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What's the 311?

What's The 311?

An Occasional Look At What People in The City Are Complaining About

The City Paper Digi-Cam™

By Chris Landers | Posted 12/10/2008

If we learned anything from The Wire, it was that vacant rowhouses are excellent places to hide dead bodies. Turns out that's not all they can be used for--the vacant house is like the Swiss army knife of urban blight, useful for multiple purposes, from drug houses to illegal dumping sites. The city's 311 operators received more than 14,000 calls to board up (and re-board up) vacant buildings over the past three years. Here are the top 10 abandoned houses in Baltimore, according to those calls.

Number of 311 calls about house:
809 N. Carey St.
2403 Westwood Ave.
2019 N. Washington St.
1021 N. Fulton St.
151 Denison St.
640 E. 33rd St.
1810 E. 28th St.
3904 W. Garrison Ave.
2033 Orleans St.
1406 W. Saratoga St.

A Sampling of some of the complaints received by 311 about vacant houses:

8/1/2007, 4708 Pimlico Road: Front and rear doors missing off hinges, front yard beer bottles, etc. Gang (?) members having almost nightly parties. Moved into vacant house with broken-out windows.

8/15/2008,1509 Edmondson Ave.: Rear--inside--vagrants living in the house and throwing feces in a bag out the window and urinating all over the street and property. House is being used for drugs.

10/18/2008, 229 Milton Ave., Front door--building gutted out for rehab. Teens using building for dog fights.

Disclaimer: What's the 311? is based on data from the Mayor's Office of Information Technology (currently from Sept. 20, 2005, until Sept. 30, 2008). It has been folded, spindled, and mutilated along the way, and no attempt has been made to verify the accuracy of the calls.

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