Spot a pothole? Give it “The Works”
December 7, 2011
If you’ve ever wished you could zap a pothole or wipe out some graffiti, the county Department of Public Works has a message for you: the power’s in your hands.
Or, to be precise, on your iPhone.
The department’s new “The Works” app offers a point-and-shoot approach to cleaning up quality of life nuisances in county territory, including illegal dumping and street sweeping issues.
Once the free app is downloaded, you can use the camera on your iPhone to send Public Works an instant image of the problem, get a ticket number and keep tabs on how the issue is resolved. (It’s also possible to send a message about the problem without including a photo.) If the location is not within the county’s jurisdiction, the app detects that and directs the customer to the appropriate agency. Jesse Juarros, the department’s chief information officer, said the “end game” is eventually to get all cities within L.A.County to join up so that reports can be forwarded seamlessly to the right place.
Since it was launched Oct. 18, the app has been downloaded 700 times—with more than 330 service requests received, including referrals to other cities.
“Most of them are for potholes, as you’d expect,” Juarros said. “The other one that ranked up there was illegal dumping.”
The new app is “definitely” contributing to quicker graffiti removal, Juarros said, because notifications go directly to clean-up contractors, who can take action right away.