Jan 4, 2022 - News

Chicago: City of big complainers

Chart: Axios Visuals
Chart: Axios Visuals

Chicagoans filed more 311 complaints per capita than the rest of America's 10 biggest cities in 2020, according to data compiled by storage unit platform Storage Cafe.

Why it matters: The analysis suggests that Chicago is "a stressful" city because we like to file 311 complaints. And that stressed us out.

  • We prefer to see 311 requests as a sign of proactive public engagement with at least some trust the complaints will be addressed.
  • In fact, the city set up an online 311 system in 2018 that tracks the progress of your complaints.

Yes, but: At least one 2020 analysis of Chicago's 311 system showed that requests can take an average of 26 days to be addressed.

Our biggest beefs: Between Dec. 2018 and Dec 2021, Chicago's top 311 complaints were about airplane noise, graffiti, street lights, rats, potholes and garbage cans — each getting more than 150,000 service requests.

The intrigue: Some popular requests took us by surprise, including:

  • Dead animal pick up: 36,658.
  • Snow object/Dibs object removal: 5,198.
  • Coyote interaction complaint: 4,832.

💭 Monica's thought bubble: As I sorted through the data, I found 416 "pushcart vendor complaints" aimed at vendors of corn and fruit cups.

  • Really, people? You think reporting folks for selling fresh fruits and veggies is a priority in this city? Grrrr!
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