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Archived: If You Live In L.A., Please Call 311

It may seem like a petty complaint we’re making, but a clean community makes for a better quality of life in an urban area.

Our complaint is that week after week we observe how property owners and renters continually dump broken furniture, assorted bags of trash and clothes, mattresses and obsolete televisions on the sidewalks of Los Angeles, but don’t bother to call 311 to have these items picked up.

These discards not only pose a health problem, but also can cause accidents to pedestrians and cars trying to maneuver their way through the minefields of people’s castoffs.

We know the city will say they have no money for such an undertaking, but we think the city should every three months or so dispatch trash trucks to pick up discards left at the curb by people too lazy to dial 311— the city’s number to report trash and bulky items needed to be picked up or graffiti removed, as well as Los Angeles’ call center where you can (if someone picks up) get contact information for a variety of other city services and departments.

A short drive down North Figueroa in Highland Park this week, for example, would have documented dozens of discards on the public right of way that would not be there if someone had just bothered to dial 311 and arrange for a pick up.

Clean streets and curbs we believe encourage residents to clean up their own acts, and make our neighborhoods the pleasant places where most of us want to live.