Veronica T. Avendaño
As the heart and capital of the Silicon Valley, San Jose residents are able to voice their issues and concerns via the free San Jose Clean app available for both iPhone and Android users.
In January 2012, the department Parks, Recreation and Community Services, Anti-Graffiti & Anti-Litter Program collaborated together to release an app that residents may use to report graffiti and other city issues. Residents are able to use their smartphone camera to send pictures and then report graffiti with a GPS location.
Reporting graffiti through the app saves time for city staff overall. In the past, staff would confirm the address of the reported graffiti before issuing a work order for the graffiti to be removed. The graffiti removal request, along with the photo and GPS location, are electronically sent to the nearest removal technician. Once the graffiti removal request is completed, app users receive a real-time notification of its removal. A few user reviews have even claimed to have their graffiti reports cleaned up within a 24-hour window.
Graffiti removal isn’t the app’s only use. It also serves as a city-wide resource. The app splits itself off between 5 tabs: a home tab, about tab: giving a brief history on the city of San Jose, contact tab: for City Hall visiting hours,service lines, emergency and non-emergency numbers, Council tab: listing all city council representatives and their district contact information, and most importantly the report tab which is a resource of contact numbers for residents who wish to report city issues anywhere from animal control to traffic signals, to potholes.
The app is simple in design making it user-friendly for all residents. The tabs are very straight forward, so that you’re able to find which resource you need without guessing where’s it’s located in the app. Residents no longer need to peruse the city website in searching department by department to find the contact number they need.
The major downfall of the app however, is that the report graffiti tool is the only tool that emcomposses the app’s true potential and technology. All other issues must be reported via telephone or e-mail.
While it is great to have all the numbers listed in one resource, the point of the app is to make reporting all city issues a little easier, not just graffiti removal requests. The GPS location and photos of other city issues could be utilized for more issues like illegal dumpings, traffic lights and potholes.