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Blog

Improving Quality-of-Life in Union Square, SF

Zack Beatty

Union Square BID Assist: iOS app

Union Square BID Assist: iOS app

Good news, San Francisco: now you can report non-emergency quality-of-life issues in Union Square from your smartphone, tablet, or computer, thanks to our new partnership with the Union Square Business Improvement District. Powered by the open SeeClickFix platform, the new Union Square BID Assist program allows you to report issues such as:

  • Vandalism
  • Graffiti
  • Safety Concern
  • Noise Complaint
  • Bicycle Code Violation
  • Trespassing / Loitering
  • Aggressive Panhandling
  • Illegal Dumping
  • Street Light Out
  • Trash
  • and more...

Union Square residents, commuters, employees, students, and visitors alike are encouraged to get involved. To report an issue, download the iOS or Android mobile application, or use the interactive map-based reporting form at visitunionsquaresf.com/the_bid/report.

Union Square BID Assist: web-based report form

Union Square BID Assist: web-based report form

In addition to our geo-dynamic communication channels and notification services, Union Square BID staff are using SeeClickFix to manage their internal workflow. BID ambassadors and work crews are using our "field app" to document the numerous services performed and problems solved on a daily basis, while BID management are using our reporting and analytics tools to track the big picture. In the future, we hope to share some deeper insight and data on this exciting use case.

SeeClickFix for Safe Routes to School

Zack Beatty

Mobile app

Mobile app

We are pleased to announce that SeeClickFix is the technology platform powering the Miami Safe Routes Clearinghouse, a pilot project of 501 (c)(3) non-profit Urban Health Partnerships, Inc. Approved by the Miami-Dade County Public School Board in 2013, the program is now being tested in the cities of Hialeah, Miami Gardens, and Miami, as well as unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County.

In addition to branded versions of our iPhone and Android applications, Miami Safe Routes Clearinghouse is using embeddable SeeClickFix website components. The map widget allows issues to be reported from a desktop computer, with the convenience of automatic address lookup:

Map widget: Report an Issue  

Map widget: Report an Issue

 

The Miami Safe Routes Clearinghouse platform was created with our students’ safety in mind. With the Miami Safe Routes Clearinghouse application, all concerned citizens can easily report and monitor issues surrounding PreK-12 Miami Dade Public Schools. By alerting departments with findings through this innovative program, it allows all necessary improvements to follow in a more active and coordinated form.
— Urban Health Partnerships, Inc.

In keeping with our platform-wide commitment to transpancy, the website widget also allows you to browse and search for existing reports and service requests, all via in an interactive map view:

Map widget: Browse Issues

Map widget: Browse Issues

We look forward to sharing deeper insight and data analysis as the pilot continues. For more information on this ambitious project, have a look at their slide deck below, or visit miamisaferoutesclearinghouse.org.

Welcome St. Petersburg, FL

Isabel Santos-Gonzalez

St. Petersburg, FL, a city with a population of approximately 249,000 residents, recently launched with SeeClickFix. The Mayor's Action Center manages all incoming requests, which range from alley maintenance issues to streetlight repairs, and corresponds with residents when they comment on reports. Residents can submit reports on the SeeClickFix website and from the SCF app for Android or iPhone

The amount of communication taking place between city staff and residents is truly remarkable and stands as a testament to the city's commitment to transparency and accessibility. There are numerous examples of positive and productive discussion taking place. We've highlighted some noteworthy conversations below: 

