how do you report potholes in 2015?

According to this April 17th news piece: York Region’s preferred methods for reporting road maintenance issue is either phoning dispatch at their extension or emailing this ridiculously long email address: TRN_roads_operations_dispatch@blahdeblah.blah

One wonders why York Region would opt for such methods when by comparison Toronto has adopted an open standard (Open311) that allows approved mobile apps to communicate directly with their 311 technology.

Open311 empowers citizens and allows cities to do more with less and Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can report potholes and graffiti using 3 different mobile apps:

One of these is

I first commented on that service in a September 2012 post here: and more recently in a January post of this year:

Unlike individual calling and emailing a service like Seeclickfix makes the issue of reporting and resolution transparent. You can browse open issues to see if the issue has been previously reported and if so track how they are being resolved. You can weigh in on an open issue and and new information to the ticket.

This is a vast improvement over searching for or remembering a phone number or email with no real ability to follow-up after filing an issue.

I did a quick survey to see how seeclickfix was being adopted in York Region and here are the results listed in descending order of reported issues:

Markham – 19 :
Vaughan – 25 :
RichmondHill – 14 :

Newmarket – 4 :

Aurora – 2 :

King – 1 :

Georgina – 1 :

Whitchurch-Stouffville – 1 :

East Gwillimbury – 0 :

Perhaps there would be more traction if the service was endorsed and promoted by the Region in a similar fashion to what Toronto does instead of phoning in an email and phone extension to the local paper.

York Region also failed to mention the “PingStreet” mobile app that Aurora and 3 other York Region Municipalities have bought into:

PingStreet includes a “Report A Problem” Service, emulating seeclickfix mentioned above :

How it has been leveraged in Aurora is anyone’s guess as no metrics have been made available from the town’s Communications department since the launch.

It doesn’t seem to matter if the these tools are in place if the idiots that sit in glass towers do nothing to make the community aware and engage them on how best to incorporate them into the Customer Service stream.

Until they do Aurorans may want to consider a solution that has popped up in Manchester, England where artist Wanksy called attention to potholes by drawing penises around them in non-permanent paint:

Within a few days, they were repaired.


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