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New York: The Strangest Calls to 311

New York: The Strangest Calls to 311

“How do I cook turkey for Thanksgiving?” , “My refrigerator is so annoying”: New York City celebrated the 20th anniversary of its “non-emergency” 311 calling service, by broadcasting its craziest requests among its 525 million contacts.

Launched in March 2003, “NYC311 has become an indispensable resource for New Yorkers, when they want to file a noise complaint, report a dirt problem, and find out if alternate parking is in effect,” praised Eric Adams, Democratic Mayor. More than eight million people.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the service released a nine-page study summarizing key stats for its “non-emergency” calling number, as distinct from 911, the number reserved for more severe cases.

If the most numerous contacts are related to parking, legal or illegal, noise or heating complaints, the city council selected the 20 most unusual requests. A 2008 question was asked: “A cat terrorizes someone through a screen door”, or “How long is a baseball game”.

In 2022, possibly in the fall, 311 was called to ask if it would be possible to “spray the trees with a leaf fall prevention spray.” He was asked back in 2023: “Can you take me to a UFO expert?”

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