, click “file a report”, choose “street pothole”, select “location”, and the exact spot is pinned by the app. You can even add a photo and description. That’s it. The rest should be taken care of by the City within 48 hours (depending on the weather).
Until the City brings onboard an employee who would roam the streets looking for potholes, the next best thing is the 311 app. With the 311 app, you can also report housing violations, missing garbage and recycling totes, graffiti tags, rodent issues, street plowing, etc.
Later today, I plan on heading out and using the 311 app, which I just downloaded, to report three potholes in random parts of the city. I will then do another follow up post in a few days, to report on how the 311 app worked. I implore you to do the same thing, and to comment on that follow up post whether the 311 app system worked for you.
Until then, may you have safe and smooth travels.