January 10, 2012

SeeClickFix: A Municipal Problem Reporting Tool - How Effective Is It?

SEECLICKFIX IS a web app that allows city residents to report neighborhood issues and "see them get fixed." The site also ranks municipalities by civic activity and responsiveness.

As of today's post, the top five cities for responsiveness were: Warringah, New South Wales, Darwin, NT, Richmond, VA, Raleigh, NC and Nightcliff, Northern Territory.

How would you use SeeClickFix?

It's pretty simple. Let's say you are driving down a city street and your car suddenly hits a huge pothole. The car bounces from the shock and you have a few choice words for the local public works department. Then you pull your car over to the side of the road and grab your smartphone. A few key strokes and the pothole problem and location gets posted on SeeClickFix.

After that, theoretically, a city official responds to the post and a repair team is sent to the pothole location and the road gets fixed. The city reports the pothole problem as "closed."

That explanation is somewhat simplified but you get the idea. Here's a demo video of how it works.

So, I was curious.

In my county there are 20 cities. Since the site allows you to search by areas, I did a search on each of the cities in San Mateo County. The table below contains the results.

But in fairness to the cities, just because there is an open issue listed on SeeClickFix, doesn't mean it's a real issue - I saw several entries that were "suspect." Also, the city may have already fixed the issue and not have reported it through the website. In short, the data might be flawed.

City                       Incident Report #                        Issues Not fixed                Oldest Report

Atherton                      4                                                     4                                    1 year
Belmont                       0                                  
Brisbane                       0
Burlingame                   0
Colma                          0
Daly City                      2                                                     2                                    3 years
East Palo Alto               0
Foster City                   2                                                      2                                    3 years
Half Moon Bay              1                                                      1                                    9 months
Hillsborough                 1                                                      1                                    4 days
Menlo Park                   4                                                      4                                    3 years
Millbrae                       0
Pacfiica                        1                                                      1                                    1 year
Portola Valley               0  
Redwood City               5                                                      5                                    3 years
San Bruno                     1                                                      1                                    1 month
San Carlos                     2                                                      2                                   1 year
San Mateo                     16                                                    16                                  1 year
South San Francisco       3                                                      3                                    3 years
Woodside                      0

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