Ravenstahl Response Line … how can I help you track your complaint?

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Boy, Lukey is really gearing up for his election run.

Today, the city unveiled the Ravenstahl Response Line, which allows city residents to dial 311, leave a complaint, and then get a complaint number. Expected complaints are things like a pot-hole or a dead animal on the street.

If you believe that calling in a pothole to the 311 line is going to result in anything other than your continual tracking of the complaint and will actually result in the filling of the pothole, I’d say you also believe that the Pirates will win the World Series next year. Ain’t. Going. To. Happen.

If the situation isn’t addressed, the caller can get in touch with the center again with a reference number that will allow the city to track what happened to the complaint.

Wow! They’ll tell you what happened to the complaint!

I’d imagine a lot of those conversations will be a recorded voice telling you: “Complaint number GP4958-21-x-banana-gram-2 has been referred to the department of Public Works where it currently is queued at number 546 behind complaint number KE3028-52-g-segway-burn-9. Complaint number GP4958-21-x-banana-gram-2 is scheduled to be read and addressed on February twenty third, two thousand and seven. To hear this response again, please press the star key. Otherwise, thank you for calling the Ravenstahl Reponse Line … where we’re moving Pittsburgh forward by keeping the politics out of politics.”


  1. yinzernation.com
    October 23, 2006 12:12 pm

    You have a very valid complaint about the complaint line. You should call 311.

  2. Matt H
    October 23, 2006 1:35 pm

    This is actually a pretty good idea because of the attached tracking number. That forces the work to be done after you get a reference number, should cut down on the passing of the buck.

  3. Mike
    October 23, 2006 1:38 pm

    They’ve had one in Baltimore for years. It’s pretty effective. But they named it “311,” not the “Martin O’Malley Rapid response line.”

    The naming is bad PR. A 311 line is a 311 line–not matter what political title you put on it. Not a bad idea, just bad execution of that idea.

  4. Tep
    October 23, 2006 1:48 pm

    Apparently it’s also a pretty hip band.

  5. Awesome Comet
    October 23, 2006 2:10 pm

    Good point, Mike. In the year 2036, when Matt H is mayor (because apparently he’s already taken a number at the deli counter), are we still going to be calling it the “Luke Ravenstahl Response Line”? When you call 911, will that be the Nathan Harper Response Line? When you dial 411, is that the James Earl Jones Response Line?

    And to publicize this new Luke Ravenstahl Response line, are we taxpayers going to put up more billboards of Young, Hip Mayor ™ Luke Ravenstahl standing astride the city like Collosus?

  6. Ms. Caroline
    October 23, 2006 3:02 pm

    311 does a pretty decent cover of “lovesong” by The Cure.

  7. theburgher
    October 23, 2006 3:43 pm

    The sign says questions, comments, concerns. Really?

    Can I be the first to ask why our punt returners can’t catch?

    Great. More billboards and mailings. Nothing political about that. I’m guessing they’ll focus more on the Ravenstahl and less on the 311.

    Is 911 the Regan Response Line?

  8. Mimi
    October 23, 2006 5:12 pm

    “If there’s a burning building, call 911,” he said. “If there’s a burning question or a burning issue in the community, call 311.”

    If there’s a burning sensation, um, ask your doctor or pharmacist?

  9. Frank
    October 24, 2006 7:26 am

    Assuming this is setup like the old Mayor’s Service Center, I think it’s a great asset to the City.

    When the Mayor’s Service Center was around I used it for various complaints and saw many results:
    1) Problems with trash pickup
    2) Missing stop signs added at a blind alley intersection
    3) A handicapped space reserved that was no longer needed was removed freeing up about 15 feet of parking
    4) Graffiti removal
    5) Litter and overgrowth on lots

    All of those taken care of. The key here is the tracking number and centralized point of contact. Some cases needed to be follow-ed up on. That’s because some of the deparmentments do a horrible job at fulfilling a resident’s request.

    By calling back and using the tracking number, the Mayor’s Service Center could escalate the issue to supervisors or City management.

    Before you knock it – give it a try. My neighbors and I were very happy to see that it has returned.