There’s an app for that
Residents who spot a pothole, an unshoveled sidewalk, a burned out streetlight or other quality of life issues in Somerville can now report those issues to the city immediately, along with a photograph, using the Commonwealth Connect smartphone app.
Somerville has already received national recognition for the city’s 311 customer service helpline. With the addition of the Commonwealth Connect smartphone app, created by the City of Boston with the company SeeClickFix and funded by a state grant, it becomes even easier to report issues to the city and have those issues promptly addressed.
Residents can download the app for both iPhone and Android phones and, after taking a few seconds to create an account using their email address, can report quality of life issues such as graffiti, sidewalk problems, damaged signs or roadways that need plowing or sanding.
The app is available in the iTunes App store for iPhones or Google Play Store for Android by searching for “Commonwealth Connect.” Direct links to the app are available here: iTunes and Google Play Store.
Residents may input a description of the issue and document it with a photo. The app will automatically locate where the resident is using the app, or residents can adjust the location of the issue. Each submitted report will then automatically create a work order that will be submitted to the proper City of Somerville department, and residents can track the progress of each work order through the app and the SeeClickFix website.
“This is a tremendous benefit to our residents. Efficient delivery of services and open, transparent governments are two key values in the City of Somerville,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “This app helps us accomplish both those goals and connects our residents with City services and information they need. It’s another step toward empowering our residents and engaging them in caring for the neighborhoods that form the heart of our community.”
Commonwealth Connect was developed by the City of Boston’s office of New Urban Mechanics with SeeClickFix under the name “Citizens Connect” in 2009. With the support of a Community Innovation Challenge Grant from the Patrick Administration, Boston launched Commonwealth Connect in January, and is providing more than 50 Massachusetts communities free use of the app for the next three years.
“The Patrick Administration is committed to providing communities with tools and resources to improve the delivery of services our citizens want,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor. “Commonwealth Connect is just one more example of how we are creating innovative ways to empower the people of Massachusetts to build stronger and safer communities.”
“The fact that Commonwealth Connect app will immediately create a work order when a report is submitted is a huge lift for our residents and for 311,” said Somerville Director of Constituent Services Steve Craig. “We will be able to respond to issues even faster and our work will be transparent thanks to the ability of residents to track the work order’s progress. We’re excited to put this tool in residents’ pockets to keep Somerville clean, safe and beautiful.