The Find It, Fix It App Enables Seattle Residents to report Hazards and Indecencies
Keeping track of problems around a big city can be hard to manage, but the City of Seattle has a smartphone application called Find It, Fix It to help them respond to resident requests. It’s a simple and quick way for people in Seattle to send reports about issues in many categories, such as potholes, illegal dumping, and clogged storm drains.
Why Seattle Offers the Find it, Fix It Application
The Find It, Fix It application sends requests to the City of Seattle from a smartphone. This application gives Seattle residents and visitors a way to quickly connect to city services without needing to email or call.
Who Can Use the Find it, Fix It App
Seattle residents and visitors can use the Find It, Fix It application to report issues in the city. It’s available for iOS and Android. If you have a phone running Windows, you need to place your requests through the City of Seattle’s website rather than the application.
Benefits of Find it, Fix It
- Connect to the right city department: You don’t have to research which department handles which issue.
- Automatic location detection: Your smartphone’s GPS brings up your general location. You can use a drag and drop map to pinpoint exactly where you’re at.
- Upload photos to show the problem: Photos allow the City of Seattle to get an eye on the issue to determine its priority.
- Simple request form: You can quickly send in reports with a short, user-friendly form.
- Anonymous report option: Your name doesn’t need to be attached to a report.
- Track requests: You have a history of your requests and their statuses.
Types of Requests Supported by Find It, Fix It
When you submit a request through Find it, Fix It, you need to choose a category so it’s directed to the right department. Here are the categories that this application supports:
- Abandoned vehicle: If you notice a car that’s been parked for three days in a row without moving, you can report it as abandoned. The vehicle needs to be in a public right of way for Seattle to move it.
- Dead animal: This option lets Animal Control know where a dead animal is so they can pick it up.
- Clogged storm drain: Clogged storm drains can lead to flooding issues, so it’s important to note where they are.
- Illegal dumping: Alleyways and out of the way locations sometimes get used as illegal dumping grounds. Get these areas cleaned up with this category.
- Bike or scooter share: Both parking and maintenance issues with these shared vehicles use this category.
- Graffiti: Get unauthorized graffiti cleaned up around buildings, meters, and other locations.
- Pothole: Have potholes on your street or your Seattle commute? Get back to a smooth ride with this category.
- Overgrown vegetation: If vegetation on city property or in a public right of way has grown out of control, you can use this category so city services can send out a land maintenance team.
- Signs and signals: If you spot a traffic signal that’s not working properly or a broken street sign, let the city know right away.
- Streetlights: If streetlights aren’t turning on, you can get help with this category.
- Parking enforcement: All parking concerns other than those with shared bikes and scooters use this category.
- Other: If your request isn’t covered under one of the existing categories, you can still send requests to the City of Seattle. The Other category has you covered. This option goes through the City’s Customer Service Bureau, so it might take longer for your request to get processed. It needs to be routed to the appropriate department first.
Drawbacks of Find it, Fix It
- Limited feedback on resolved and closed requests: You may not receive further information on your request, and some closed requests remain unresolved.
- Inconsistent resolution time: Customers report that potholes get fixed very quickly, but other categories have highly variable response rates.
Find it, Fix It Pricing
This application and the connected City of Seattle services are available at no charge.
Customer Reviews of Find it, Fix It
Customer reviews of Seattle’s Find It, Fix It application are generally negative. Most of the complaints concern the services provided by Seattle rather than the application itself. The most commonly mentioned issue is how long it takes for the city to act upon the requests.
The Find It, Fix It application also faces controversy for its role in targeting homeless encampments around Seattle. The Atlantic reports that 12,500 resident reports of homeless encampments were sent through the application, and it’s one of the biggest sources for these requests. Seattle faces a significant homelessness problem due to rising housing costs and lack of affordable housing inventory, and many Find It, Fix It customers are upset about the way the city handles sweeps of these homeless encampments.
Similar Applications to Find it, Fix It
Many cities offer applications that are similar to Find It, Fix It. Houston 311, NYC 311, and Hammond 311 are examples of comparable apps. The process for submitting requests is similar in all of these options, but some of them go beyond basic reporting. For example, the NYC 311 application offers information about parking, schools, and garbage schedules. Having city resources and other content available directly within the application improves awareness on what services are available, upcoming events, city leadership, councils, and other useful information.
The Find It, Fix It application allows for quick reporting of common Seattle city issues, and does well at this core functionality. While the response time varies depending on the scope of the problem, the department involved, and how many reports they receive from people in Seattle, the application itself offers a useful tool for everyone in Seattle.
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