FixMyStreet.com is a new service in the UK that lets people report problems with their roadways. Rather than walking down to the local council office, users can report the problem to the local council through FixMyStreet instead. Photos, descriptions, and more can be included to clarify.
This is a pretty cool idea and I’d like to see it implemented in more areas worldwide. It’s definitely something that provides small-town access to larger city folks and is a great enabler. Got graffiti? Potholes? A broken street light? You can report it easily through FixMyStreet.
In the town where I grew up, reporting these problems was easy. You just told the local cop, the garbage man, the meter reader, or the gossipy neighbor and it got reported to town hall. Or you could just go down to the Feed and Grain store and talk to the mayor directly (he owned and ran the store). That only works in smaller towns. If you live in London, Westchester, or somewhere populous like that, you probably don’t enjoy that kind of access.
On the FixMyStreet website, the latest reports can be seen–which also allows you to verify or collaborate on an already-submitted report, saving you time and boosting the chances that the council will address it faster. Stats on how many reports have been made in the past week and month as well as in total are also shown on the page. At the time of this writing, it was up to an impressive 54,055 reports and counting.
Enabling devices like FixMyStreet are really great to see and I hope the idea catches on. In Boca Raton, for instance, I have regular discourse with the Chief of Police thanks to Twitter. This makes for great community interaction and builds on the American history of public servants and elected officials who are directly responsible to the citizens who elected them.
Hopefully, FixMyStreet will spread and we’ll see it soon here in the U.S. too!