By JILL GARDINER
Staff Reporter of the Sun
August 17, 2007
Mayor Bloomberg is deploying a team of 15 inspectors armed with scooters and BlackBerrys to drive down every street in the city once a month and report potholes, property damage, missing traffic lights, and a laundry list of other quality-of-life infractions.
The inspectors, who started traversing the 6,000 miles of city streets earlier this month, will all carry BlackBerrys equipped with global positioning systems that will allow them to punch in complaints and instantaneously beam them to the city's 311 hotline with a location.
The city is predicting that the inspectors will cover an average of 20 miles a day each and generate a combined 1,000 to 3,000 reports to 311. That is on top of the 7,000 questions and complaints the hotline fields daily.
Speaking at a park in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg said government, not citizens, should bear the responsible of proactively seeking out problems and ensuring they are fixed.
"It's government's responsibility to find the problems and fix them, not to sit there and say, 'Duh, we didn't know,'" Mr. Bloomberg said.
"That's not what good government is all about, that is not what customer service is all about. But I think that is what government has degenerated to in far too many parts of our lives," he said.
Mr. Bloomberg said the inspectors will not have the power to write tickets, and are simply there to improve quality-of-life in city neighborhoods.
He said companies such as Home Depot and PepsiCo use similar software on their handheld devices to track their shipments and deliveries. He estimated the cost of the program, which is called the Street Condition Observation Unit, to be "negligible."
After his news conference, the mayor climbed into a scooter and tooted the horn as photographers snapped pictures.
Bloomberg Stuns City With Exciting New ‘Service’
(Obvious building infractions will, of course, continue to be ignored.)
Photo from NY Mag