Community Board 11 mines city’s 311 data to address concerns

May 9, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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When you call 311 to complain about a broken street light, a pothole or a noisy neighbor, your complaint is logged and categorized. That way, the city is able to keep track of the data and determine the most prevalent concerns.

But the information on how many residents want a pothole fixed or are unhappy with that bar down the street isn’t only for the city’s use, according to Marnee Elias-Pavia, district manager of Community Board 11.

Elias-Pavia, whose board covers Bensonhurst and Bath Beach, said the data collected by 311 operators is available for anyone to see on the city’s website. “The data is publicly available,” she told community board members at their monthly meeting on May 8.

The availability of the information gave Elias-Pavia an idea. “We’re going to be using some of that data,” she said. As an example, she said 311 received numerous calls in recent years from residents reporting illegal curb cuts. The board could mine that data and use it as ammunition in its ongoing fight to get the city to crack down on homeowners who cut the curb and create a driveway without bothering to get a permit from the Department of Buildings, she said.

In its dealings with the city, the board could point out that the problem of illegal curb cuts is a high on the list of residents’ concerns and therefore should be addressed. Elias-Pavia said.

Community Board 11 has been advocating for stronger, more decisive action from the city on stopping curb cut abuse, which its chairman, Bill Guarinello, described as an epidemic.

Also at the meeting, which took place at the Bensonhurst Center for Health and Rehabilitation at 1740 84th St., Elias-Pavia announced that a sewer repair project on Bath Avenue is proceeding on schedule and some of the work has already been completed.

“Some of the parking has been given back to the community,” she said. The project entailed the temporary loss of on-street parking along Bath Avenue. The work, which is taking place between 18th Avenue and Bay 14th Street, required a deep trench to be opened in the middle of Bath Avenue.

Here are other highlights of the meeting:

  • The community board voted to recommend that New York State reject a proposal by Modest Community Services, a non-profit organization, to establish a residence for developmentally disabled adults in a building at 82nd Street between 20th and 21st avenues. Guarinello said the building has an outstanding  violation that has not yet been addressed  and that members were concerned about placing residents there. “We should air on the side of caution,” he told the board.
  • Michael Bistreich, an aide to Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) announced that the Bensonhurst Greenmarket, an open air market in Milestone Park on 18th Avenue and 81st Street where shoppers can purchase farm-fresh vegetables and fruits, will open for the season on June 8. It will be open every Sunday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. from June to November.
  • An aide to Councilman Mark Treyger (Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) announced that the freshman lawmaker is opening up a district office at 2015 Stillwell Ave. next week.
  • A representative from Assemblyman Bill Colton’s office said that Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) is conducting a food drive. Residents are being asked to donate canned or non-perishable food. The office is located at 155 Kings Highway.




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