Dallas Struggles With 311 Complaints

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Dallas 311 app | Image by Dallas 311/Facebook

The Dallas Department of Transportation failed to meet its 311 complaint deadline more than 10,000 times over four years, according to an investigation.

NBC 5 DFW reviewed 311 data that found a troubling trend in Dallas. In addition to the 10,000 complaints that missed the deadline, another 2,200 complaints were marked overdue for a response. The data did show, however, that the City managed to meet its target in the overwhelming majority of cases — 177,000 times. However, what sort of action, if any, was taken in those cases is unclear, as closed requests do not necessarily mean that cases have been resolved.

“Just because a status is closed does not mean that complaint isn’t still being addressed by transportation and/or other departments,” the department said in a statement to NBC 5.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax recently announced he would be resigning after seven years, during which the city saw taxes, municipal spending, and crime rise while Dallas officials struggled to deliver essential services. Building permit backlogs, poorly maintained roads, and the prevalence of homeless encampments also characterized his tenure.

According to City policy, 311 complaints should be closed within 45 days. The Dallas Department of Transportation told NBC 5 it was “reviewing the established service level agreement time” that it continually failed to meet. The department added that these time frames “may be extended to more accurately reflect the time-intensive process for reviewing the volume of requests received.”

NBC 5 investigated one specific area of complaint on Forest Lane in Northeast Dallas. The area lacks crosswalks by a bus stop, so residents on the other side of the street must walk down the block to cross and then back up to arrive at the bus stop. This led a reporter to walk more than 12 minutes to arrive at the bus stop that was directly across the street from where he had started.

An investigation found 100 crashes in this half-mile area over the past five years, with six accidents involving pedestrians. Five 311 complaints were filed regarding the area. Alyson Thompson, a resident of the area, said she has witnessed several crashes and risky instances of jaywalking.

The Dallas Express has reported extensively on traffic safety issues in Dallas, which included spotlighting a study that determined Dallas was one of the most dangerous cities in the United States for pedestrians.

“It’s just very dangerous for them to do that,” she told NBC 5. “There are pedestrians that are in this area. There are vehicles that are going way too fast. We’re at a high risk for having another serious injury or death at this intersection.”

Thompson filed a 311 complaint in November 2022, asking for a stoplight to be added. Her complaint was closed, however, with no action taken.

“But closed doesn’t mean that it’s resolved because nothing’s different,” she told NBC 5.

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