San Francisco Using Facebook To Fix Potholes and Broken Sidewalks

pothole sign photo

Photo by stevendepolo via Flickr Creative Commons

Awhile back, we heard about Fill That Hole, PotholeSnitch, and SeeClickFix, apps that allows city residents to report potholes on city streets. But of course, to report a problem you need a smart phone. San Francisco is opening up not only the platform, but also the types of problems a citizen can report by launching a new Facebook app for reporting 311 service requests. The new Facebook app was announced earlier this week, and any Facebook user (which is practically everyone in San Francisco) can "like" the page and use the form provided to report issues like potholes, downed trees, broken sidewalks, backed-up sewers and other issues.

"The city and county of San Francisco already has a Facebook page with more than 250,000 fans. Now those fans can use the popular social networking site to pass on complaints about their neighborhood," reports the SF Examiner.

Easy-to-access apps like this are a wonderful idea because it creates a sense of ownership of the city among citizens. There's a sense of pride and responsibility that comes when you take part in keeping your city looking nice. And more importantly, keeping streets and sidewalks pleasant to use encourages more people to get out and cycle and walk, rather than speed through on their cars because they'd rather not linger among the graffiti-spattered walls lining uneven sidewalks.

Of course, that also requires that the city actually fix the reported issues. But at least the reports are easy to make.

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