Perhaps you’ve tried to pay your parking meter downtown, only to discover it’s broken, and your perfectly sunny morning was suddenly clouded by the frustration of knowing the meter maid is bound to ticket you on account of the broken meter.
Or perhaps you finally found a garbage can in which to discard your fourth coffee cup of the day, but it was overflowing with gross garbage, and that garbage was flying out of the trash bin, all over the streets, whacking poor, innocent dogs and children in the face. Well, there’s an app for that now. And it’s called 311 St. John’s.
The city is positioning it as “a convenient way to report problems such as a parking meter malfunction, missing street signs, or to make requests including to empty overflowing waste bins.” It appears you can also track problems with the app too. Like, “Man trapped in pothole on Military Road.”
Councillor Bernard Davis, Chair of the Community Services and Housing standing committee, says the primary benefit of the app for residents is that it lets them report problems or concerns when and where they notice them. “The ability to attach a picture and give exact GPS coordinates helps us to better examine or tackle the issue, as we know exactly where it is … and what it is.”
The app is free, though no word on whether it functions for anything other than iPhones. (That’s what Android users get for bragging about the superiority of Androids!). Here’s a link.
The city also reminds citizens that while the 311 St. John’s app is the newest way to report such things, it’s not the only way. There is still the option to use the telephone function on your texting device (dial 311 or 754-CITY), or you can defy the convenience of the Internet and modern communication, and jog from the broken meter to City Hall to report your problem. Also: www.stjohns.ca/access-311.
In all seriousness though, kudos to council for this. This kind of citizen-City interconnection and communication is what a liveable, unfrustrated city is made of. (Supposing someone will actually address the reports in this app.)