Reporting potholes, graffiti and other annoyances: There’s now an app for that

Seattle is a mightily wired place, where smartphones are nearly as commonplace as shoes. To help the technically-inclined report a number of nuisances in their lives – from potholes to graffiti to abandoned vehicles – the city released their “Find It, Fix It” app for both Android and iOS devices on Aug. 13.

According to Mayor Mike McGinn’s office, “ The app takes advantage of technology available on mobile devices, including geographic awareness, to give mobile users a convenient way to alert the City to issues such as graffiti and potholes, while providing location information that helps City staff respond. The City is also soliciting public feedback on the app, which will be fine-tuned to respond to initial use and comments.”

"When you’re out in your neighborhood and see a pothole, graffiti, or something else you think the City should know about, Find It, Fix It gives you an easy way to notify us so we can fix it," McGinn said in a statement. “Download the app, test it out and share your feedback and ideas to help us develop more mobile services.”

Here are the details from the Mayor’s office:

The app, which can be downloaded to any iPhone or Android phone, offers the following service request categories:
• Abandoned Vehicles: report vehicles parked in a public right-of-way more than three days.
• Graffiti: report graffiti, including what it is on – parking meter, utility pole or building – so it gets automatically routed to the appropriate department for response.
• Pothole: report a pothole.
• Parking Enforcement: make an inquiry regarding a parking concern.
• Other Inquiry: this miscellaneous category is for making an inquiry or request, which will be processed by the City’s Customer Service Bureau. Mobile users should choose this category to provide feedback.

The app also provides a link to http://m.seattle.gov, the mobile version of the City of Seattle’s website.

Android users can download the app from the Google Play Store and iPhone users can download the app from the App Store. The fastest way to find the app is to search on this phrase within quotes: “find it, fix it.”

The public is currently able to report issues and request information in person at City Hall, the Seattle Municipal Tower and any of six Neighborhood Service Centers, over the phone by calling 206-684-2489 (CITY), and at the City’s website at http://www.seattle.gov. With the new Find It, Fix It app, members of the public can now also report an issue using their smartphones by snapping a photo, adding detailed information, and hitting submit. The map’s “drag and drop” feature or the phone’s own technology can be used to pinpoint the location.

Submissions are entered into the City’s Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system, and departments responsible for providing that specific service will manage and track requests. The City of Seattle began using the CRM system in December 2011. There may be some initial delays in response time as City departments adjust to any increase in service requests.

All requests submitted must specify a location within Seattle city limits in order to complete processing. If the location is outside the city limits, a message will display to the user and the request will close automatically.

The City anticipates adding other request types in the future and welcomes feedback on the app and ideas for additional features. Users should choose the Find It, Fix It app’s “other inquiry” category – found under the "New Request" icon – to submit feedback.

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