Getting Results: Philly 311 Put To Test - New York News

Getting Results: Philly 311 Put To Test

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Neighbors on the 900 Block of May Street in Mantua call it "Philly's Forgotten Street". Houses are long gone. They've been replaced by tons of trash, 2-story high weed and abandoned vehicles.

 "Tires. Trash bags. Wood. Sheet rock. Anything you can find in trash" said Tim Tomlin who lives a block away.

 We were with Tomlin on September 24th, when called Philadelphia's 311 system to report the problems.  311 is the city's clearing house hotline to report problems. Fox 29 aired the story of neighbors who have been complaining about the street being a block long public dump.

We wanted to track how long it took to get action from the city. We visited May Street 3 weeks later to find one of the most dramatic clean ups we've ever seen.

"It looks a lot better. Before it looked like the city dump site. Now it looks like a neighborhood" said Tomlin.

The city Streets Department mobilized an army of equipment and workers to clean lot after lot. The city actually owns 3 of the properties. Neighbors tell us city workers were out in force for 3 full days of cleaning up the whole street. And the results are remarkable.
 

"WOW!!! This is the first time I've been back here" said block captain Jean Reed. She says she's been calling the city about the street for years.

 "Ain't this a miracle" said Reed.

  When we first visited our cameras showed you an entire lot filled with debris. Now everything is gone. A stolen burned out abandoned car has been removed. And the jungle of weeds have been cut down.

"It looks like heaven" said Reed.

 "Oh man this is beautiful. This is lovely. I like it around here now. It's home" says neighbor James Austin.

Residents are ecstatic the street is cleaned up. They're just wishing it didn't take years to finish.

"It took for me to call you to get it done" said Tomlin.

Residents say they will be meeting with City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell this week to help come up with permanent solutions to prevent illegal dumping from becoming a problem again.

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