Sometimes our public decisions involve the most mundane of questions, How can we make our local government fix this pothole? instead of Do we as a society choose to care for the weak?
FixMyStreet addresses exactly the first kind of query. The website allows users to submit photos and requests to fix road maintenance related issues which are then sent directly to their local authorities by the FixMyStreet team.
FixMyStreet was developed by MySociety [https://www.mysociety.org], a UK based NGO, which specialises in making tools for online democracy. FixMyStreet can be accessed as a web application or as an iOS or Android mobile application. The MySociety team seems to be consistently delivering on the design front and FixMyStreet is no exception – the user interface is intuitive and pleasing to the eye.
While you should have realistic expectations of the average response rate from your respective local authority, this website can make the bureaucratic burden easier to bear thereby increasing response time. Instead of five different people e-mailing, calling, and complaining in paper about the same old mattress dumped down the road, a quick look at the submitted reports in your area [https://www.fixmystreet.com/reports] can inform you that a complaint has already been made.
The same goes for councillors who are encouraged to integrate FixMyStreet on their websites [https://www.fixmystreet.com/council] – this allows them to quickly access a centralised map of their constituents’ concerns. There does seem to be one feature missing from the application – a voting system where fellow locals could add support to those reports they also find worthy of attention.
The publication was performed in the framework of the project “PROVIDUS – a partner of state in policy planning and policy making process“.
Project is financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in framework of NGO Activity Support Measure.
NGO Activity Support Measure is financed with financial support from EEA Financial Mechanism and Republic of Latvia.