Boston jumping on the iphone bandwagon with new "complaint" app

Posted by Michael DiMella on Tue, Jul 07, 2009

Make your complaint heard with the City of Boston with an innovative new iphone app!  At least that's the message the city is pushing with "Citizen Connect", the iphone app soon to be available from the app store for free.  Boston will be the first city on the nation to offer an app like this.  Ok fine, so City Hall still has no voicemail system, but now who can say we're old school?

The Boston Globe wrote about it yesterday:

City officials will soon debut Boston’s first official iPhone application, which will allow residents to snap photos of neighborhood nuisances - nasty potholes, graffiti-stained walls, blown street lights - and e-mail them to City Hall to be fixed.

The application, which will be free to download from Apple, will allow residents to use the global positioning system function on their iPhones to pinpoint the precise location of the problem for City Hall. After submitting a complaint, users will get a tracking number, so they can pester city officials if the problem persists.

Nice! I know what my first complaint will be: umm, how about putting freakin' street signs on every street?

Seems like the city is looking for complaints about potholes, street lights blown out, graffiti, etc, but there are so many more fun complaints you could send.....there are literally thousands of things to complain about!  Some could even lead to iphone vigilantes and neighborhood fights...terrific!  What's going to be your first complaint?

  • Has your neighbor been illegally dumping trash in your dumpster? Pull up your iphone and snap a photo...complain!
  • Neighbor working on the condo without a permit?  Complain!
  • Somebody stealing your newspaper in the morning?  You got it....complain!
  • Just simply don't like your neighbor? Photoshop him in a scandalous picture and complain!

Actually - this app could be a really great and precedent setting idea if the city really acts on the complaints.  Hopefully the city takes the input from residents seriously and will get working on the potholes, the street signs, the graffiti, and whatever other serious issues come up that need to be fixed.  I'm looking forward to the app's launch soon - gathering community input through new technology allows for more communication and  quicker follow up in a more efficient manner (I hope).  Of course, in the meantime, you can always go old school and call the 24 hour hotline at 617-635-4500 if you have an issue (or really annoying neighbor)....

Do you have thoughts or questions?  Make a comment below!


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