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New App Aims to Help Local Public Works

By Michael Papich Posted August 5, 2013 at 11:07 am

CARRBORO – See a pothole or a down tree? There’s an app for that called SeeClickFix.

The app lets users report non-emergency problems around their city.

Ben Westermann-Clark, director of citizen engagement at SeeClickFix, says the app allows a level of interaction that calling or e-mailing Public Works might not provide.

“Other people in your neighborhood, other people in your community can see it and interact with the issues as well and vote for it and say, ‘this actually is a big deal to me,’” Westermann-Clark says. “And the governments can see that, ‘this is an issue that’s really affecting my constituents. I should take a closer look at it.’”

Kurt Stolka, vice-chair of Carrboro’s Transportation Advisory Board, is the top SeeClickFix user in Carrboro and says his experiences with the app have been promising.

“I reported some pothole areas on Estes, where the intersection with North Greensboro and Estes was, and I think a week or two later, the potholes were fixed,” Stolka says.

Local governments can also use SeeClickFix to view and comment on reports. Westermann-Clark adds that the site gives municipalities a range of other tools.

“Things like maps and categories and management tools so that they can triage and manage the issues that come in,” Westermann-Clark says.

Stolka says giving the power to report local accidents out to the public is what makes the app so successful in his eyes.

“There’s so many people that have eyes on the street that use them and there’s not as many officials that can have the same view-span,” Stolka says.

WCHL reached out to the Chapel Hill and Carrboro public works departments but did not get a response.

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