City encourages use of ‘Chi 311’ phone app
by BRIAN NADIG
The City of Chicago is encouraging residents to download the "CHI 311" application to their smart phones in an effort to help process requests for city services.
The app allows users to snap a photo of a clogged sewer, a broken traffic signal or other problem and send it to the city with pinpoint information on the location.
"When you put in a request, it will geo-target where you are," said Deborah Olivia Farmer, communications lead for the 311 Community Engagement Project. Farmer was the guest speaker at the March 27 meting of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association.
The app, which allows users to track the progress of their request, has been available since last fall for download for iOS and Android phones.
For those without a smart phone, service requests can still be made by calling 311 or by visiting the Web site at 311.chicago.gov, Farmer said.
The 311 service is intended for "a non-emergency. It’d be for a cat in a tree, not a cat burglar," Farmer said. Those seeking immediate medical attention or reporting a crime in progress should call 911, she said.
Also at the meeting, the possibility of downzoning two development sites, a planned four-story apartment building at 5352 W. Argyle St. and a planned 16-story, mixed-use building at 4849 N. Lipps Ave., was discussed.
Association vice president Brian Wardman said that the group’s Zoning Committee should consider bringing its concerns about the developments to alderman-elect Jim Gardiner given the delays in the Argyle project and a pending lawsuit against the other project. A construction permit for the Argyle project has been pending since 2017.
It also was reported that volunteers are needed for the Olive’s Neighborhood Garden for the Hungry at Laramie Avenue and Ainslie Street. Those interested are asked to send an e-mail to Andy Brecklin at andybs3963@hotmail. com.
The association also is co-sponsoring a community garage sale and flea market from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19, in the parking lot at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave. The cost is $20 per participant, and more information is available by calling Eva at 773-282-3879.
The association’s next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, at the Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, 5320 W. Giddings St. The meeting will be the last opportunity for members to vote on proposed platform changes, and a representative of the U.S. Postal Service is scheduled to address local mail delivery concerns.