The 3-1-1 non-emergency telephone number in many communities in the United States that provides quick, easy-to-remember access to non-emergency municipal services or a Citizen Service Center. Dialing this number allows city residents (only in certain cities) to obtain important non-emergency services through a central, all-purpose phone number quickly and effectively. As useful as 311 is to ordinary New Yorkers, the most intriguing thing about the service is all the information it supplies back to the city. Each complaint is logged, tagged, and mapped to make it available for subsequent analysis. In some cases, 311 simply helps New York respond more intelligently to needs that were obvious to begin with. Holidays, for example, spark reliable surges in call volume, with questions about government closings and parking regulations. On snow days, call volume spikes precipitously, which 311 anticipates with recorded messages about school closings and parking rules. There were 34,522 complaints called in to 311 between September 8 and September 15, 2010. Here are the most common, plotted by time of day. Illustration: Pitch Interactive
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