Reporting a broken parking meter or a pothole no longer takes an online request or phone call to 311, the District’s complaint line.
Citizens can now use a DC311 app on the iPhone or on an Android mobile device to report complaints. GPS technology allows the city to locate the site of the complaint when users attach photos through the free app.
“There will be no hold time, no wait time,” Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) said Wednesday during a news conference about the new app.
DC311 had a soft launch in January, but it took several months to work out minor problems, said Jennifer Greene, director of the Office of Unified Communications. “We realized we needed to tweak,” she said in an interview.
She said citizens in Ward 2, home to the city’s downtown, already use the app heavily. OUC was previously receiving complaints by smart-phone through seeclickfix, which is also available through the Washington Post’s Daily Gripe blog.
DC311 will allow the agency to get complaints directly and send them to other agencies that will address the problems.
Rob Mancini, the District’s chief technology officer, said OUC spent about $5,000 to develop the program. “That will pay itself off, I think, on day two.”
Recalling George Orwell’s “1984,” Gray said, “Big Brother has arrived. I think Big Mother and big children along with it.”