Sunday, February 2, 2014

"See>Click>Fix" Seems to Actually Work!

Knowing that Syracuse will not fix any potholes until the Spring, I wanted to find another public nuisance problem to report and test the concept/website.  With that in mind, on my way home I was driving on E. Genesee and encountered a street light that went off as I was driving by.  It dawned on my that burned out lights were something the city could repair in the Winter without it being a waste of resources.

So, I turned around to take a snapshot of the burned out light.  Much to my dismay, the light was back on - likely due to a timer or motion sensor.  Alas, I was not inclined to give up so easily.  Thus, I determined to drive on some side streets, anticipating I would come across another without too much effort.  But I had to be sure it was not timer related.

I did not have to drive far or long.  Just off E. Genesee, on Gifford Parkway, I ran into (not literally!) another light that was "deader than a door nail" (internationals - check the idiom).  It was below zero that evening, but I ventured forth from my semi-warm vehicle to click 3 quick pictures with my phone.  Of course, they were all VERY DARK...because the street light was out!

I made my way home and logged the problem with my best picture onto the website.  Very shortly thereafter, at 7:14 pm, I received an auto-response email from the site acknowledging my submission.  The reply indicated my post had been sent to 13 people as follows:

Who was Notified

13 people received this email including 3 public watchers.
Public Watchers who received this message:
  • NY State Senate District 49
  • Syracuse Department of Public Works
  • City of Syracuse Mayor
Hooray!  The next morning (Jan 29), I received an email at 8:56 am from the website congratulating me, saying that the City of Syracuse had closed my issue.  I assumed that they closed the issue because they had fixed the issue - but being who I am, I drove by the place that evening to confirm that it indeed had been rectified.

To my dismay, but not my surprise, the street light was just as dark as the night before.  I took another picture.  Upon my return home, I re-read the email and clicked the link where I could THANK them or put in another comment - and re-open the issue.  Yes, I did the latter.  I expressed to them that they may have attempted to fix the problem, but they likely used a broken bulb in the process.  Alas, it still needs repair.

This story ends on a high note.  I drove by a few more times, and finally, last evening (2/1), I found the street light was shining brightly to aid and protect all who drive by.  I did go back to my initial congratulatory email and clicked the link to send a thank you to them.

So, overall, it worked!  All's well that ends well. :-)

Jay Zee

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