Awhile back I was walking to lunch and noticed a stormwater drain cover was broken, leaving a large, dangerous-looking hole. Having recently heard about the City Link 311 service that helps citizens report issues throughout the city, I thought I’d give it a try.
I downloaded the app, snapped a photo, and reported it. It was easy and took less than 2 minutes. Soon I received an email that my request was being reviewed. A few days later I found that my request was closed because that stretch of roadway was managed by the state Division of Transportation (NCDOT). I figured it would probably never get fixed given the amount of work NCDOT has to do all across the state. Now I was bummed. But lo and behold a few weeks later I was riding my bike home and noticed it was fixed!! The concrete had been repaired and they added in tactile paving which helps improve safety for those with visual impairments.
It may have taken a little while to get this problem resolved but had I not reported it who knows when it would have been noticed and fixed.
I share this story to show that we CAN solve problems and make progress when we have the right tools and determination to do something about it.
City Link 311 is a great tool for citizens of Winston-Salem, especially cyclists, to notify the City of issues. You can report:
Glass, rocks or trash in the bike lane (Street Cleaning)
Cars parked in the bike lane (Police Non-Emergency Request)
Overgrown vegetation along the greenway (Rec & Parks – Park Problems)
Graffiti and vandalism (Graffiti Patrol)
Flooding or erosion on the greenway (Stormwater – Drainage Problem)
Potholes in the bike lane (Streets Repair)
You can also request signage, such as “Bike May Use Full Lane” or ‘No Parking” in the bike lanes (Traffic Sign Request) and you can make suggestions for improvements like, say, a community repair stand along the greenway.
Each and every request submitted through City Link 311 is documented and a report is regularly reviewed with City Council and staff so they can better identify and manage issues raised by citizens. That being said, what they don’t know about, they will not address so using this tool to report issues is critical.
Since my first request with City Link 311, I have reported all kinds of things from broken glass in the bike lane to overflowing trash cans along the greenway, cars parked in the bike lane and more. I am always elated when the issues are addressed, usually within a few days of reporting.
Use your voice, connect with people who can address the issues and help make Winston-Salem a bike-friendly city!