A bias in city services?

So I can’t really vouch for these stats and I found them on the Shaw List serv. But they are very interesting and hopeful. DC 311 Response Call Times 2000-2009

via The Monkey Cage: A Colorful Race.

That’s what makes work now underway by Georgetown graduate student Lindsay Pettingill intriguing. Pettingill collected all of the calls made to D.C.’s 311 hotline—over 1.5 million calls in all—from 2000-2009. These calls are service requests, and the District tracks its response times to each request. Pettingill shows below how these response times vary both by ward and by year.

First, we see substantial improvement in average response times. In 2000, it was taking the District upwards of 40 days to respond. By 2009, that figure was down to 11 on average. Most of the decline took place during the tenure of Anthony Williams, Fenty’s predecessor. The other key fact: response times across neighborhoods have converged over the years, with just two days separating the neighborhood with the longest response time from the neighborhood with the shortest response time in 2009. Calls from the heavily black neighborhoods like Berry Farm and Kenilworth don’t seem to go unanswered. In fact, it was the predominantly white neighborhoods in Northwest that initially saw the slowest response times, although those gaps have closed. Of course, this is not the only metric of bias in District services—and capital projects could tell a very different story. But if you see a broken meter outside the Woodley Park Marriott, don’t expect special service because of that green Fenty sign on the nearby lawn.

Posted by Daniel Hopkins on August 31, 2010 10:14 AM

Question, comment, or suggestion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s