Fix Your City: There's an App For That

photoI'd passed this sidewalk panel many times, each time thinking that the City of Mountlake Terrace should really fix it because it's a tripping hazard and difficult to get over with a stroller. I see people walking down this stretch of sidewalk on 232nd St SW all the time, I'm sure they have thought the same thing: why won't the City fix this darn sidewalk? A large tree on private property has, over the years, grown so large that the stump and roots are lifting the sidewalk panel. One day last week as I was walking home from the Transit Center I took out my iPhone, launched an app, took a photo, and 3 days later City crews were out there trying to fix the sidewalk.

While I'm sure City staff themselves do notice some of the little problems around town, like this sidewalk, it doesn't make sense to have City employees roaming the streets looking for things to fix. It's up to us residents to let them know if something needs to be fixed. That's where the GORequest app comes in to play.

GORequest is a smartphone app that uses your camera and GPS coordinates to let the City know something isn't quite right. Some of situations you can use the app for is sidewalk repair, graffiti, code enforcement, storm drain backups, streetlight out and just about anything else you can think of. The City is always very responsive and I usually hear back within a couple of days, if not sooner.

The app is very easy to use. You simply launch the app, tap "New Issue", select a subject and add a comment, add a photo if appropriate, and the GPS coordinates are automatically added. If you want a response you can add your email address or phone number. Tap "Submit" and the request is off to the City.

To completely solve my problem with the sidewalk the tree and stump would need to be removed, which wasn't going to happen right away. As a quick fix, City crews removed the concrete panel and replaced it with asphalt, which is easier to form and smooth out over the tree roots.

If you see a problem, don't expect someone else to report it. It's your neighborhood, own it.

GORequst is available for iOS and Android phones.


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