Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Doing 311 The Hard Way... (Summer Visitation 2009)

Photo By John Hoff

Perhaps a hundred times I've passed this building on the light rail line, and taken note of the growing graffiti collection. But it was a hard 311 report to make, because the building isn't somewhere I can walk to--it's all fenced off and near a highway--and my only way to describe it is by its relation to the light rail line.

But on Friday, I was picking up my son for extended summer visitation and I had my camera with me. On the return route I told myself, damn it, I'm going to get a picture of that building and start the 311 process. It won't be pretty, it won't be tidy, but maybe I can get something going here.

As the train went past, I managed to capture an image with the telephoto function of my sweet new digital camera, a gift from a wonderful reader. This afternoon, while looking through my recently downloaded photos, I saw the images and was prompted to DO SOMETHING. So I did it. I emailed 311.

Usually giving information to 311 is easy. You relate the address and you say what's wrong. But I figure anybody can do that. I love those obscure little pockets of dystopian filth which require me to "do 311 the hard way."

(Do not click "Read More")


Reuben said...

Why doesn't the normal process work for this property? Just because you can't walk there doesn't mean you can't figure out the address.... Why not use the Hennepin County property database online to figure out the address and report it like any other graffitti????

Johnny Northside said...

I can't even figure out which street or highway it faces, so how will I determine the address?

It's between Forth Snelling and VA Hospital, very obvious. It's to the right as the train heads to Mall of America. Reuben, if you think you can nail this one down better...feel free!

Johnny Northside said...

Check this out...
Dear John,

We appreciate your email.

We have submitted a service request to our Clean City Department. Your
reference number is 264479.

If there is anything else we can help you with please contact us. Thank you
for emailing the City of Minneapolis.


Johnny Northside said...

A little update...

The building is once again covered with graffiti after being cleaned off. So I'm submitting another report to 311, using the reference number 264479 which I can pull up, conveniently enough, by searching my own blog.