More Oaklanders using SeeClickFix to call attention to problem areas throughout city

 

Live City of Oakland Problem Map via SeeClickFix
(The City of Oakland uses Cityworks to manage service requests generated from SeeClickFix)

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When the city of Oakland launched SeeClickFix in February, most issue reports to Oakland Public Works were made in select North, West and Downtown Oakland neighborhoods.

The highest reporting prior to February came out of Lakeside, Downtown, Civic Center and Oaksterdam neighborhoods.

Today, reporting has widened and residents from Prescott to points south of Melrose Heights are reporting issues of concern.

At 2,618, the latest request tally received by Public Works via the SeeClickFix service – the neighborhood issue reporting tool, with programs around the country – is still less than the 8,848 service requests submitted directly to Oakland Public Works via phone and email for the same five month period. In fact, the total number of service requests to public works have not gone up drastically.

From February to June 2011, 10,481 requests were received by public works compared to 12,989 for the same period this year. But with that 24 percent service request increase over 2011 data, comes the prospect of increased citizen engagement.

Most significant are the new reporters said John McCabe, city of Oakland Business & Information Analysis Division manager.

“There’s been a quick adoption of tech, both on the mobile app and the SeeClickFix website throughout the city,” he said. “It seems like we’re getting new people interacting and reporting.”

Oakland’s adoption stands out, said Kevin Donohue, community manager at SeeClickFix. Donohue said that city staff and Oakland residents were quick to use the system. And, unlike many other program cities, the majority of Oakland users are mobile based. Reports show 73 percent of Oakland users access the website on a mobile device.

For top users like “Patti W.” who has reported 75 issues ranging from illegal dumping to non-functioning street lights, SeeClickFix serves as an easy interface to report issues and vote on priorities.

Many of her reported issues fall into the most reported categories. Looking at all time reports for Oakland, the issues most reported are illegal dumping, graffiti and potholes. So far Patti W. has voted on 268 issues. She now has 7,525 civic points.

Others like Maja Brugos founder of Machen Supply were initially interested in the tool, going as far as following the related Twitter feed to see fix updates, but never creating an account and eventually dropping the feed.

And what happens to all of these reports? Every year Public Works receives 36,000 service requests said McCabe. Once received, requests are added to already scheduled maintenance orders to become 60,000 work orders.

“If something needs to be fixed, we want to hear about it,” McCabe said. “We do our best to fix and close every issue though, we are seeing the reporting increase at a time of budget cuts and fewer staff.”

Of the 75 issues that “Patti W.” has reported, 26 have been closed. This rate may be due to the nature of requests.

“We’re dealing with a city with limited resources,” Donohue said. “Illegal dumping is definitely a problem, but it’s not as difficult to fix as is a pothole where you have to address staffing, cement supply, etc.”

Additionally, not all issues reported end up at Public Works; some require the attention of Parks and Recreation and others require various agencies address the problem.

Total top Issues reported on SeeClickFix that were later fixed:

Illegal dumping – 1,100 fixed issues

Graffiti – 558 fixed issues

Potholes – 346 fixed issues

via Oakland Local

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