New Smart Phone App To Help Somerville

App will allow residents to report quality of life issues instantly.


Reporting quality of life issues will be just a finger-tap away in the city of Somerville, thanks to a new smart phone app expected to launch in the spring of 2013.

The app—Commonwealth Connect—by company SeeClickFix, will give residents the ability to report "quality of life" issues in Somerville by taking photos and submitting them, along with information, through the app.

What issues fall under quality of life?

  • Potholes
  • Streetlights
  • Graffiti
  • Sidewalks
  • Damaged Signs
  • Roadway Plowing/Sanding
  • Unshoveled Sidewalks

With the app, residents will be able to track the progress of the "work order," which is submitted to the appropriate city department.

The app has been in use in the city of Boston under the name CitizensConnect since 2009.

“I am a strong believer that government is here to help people,” said Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino in a statement Monday. “Through the success of Citizens Connect app, we have seen technology empower our residents, improve our neighborhoods, and help us deliver services that are not only more efficient but also more engaging.”

Somerville is one of 35 communities outside Boston that will be aided by the Commonwealth Connect app, thanks to funding through Gov. Deval Patrick’s Community Innovation Challenge Grant Program.

In addition to the mobile app, Somerville is also eligible for a web-based program that can be used on desktop computers and a work order management system to handle the requests. Through the grant, the products will be given to the city for three years.

Participating municipalities include: Ayer, Barnstable, Braintree, Brookfield, Chicopee, Clarksburg, Easton, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Halifax, Haverhill, Holliston, Lexington, Malden, Medway, Melrose, Middleborough, Nantucket, New Bedford, Newton, North Adams, Northampton, Orange, Revere, Somerville, Taunton, Wakefield, Watertown, West Boylston, Westborough, Whitman, and Woburn.

According to the state, 58 municipalities applied to be part of the program; Somerville and the other communities were selected "based on geography and the strength of their applications."

Somerville already has a robust 311 system that allows residents to report quality-of-life issues. The city launched a 311 app in 2011.

Courtney O'Keefe December 19, 2012 at 04:08 PM
What I love about the 311 App is that reports can be generated by elected officials to see what issues constituents have submitted. This is also great for crime submissions too! Will this App offer the same feature? Will it connect with Somerville's 311, so a combined report can be generated?


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