  • "Other" 
    • Darby: "We saw St. Pete sanitation at the property and they did a nice job of cleaning up the brush in the front yard. There is still trash and overgrowth visible from the front of the property; what happens next? 
    • Mayor's Action Center: "Update: Sanitation still has work to do at this location - here's the message I received from them in response to your post: 'Sanitation's Lot Clearing crew expects to have it all cleared up and hauled away today. Their supervisor said the occupant was a hoarder and there was a tremendous amount of stuff to dispose off [sic] before the mowing could be done.' I hope this explanation is helpful - thanks for the follow-up. David, M.A.C"
    • Darby: "I want to thank you and the sanitation department of St. Pete. It does appear that the exterior clean up was completed today, and what a difference. Thank you for improving the neighborhood!" 
  • "City Park Maintenance"
    • Mayor's Action Center: "Thank you for submitting this request - we will have an inspector check out the location and follow-up with the appropriate department to determine if the previous work request is still active and in queue for completion, or if a new request needs to be entered. Either way, we can't have one side of the street looking like a hot mess. We're on it. Thank! David, Mayor's Action Center"
    • Scuba: "You're awesome...thank you!!" 
    • Mayor's Action Center: "Update: due to an interesting quirk of City maintenance procedures, it turns out that our Parks Department maintains the west side of 43rd, but our Stormwater folks maintain the east side. Why? Not sure. Perhaps some ancient feud between two long forgotten neighboring Pinellas tribes. At any rate, from your description it would seem that Parks has a different mowing schedule - I'm checking with Stormwater to see if I can find out a ballpark estimate on when the east side might be address. I'll post any updates here. Thanks again!" 
    • Mayor's Action Center: "Good news, Scuba - just got a call from Stormwater and was told that their crew was able to take care of the east side of 43rd St today. Please feel free to report any other future issues to us on this site, we appreciate your help - have a good evening!
  • "Other"
    • Mayor's Action Center: Thank you for your suggestion. The photo of the location doesn't appear to match the 6th St. N address - it does look like it could be part of an interstate overpass, in which case it might be up to the FDOT to maintain or 'enhance' the location with art. Public art installations are something that the City does encourage when and where they are possible - for more information about the City's public art, feel free to visit this link or contact the Office of Cultural Affairs at 727-551-3250.
    • Davidvega: "Great answer, thanks for the thorough response. It gives me confidence good people are working behind the scenes.
  • "Alley Maintenance"
    • Scuba: "There is nothing wrong with this alley. It's beautiful compared to what else is out there. Looks great if you ask me..."
    • Alex: "There are large areas of wash out (just outside the left frame of the image), along with additional issues. The City representative has acknowledged that this alley needs repairs." 
    • Mayor's Action Center: "Good Friday morning, folks! Thanks for the comments - SeeClickFix is a great way for citizens to interact with us at the City, but also a way for neighbors to engage with each other, so we appreciate your participation. There will certainly be times when a reported issue might be interpreted differently, like when I think my lawn isn't all that high but my neighbors think it's an out-of-control wilderness :) As far as city services go, we do our best to address each issue - sometimes they aren't quite ready for attention, but other times we do need to initiate a work request. In this particular, a request to add some fill material to the depressions in the alley has been made to the Public Works department - just know that they are running a backlog of requests that is at least 2 months long, so it will ultimately be addressed, but maybe not as quickly as folks would like. We're doing our best, and appreciate your comments, questions, and feedback - post anytime. Thanks and have a great weekend! David, M.A.C." 
The alley discussed in the comments above. 

The alley discussed in the comments above. 

We look forward to seeing more great work from St. Petersburg staff and residents! Be sure to check out the fantastic promo the city put together for the SCF launch. 

St. Albert Releases "Spruce It Up" App!

Julie Ramaccia

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 3.50.36 PM.png

In April, the City of St. Albert publicly launched SeeClickFix to almost 61,000 residents.

Within the first month of the launch, we saw tremendous resident and municipal engagement. Since then, we have been working with the City of St. Albert to develop their branded app “Spruce It Up!”

The City released the Spruce It Up app this week, which offers an expanded selection of service requests. A recent news release notes:

The upgraded system provides two-way communication by enabling City staff to send timely and helpful advisories to residents who are using the application. The new version also expands the scope of issues reported to include St. Albert Transit.

Residents are encouraged to download the new mobile app, available on iPhone and Android. They can also report issues on this City’s website.

Respect the Honeybee

Isabel Santos-Gonzalez

Bees. They seem to at once inspire awe and terror amongst the general population, sentiments reflected in a collection of bee-centric SCF reports we have gathered. It would appear that most individuals submit reports about bees because of public safety concerns: hive located on fire call box, hive underneath pedestrian walk signal, swarm in front of residence. However, a resolution to these reports is not as simple as hive removal. The bees must be treated with utmost care, and many residents chimed in on bee-related post to communicate their opinions to city officials and other community members.

"Beehive in fire call box"

  • "Bees are an important part of our environment, so I'm hoping that this issue was handled by an experienced beekeeper...do you have listings of beekeepers?" 
  • "Very true! I don't want them to kill off the bees, not at all. Just get someone who knows what they are doing to resolve the issue. There is an NYC beekeeping association, I just contacted them to see what they can suggest. 

"Anyone missing some bees?"

  • "Do you know what happened to them? Bees are very docile when swarming and just looking for a place to live." 
  • "I hope they find a new home. Are people paying attention to the news regarding bees and pesticides/chemicals/herbicides? We have plenty of bees here - white clover in the lawn, plants, trees, and no chemicals. But bees must be finding it difficult to find natural, healthy, chemical-free places to live."

"Beehive"

  • "If they're honey bees, I think they should be left alone. As many of us know, there is a shortage of honey bees, we don't need to be making it worse by getting rid of more of them..."

"Bees"

  • "Swarming bees present no problems to the public if you just leave them alone or call a beekeeper...if swarming they will be gone in a day or two..."
A beehive on a fire department call box on Roosevelt Island, NY. 

A beehive on a fire department call box on Roosevelt Island, NY. 

Multiple commenters touched upon a key point: the honeybee population, which pollinates approximately $15 billion worth of produce in the United States each year, is in decline. Pesticides, especially neonicotinoid, are the largest threat to bees. As such, retailers like Home Depot and BJ's Wholesale have taken steps to distinctly label plants that have already been treated with the harmful pesticide so that individuals do not unknowingly purchase and plant harmful vegetation. Eugene, OR elected to ban products that contain neonicotinoid from city properties (parks, schools etc.) and other may soon follow their lead. That's certainly a change we can get behind! 

You can read more about bees and the pesticide crisis here and here