311 Data and Active Seniors

Every once and awhile, we here in the Ward 10 office like to bust out our calculators and look at some data. Last week, we took a look at the 311 data that is available for Ward 10.

Each time you call 311 with a complaint, that complaint is documented and sorted by service category. Your complaint gets sorted into a service category based on the nature of the complaint; the data we looked at, from the City’s Open Data 311 Explorer, includes the following service categories: 

  • Dead Animal Removal
  • Drainage Maintenance
  • Litter and Waste
  • Parks and Sportsfield Maintenance
  • Pest Management
  • Potholes
  • Road/Sidewalk Maintenance
  • Snow and Ice Maintenance
  • Structure Maintenance
  • Traffic Lights and Signs
  • Tree Maintenance
  • Vandalism/Graffiti

These certainly aren’t representative of all complaints, comments or questions that come in to 311, and we expect that more service category data will be coming online this year. But the data available did allow us to paint a bit of a picture of what Ward residents are concerned about. The data we looked at covered from 2013 up to May 11; in total, there were around 15,000 submissions to 311 in these service categories from Ward 10 residents during that period.

The top three concerns in Ward 10 overall were:

Potholes: 3,375 complaints
Snow and Ice Maintenance: 3, 281 complaints
Drainage Maintenance: 1876 complaints 

Every neighbourhood in Ward 10 had one of these three categories as it’s top complaint category. 

We also looked at which neighbourhood had the highest volume of complaints in each service category:

Dead Animal Removal: Keheewin (42 complaints)
Drainage Maintenance: Ermineskin (167 complaints)
Litter and Waste: Keheewin (162 complaints)
Parks and Sportsfield Maintenance: Keheewin and Royal Gardens tied at 43 complaints
Pest Management: Bearspaw (10 complaints)
Potholes: Pleasantview (340 complaints)
Road/Sidewalk Maintenance: Greenfield (162 complaints)
Snow and Ice Maintenance: Greenfield (310 complaints)
Structure Maintenance: Keheewin (4 complaints)
Traffic Lights and Signs: Royal Gardens (207 complaints)
Tree Maintenance: Allendale (110 complaints)
Vandalism/Graffiti: Royal Gardens (96 complaints)

This data allows me to take a more holistic look at what residents are concerned about. We’re going to continue to look at this data and see how we can help to resolve some of these top issues in Ward 10 communities.

Active Seniors

I get feedback from residents in a lot of different ways, but one of my favourite opportunities for connecting is visiting seniors throughout the Ward. Seniors often have very practical and immediate solutions for problems in their area, improvements that will make the community more accessible for all.

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit the seniors at the Shepherd’s Care Facility in Ermineskin and at Pleasantview Place near Southgate. We had some very productive discussions about larger city issues, and about smaller changes that could be made to improve conditions around their housing complexes.

These chats got me thinking about accessibility and the 8 80 Cities concept - the idea that our infrastructure should be built to accommodate a wide range of ages and abilities. What I heard from many seniors at these chats was that the basic infrastructure, like pedestrian crosswalks, road and sidewalk quality, and grading for drainage were all impediments to them getting out and accessing services and amenities.

So I’ve gotten started on a new project. Together with our city’s administration, we’re going to develop a set of ‘seniors-friendly’ criteria that we can use to evaluate the infrastructure around seniors complexes and potentially areas that are popular destinations for seniors. This will include features like traffic signal length, trip hazards, water pooling, and sightlines, among others.

Canada has an aging populations, but I’d also argue that today’s seniors are more active than ever before. We need to start looking at how we design our cities to accommodate this change and to make sure that we are removing barriers to seniors being active in their communities. My hope is that this pilot will allow us to develop criteria that could eventually be considered city-wide for improving liveability for all Edmontonians.