You can be part of a constructive solution to local problems. For emergency problems, dial 911. For non-emergency problems – street not plowed, see a pothole, notice buses idling excessively – you can post your reports on Local Troublespots and get attention from the government and other agencies who can fix them. And anyone can monitor these problems and the response to them online, anytime, at Local Troublespots on chestnuthilllocal.com.
Local Troublepots uses the technology of SeeClickFix, a growing organization dedicated to increasing citizen involvement in solving non-emergency problems, which was recently profiled in The New York Times.
SeeClickFix encourages citizens to report non-emergency issues, like graffiti or potholes, in a public format. SeeClickFix hopes making these and similar nuisance issues public will make the appropriate agencies more likely to address the problems.
Issues reported are posted on the website. The word “open” next to an issue indicates that it is active. Resolved issues are marked “closed” and remain visible for three weeks. Then they are archived. Anyone can read posted issues, make comments and even close an issue. An issue can be closed one day and reopened the next if someone is not satisfied with its resolution.
Posts and comments are not prescreened. This unregulated discussion is one of the website’s fundamental principles, according to Ben Berkowitz, co-founder and chief executive director of SeeClickFix, who said the system is “open and transparent.”
SeeClickFix’s openness is popular with social network users and bloggers. In addition, local businesses, media outlets and neighborhood organizations use the site to monitor their communities.
Anyone can sign up on the SeeClickFix site to “watch” any area they choose. “Watchers” receive email alerts from SeeClickFix whenever an issue in that community is reported. They are also notified when comments are posted regarding the issue.