FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEWEST WAYS NEW YORK CITY IS MAKING ITS GOVERNMENT MORE TRANSPARENT AND COST-EFFECTIVE IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, February 27, 2011
“I built a company on the idea that transparency would lead to better business decisions and lower business costs. Now as mayor, I am constantly looking for ways to improve City government’s transparency and lower our costs. Sometimes, a new innovation or technology comes along that can help us achieve both goals. For example, the 311 system has given New Yorkers a 24-hour direct line to their government – over the phone or on the web – and a clear way to report and track quality-of-life complaints. And it provides City Hall a big-picture view of where problems occur, which has helped us deploy government resources more effectively and more efficiently.
“We continue to harness the power of new technology to make City government even more transparent and accountable. For instance, two weeks ago, we launched an interactive service-request map on the City’s website, NYC.gov. Part of the 311 system, this map provides New Yorkers with location-specific information on 311 complaints in categories such as noise, construction, snow, and transit. Now, if you make a 311 service request either online or over the phone, you’ll be able to see that request pop up on our new map. You’ll also be able to tell if others have called and made similar requests, and what the City has done to follow up on them.
“One of the most common quality-of-life complaints, particularly at this time of year, is potholes. This year, we launched a blog called the “Daily Pothole,” which tracks our Transportation Department’s pothole-filling efforts citywide. You can link to the “Daily Pothole” through NYC.gov, for maps, photos, statistics, and reports from the field. We’ve filled nearly 114,000 potholes so far this year, compared to only about 70,000 over the same period last year. That’s an increase of 63percent. Recently we added another $2 million to the City’s pothole budget, which will allow us to keep fixing potholes at this pace. To report new potholes, New Yorkers can go to “The Daily Pothole,” call 311, or even use a cell phone to upload a picture of a pothole to 311.
“We know that our residents are always on the go, and we want to give you every possible opportunity to access important City information wherever you are, and at any time of the day. Last week we added yet another way to do that with the introduction of QR codes on building construction permits. QR or “Quick Response” codes are similar to bar codes. When scanned, they are gateways to a deep reservoir of information about construction in our neighborhoods. Now we will begin printing these codes on the construction permits that buildings are required to display at work sites. By using one of the free QR code readers that can be downloaded to almost any Smartphone, New Yorkers can scan the QR codes on construction permits and be instantly connected to the details of that construction project, including the name of the property owner, the approved scope of work, and any complaints or violations related to the project.
“Making it easier for residents to access government information and services has been a key goal of our Administration from the very beginning. One of the ways we’re getting there is through an initiative we call “Simplicity,” a comprehensive effort to make City government more efficient, customer-friendly, and modern. All of the innovations I’ve described today will take Simplicity to the next level, and empower New Yorkers to become our partners in improving our city’s quality-of-life.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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