Putting Hughesy the Pothole Warrior onto Neatstreets

October 27, 2011


Hey, so  what’s this I hear that Hughesy was bitchin’ about tripping head-over-heels on a deep footpath hole on Chapel Street as he was jogging (they contacted Stonnington CC who said that they have a quick-response team to deal with these issues).

Hughesy the Pothole Warrior, have you got one that needs filling(slide to 9min 38s in – check it out).

I thought I’d email Hughsey http://www.novafm.com.au/nova100/contactus and tell him, Hughsey (I’d say), never mind whinging on the radio, phoning Stonnington CC or even filling the hole with ice and drinks. Why not embrace the new media, go mobile, find your inner Web2.0 and make your complaint really PUBLIC. You can do this,  I’d say, with a rippin’ cool Aussie home-grown App called “Neatstreets”

Now some may call Neatstreets a whingers -paradise, which they have, but I’ve became a big fan of this app!

The best part is that the complaints (and the geocoded photo you take with your smartphone) are public and can be tracked, and mapped, so you can see how the council responds and how long it takes them to fix it. This is not all stick, however, it’s a carrot that can showcase the Councils who do it well.

I am told that many Councils are actually receptive to Neatstreets, because it gives them good information, nicely organised and manageable. It also makes it more visible just how much stupid crap councils have to deal with every day, including joggers  who don’t look.  Councils have my sympathy.

I’ve lodged a few of these myself:

  • I was walking to work in Melbourne when I saw a woman fall into a Spring Street Manhole (oxymoron?) …This may sound like vigilanti-ism but I whipped out the Neatstreets iPhone app, took a quick pic of the hole in question and uploaded it to the neatstreets website. Then I gave the victim the event tracking ID from Neatstreets.  She was unhurt, but now, I told her, there is a public record that the hole has been reported. i.e. accountability. As in, an audit trail. So if two weeks later another person falls in the same hole, well, it’s on record that the council ignored it. Their risk.  Not that any local government would ever “lose” an email or letter, but this could save the lawyers the trouble of an FoI request. In this case I am happy to report that the Melbs CC was already on it…I received a reply and updates with tracking of  their progress on getting it fixed.
  • I also logged a neatstreets event on a pretty disgraceful public toilets block in in one of our tourist areas run by Parks Vic in the Dandenongs.
  • Another issue was hazardous storm rubbish off a jetty at an SA beach – that one got he flick by council to a different authority, because it was beyond the tideline.

That’s the sum total of my efforts in crowd-sourced whinging thus far. Anyway, if you want to check it out the site is at http://www.neatstreets.com.au

Disclaimer: I occasionally tweet the MD of Neatstreets  @neatstreets and, sometimes, he tweets me. Make of that what you will.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenoyes/1412819656/&#8221; title=”Westmount &amp; Belmont by Danny boy no-yes, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1429/1412819656_26fef6567f_z.jpg?zz=1&#8243; width=”640″ height=”480″ alt=”Westmount &amp; Belmont”></a>


About yvonnert

Extensive experience working in government spatial data infrastructure. Over ten years as a bridge maker in emergency services, with strong partnering skills providing leadership for spatial information strategy.

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