By Mayor Martin Walsh
While we may want to think that winter is a long way away, the reality is that the season is just around the corner. In order to keep our infrastructure winter-ready, our Department of Public Works has spent the summer preparing our City for snowier days. They have been repairing potholes, sidewalks, and other streetscapes as well as improving vital City services such as trash and recycling collection, and code enforcement issues.
To be a thriving city, we must have safe and maintained sidewalks and streets, well-lit neighborhoods, and be able to provide the best and most reliable city services. I’m proud of the work the Department of Public Works does every day — as they strive to provide the highest quality services to residents, across all of our neighborhoods. And they always continue to set the bar higher and find ways to better serve the people of Boston.
One of our major initiatives to invest in roads and infrastructure is our capital plan: Building a Better Boston. This plan increases the budget for rebuilding our streets and sidewalks by over $4 million.
With that increase, the Department of Public Works resurfaced over 42 miles of roadway last year, and increased the budget for those projects by one-fourth. This investment will make sure that residents have a smoother and safer ride to their destination, and more accessible sidewalks. And it will make sure that, when winter does arrive, the chances of any potholes forming will be reduced.
We want residents to know we’re committed to being responsive, and we want to make it easier for residents to make reports concerning damaged roadways and sidewalks, as well as violations in trash collection and other code issues. In addition, we have our hokey program, where City hokeys (street cleaners) patrol neighborhoods and empty litter baskets daily.
With our new 311 system, residents can interact with the City in multiple ways. As in our former hotline system, you can still call 311 at any time of the day and speak to a live person who can log your issue. If you’re on Twitter, you can tweet at @BOS311. You can also use the “Bos:311” application on your smartphone — you even have the option of including a photo to your case, which will help that department better fix the issue. Finally, you can use our website, “boston.gov/311” and report issues online.
This month, Bos:311 celebrated its one year anniversary of providing exceptional services to the people of Boston. Since last August, 24,702 people have downloaded the mobile app, 88,308 services requests have been processed through the app, 257,113 calls have been received and 89.73 percent of those calls have been handled within 30 seconds.
Ultimately, it’s our goal to make Boston a more clean and livable city, and we thank our great Public Works Department in helping us achieve that goal. I want to thank them for all they do for the people of Boston, for keeping our roads and infrastructure safe, and for providing quality city services all year-round. By the time winter rolls around, we can count on our streets and sidewalks being ready!