The Intro to SeeClickFix on atlantabike.org reads, "We've been waiting for a tool like this one for a long time, and it's finally here! Developers in New Haven, Connecticut, created SeeClickFix.com to allow communities everywhere to report, track, and ultimately fix hazards in the public right of way. Here at ABC, we are often asked to intercede on behalf cyclists with complaints or concerns about parallel grates, disappearing bike lanes, dangerous bridge gaps, etc. I believe SeeClickFix will help us better track your needs and the responses we receive, while turning cyclists across Atlanta into their own best advocates for improvements! Please read more to see the map and to add any hazards you've experienced."
50+ issues have already been reported in Atlanta related to biking via their widget embedded in their site. Bike Hazard, Railroad Tracks and Bike Lane needed are some of the usual suspects.
If you have a bike group, show them what Atlanta is doing.
Saturday, July 25, 2009 - By Ben Berkowitz - No comments
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - By Ben Berkowitz - No comments
Jennifer Okamoto at the Dallas Morning News took the time to reach out to public officials in their area and create watch areas for 16 local Department Of Public works officials and 311 call centers.
Now the Dallas Morning News is getting citizens to report non-emergency issues in their community publicly using the following publicity efforts mentioned by Okamoto:
"*There are promos in the paper pretty regularly on pages 2A and 2B.
*We have blogs from each community where we mention the tool from time to time, first announcing it, then reporting the more interesting tickets.
Here's an example: http://planoblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/07/new-dallasnewscom-tool-plano-p-1.html
And another: http://eastdallasblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/07/check-out-the-potholes-on-mcmi.html
There are also standing links to see click fix from these blogs as well as from our community landing pages (Ex: www.dallasnews.com/planoblog and www.dallasnews.com/plano)
*New tickets show up in our community news feeds for each community
*We have a teaser to it on our home page as one of our rotating promos
*We've created a shortcut for the tool: www.dallasnews.com/problemtracker
And we're about to launch a marketing program for all of our community news coverage that will mention it."
Great Work Jennifer!
Friday, July 17, 2009 - By Ben Berkowitz - 1 comment
Rob Stuart from Evolve strategies was kind enough to host me in Philadelphia yesterday for a whirlwind intro and re-intro to some of Philadelphia's most active.
My day started with a bike ride down Upper State Street in New Haven to a 5:00 Am for a Metro North 5:40 to NYC. A nice walk from GC to Penn Station followed and at 10:30 I took the Bolt Bus to Philly. (Bolt bus is awesome! They arrive on time, the seats are roomy and leather, there is wi-fi, it costs 12 bucks to Philly, there is outlets in every seat and it only takes two hours...we need a New Haven Stop) Rob picked me up with bicycle in tow and we were off to our first meeting. (Philly by bike is great and Rob isn't scared to ride fast.)
Our first meeting was with Pew Charitable Trusts to discuss the journalistic aspects of SeeClickFix and how the raw data of citizen concerns and their stories have led to some interesting local news coverage.
Meeting two was at Philadelphia City Hall (The biggest Municipal building in the world) with Al Spivy in Councilman Jones' office to chat about getting the City Council using SeeClickFix. Al's eyes lit up when he saw what SCF was all about. He grabbed another City Council employee instantly to take notes. We set the councilman up with a watch area in the meeting and he's off and running.
Off to Evolve's office across from city hall where we met with two Councilman at Large's staffers. Again SeeClickFix was met with excited response.
At 4:00 we had another meeting with The Philadelphia Clean Air Council, The Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition, Seth from Net Tuesday, Society Hill Community Organization, a staffer from Next American City and a few other community members. The conversation began with Society Hill and the Bike Coalition debating a bike lane through Society Hill which was a nice segue into how SeeClickFix works and the kinds of conversations like that one that happen on the site around reported issues.
The Philadelphia Clean Air council is going to be using the tool for idlefreephilly.com and the bicycle coalition already encourages riders to report issues via SeeClickFix. We signed up Society Hill for a watch area and discussed community watch areas a little bit and then moved on to what other problems we could tackle in Philly. Trash removal and the new Big Bellies were a discussion as well as park clean-ups.
Before leaving Rob took me over to a Parks Group Meeting where i met a few more community leaders.
Philly is a cool city with a lot of really active groups. Hopefully SeeClickFix will continue to help them communicate in new ways about old concerns.
Monday, July 13, 2009 - By Ben Berkowitz - No comments
In the Cedarhill nieghborhood of Minneapolis a nieghborhood group leader has set up a watch area for their neighborhood and encouraged other neighbors to follow the watch area so that they can be alerted when their neighbors report community concerns.
Here's the text that they used to communicate with their group about the tool:
Steve B. created a 'watch area' for Cedar Ave United; now we have a simple way to keep track of the complaints for Cedar Ave. And guess what, when you file a complaint about the street on the website, it appears to send it directly to 311, making this an easy way to go right up the food chain.
Our watchgroup is here: http://www.seeclickfix.com/watch_area/1076 if you sign up to 'follow' the CAU watch area you will receive an update whenever a complaint is logged within the area. Our watch area may help to add unity to our complaints in the future, at the very least it is currently helping us stay updated on where people are having concerns.
Here is a link directly to the map with concerns noted: http://www.seeclickfix.com/issues?watcher_token=d162b5ac1981b2974de283a24c8ecf
Monday, July 6, 2009 - By Ben Berkowitz - No comments
Recently I've been paying closer attention to the way block groups organize and communicate. In New Haven we tend to have email lists that have one central point of distribution. In Philadelphia the Philly blocks group has a list-serv which any member can email to. Many of the topics on these lists are issues that should be reported on SeeClickFix and many of the resulting discussions would be valuable to those accountable for these neighborhoods and other members of the public who might not be on the list.
With these community groups in mind SeeClickFix has added a new feature that allows clickers to follow their community groups watch area. What this means is that when a user reports a Clicket everyone in their neighborhood can receive an alert. You report a street light out. 100 of your neighbors are notified and can verify and support the reolution of your issue by commenting ir clicking I want this fixed too.
Someone loses a dog and the issue can be posted instantly with a photo, emails go out to your neighbors, and if your local newspaper has the SeeClickFix widget or rss it might show up there as well.
As an aside I found this quote that is very much in the spirit of SeeClickFix on one of the lists from Ed Schwartz who founded Philly Blocks
It is here, moreover, where the political philosophy of the Institute
for the Study of Civic Values shapes the issues that we
advance here--and will continue to do so in the future.
I started the Institute for the Study of Civic Values in 1974--35
years ago--to build a citizen politics around the principles of the
American democratic tradition.
There are four core principles involved here:
Civic Values--as set forth explicitly in the Declaration of
Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights;
Community-Which binds us together where we live and work as citizens who share these civic ideals;
Equality--Which affirms that each of us makes a contribution to the
community and should be valued for the contribution that we make; and
Democracy--We all need to participate in shaping the decisions that
affect our lives.
I will be reaching out to Philly Blocks to see if SeeClickFix Community watch areas would be a valuable tool for them. After all in Philly the government responds to Clickets and the Inquirer sheds light on them by publishing them on phillyreports.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009 - By Ben Berkowitz - No comments
Thanks to a recommendation from Fred Wilson Outside.In is now aggregating SeeClickFix data on their site. Outside.In is a tool that brings the full power of hyperlocal to neighborhood websites and audiences.
Check out an example: http://outside.in/New_Haven_CT
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