Mobile app helping to clean up Oakland

More people are using Oakland’s SeeClickFix program to make sure the city doesn’t fall apart at the seams.

SeeClickFix, launched in February, is a mobile app that allows people to send reports to Oakland Public Works about graffiti, potholes, illegal dumping, or other non-emergency issues they may find in North, West, and Downtown Oakland neighborhoods.

The app also lets people track the city’s response to their submitted reports to see when the issue may be resolved or fixed.

From February to June 2012, 12,989 requests were received by OPW, compared to 10,481 requests sent during the same period last year. Kevin Donohue, community manager at SeeClickFix, said that city staff and Oakland residents have been quick to use the system.

John McCabe, city of Oakland Business & Information Analysis Division manager told Oakland Local:

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

The easy-to-use interface can be accessed online and also via cell phone for reporting nasty potholes on the go. Reports show 73 percent of Oakland users access the website on a mobile device. The program is also available for dozens of cities across the country.

In Oakland, the most-reported issues are illegal dumping, graffiti and potholes.

At the end of the year, Public Works takes all the requests received and adds uncompleted issues to scheduled maintenance orders to become 60,000 work orders.

McCabe told Oakland Local:

“If something needs to be fixed, we want to hear about it. 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.”

SFBay reported in April about Oakland’s growing illegal dumping problem. With the expanse of industrial properties surrounding the city, people are opting to dump their old mattress on the sidewalk instead of spending the $20 to dispose of it at a proper disposal center.

Donohue hopes that the SeeFixIt app can help clean up the city, even if it is one mattress at a time. He said:

“We’re dealing with a city with limited resources. 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.”

So far 1,100 illegal dumping issues, 558 graffiti issues, and 346 potholes have been fixed in Oakland through the SeeClickFix app.