A Crown Heights resident told ChabadInfo that as he was walking his usual route passing the intersection of Albany Avenue and Union Street he noticed something wrong about the pedestrian walking signals. The northwestern signal was entirely missing, and the southwestern signal was either blank or simultaneously signaling Walk and Don’t Walk.
“I have the 311 App, so my first thought was to file a complaint with the city”, he said. However, after filing multiple complaints and still not seeing any repairs, he realized that the City might not be as responsive as he once thought. “I checked the App again and it had the word ‘closed’ next to my complaints, so I knew there was no point [in] waiting for them”.
“I walk there every day, so I see so many close calls just because those poles aren’t working”. Realizing the danger to vehicles and pedestrians, he began searching for other methods of reaching City Hall. “I voted in the last election and I’m thinking ‘hey, that’s supposed to mean something'”. After searching online for our elected officials contact information, he wrote up the facts of the case and how 311 mishandled it, and emailed it to Crown Heights’s City Councilwomen, Laurie Cumbo.
Two days later, both Pedestrian Signals were already fixed.
A Crown Heights Political Activist told ChabadInfo that although there are many more important ways in which a politically active and voting community helps us, it is nonetheless stories like these that will create awareness for the importance of voting, especially among the apathetic. “It’s the small stories like this one that make people think twice before writing off politics as irrelevant – people could’ve gotten hurt!”
While it’s always important to be aware of our surroundings and report problems to the City through official methods, we should never underestimate the need for lines of communications with our elected officials through political channels.
The community thanks Councilwomen Cumbo for her care and timely response.