Houston's New 311 App Sounds Awesome. So When's Dallas Getting One?

Categories: City Hall

On Tuesday, the city of Houston went live with a 311 app for smartphones. Downloadable free from the iTunes store, the allows residents to submit complaints and track their progress on the go.

"Say you see a pothole on your street. Before you even leave for work you can walk over, launch the app and type in 'pothole,' " city of Houston spokesman Chris Newport told the Houston Chronicle. "You have the option of taking a picture, punching in the address and answering two other questions before you hit send."

The complaint goes not to some dead-letter email inbox with the city but generates a work order that's added to the to-do list of the city's public works department.

So. When's Dallas getting its own app? It's been four years since Councilwoman Angela Hunt first suggested it as a way to improve service in the wake of a 17-percent cut to the 311 program's budget.

"We've been working on it," city spokesman Frank Librio told Unfair Park in an email on Wednesday. The implementation is set for August, barring unforeseen delays.

Development has helped by the restoration of the city's 311 budget, which is $5.3 million. That's up some 43 percent since a recession-era low $3.7 million in 2009.

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Like most things City of Dallas-related, the current on-line 311 system is both bewildering and obsolete.  The selection of possible complaint types is limiting and bizarre; in many case, the on-line form doesn't allow for the input of additional details that would be required for an appropriate response.


The only unforseen delay I can imagine would be forgetting to let some council member's brother-in-law get a chance to feed at the trough.


I love how non-tech entities that release apps fail to realize that many people have Android phones too. Knowing the Dallas app it will ignore potholes completely and only allow you to report sagging pants, cars being mean to bicyclists, and pledge your support for the Trinity Toll Road.

Montemalone topcommenter

So if you're in a plane flying over, dial 311 and type in "shithole", what happens?

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@NewsDog yep, some council persons brother must develop the app, then another cousin must get hired to read the 311 calls that come in from the app, and another friend of city hall will have to have his construction company be the one out filling all requests that come in through said app.  I think I got it covered


@Montemalone The Plane lands, and you get arrested and led off in cuffs for making a  terroristic threat.


A pantsless member of the Dallas Citizens Council will immediately blind you with a green laser.@Montemalone

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