SeeClickFix has had its widgets up for two weeks now in the communities served by Journal Register Company newspapers. It's always interesting to see how new communities adapt to SeeClickFix in the early days of its debut in their city. Thanks to papers like The Trentonian, The Morning Journal, and The Daily Freeman, we've heard updates of how towns like Trenton, NJ, Lorain, OH, and Kingston, NY are responding to SeeClickFix.
Eric Jackson and Butter Allen, director and assistant director of Trenton's public works, respectively, are loving SeeClickFix so far. Jackson called it a "mechanism that works very well ... to ensure that we keep our communities real clean." And Allen, who's in charge of operations, said that his office manages to "respond within 48-72 hours" to posts on SeeClickFix.
When a reporter asked if Allen thought it was important to rely on the "eyes and ears of the community," Allen's response was clear and concise: "No doubt."
SeeClickFix has galvanized the Lorain community into rallying against potholes. According to an article in the Morning Journal, a city council meeting on the topic last Monday was packed with residents.
That's hardly surprising to us at SeeClickFix–Lorain's SeeClickFix user-ship has exploded since the widgets debuted. Users already have logged around 150 issues for the city. The mayor told the Journal that his street commissioner Chuck Camera has been "bombarded" by SCF alerts (our apologies).
Unfortunately, the city is broke. "We just don't have that money," Camera told the Journal. "There's not $4 million laying around somewhere to fix Oberlin Avenue," a street that has received more than 100 votes to be fixed on SCF.
The layers of pavement are about as thin as the budget. "We're stretched thin," Camera said. "We're stretched really, really thin."
While SeeClickFix can't raise capital that doesn't exist to repair Lorain's streets, at least it can let the city know which streets citizens want fixed the most.
According to an article in the Daily Freeman this weekend, posts on SeeClickFix about drug dealing on Clifton Avenue presaged a break-in that occurred there last week. Kingston's users have posted several other issues about drugs, prostitution, and gangs on their message boards as well, which have generated lengthy dialogues among neighbors. It'll be interesting to see if SeeClickFix can help get any of these problems cleaned up.