CHAMPAIGN — As the spring pothole season nears, Champaign residents have a new way of reporting non-emergency issues to the city's public works department — right from their mobile phones.
City officials say the mobile app, SeeClickFix, will make reporting potholes, burned-out street lights, graffiti, roadkill and other minor problems easier for residents and public works crews.
"Since mobile phones are the way to go, we thought this was a good thing to offer," said management analyst Patti Anderson.
The mobile app is free to download on iPhones, Google Play and Android phones, and it provides an interface for users to report minor problems with photographs and other descriptions. The location of the report is automatically recorded and sent to the public works department.
The report is automatically entered into the public works department's word order system, which is monitored during normal business hours.
Photographic and descriptive information will be helpful to public works employees, Anderson said, so they will know exactly what to expect and what kind of equipment they will need to fix the problem. They will not have to make multiple trips to and from the work site.
"So it also streamlines the flow here in the customer service office," Anderson said.
For those without smartphones, the application is also available online at SeeClickFix.com/Champaign.
The mobile app provides a list of possible problems that users may choose from: abandoned bikes, clogged storm inlets, and traffic signal or sign issues, among others. There is also an option for "other."
"We do expect to see other things, and we have a plan to handle that," Anderson said.
Once a problem is reported, the reporting citizen, the public works department and anyone "watching" the area will get a notification.