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City App Helps Users Report Pot Holes, Graffiti – And May Soon Provide Flood Info

Nathan Bernier, KUT News
Austin's 3-1-1 app won't replace the call center.

For well over a decade, Austinites have been calling 3-1-1 to report graffiti or a pot hole to city officials. While that’s not going away, a new way to report problems and get questions answered could offer more benefits.

For example, say you want to report that there aren’t any doggie clean-up bags at the park down the street or that there’s a pothole down the road. But, uhh, what’s the address exactly where you’re at? Austin’s 3-1-1 mobile app lets users do many of the same things that can be accomplished with a phone call.

But there are also things the app does that a phone call can’t.

“It also has a GPS which can identify the exact location where the issue is and they can submit a service request and it absolutely helps us to better go to the exact location and corrected the issue quickly," Austin 3-1-1 Director Cindi Perez says.

The app has been around since July and has around 4,500 downloads. It’s mostly used to report the basics: road issues, graffiti and neighbors who may be wasting water.

But Perez says the app has the potential to also provide safety information.

"Something that we’re looking forward to is adding a service request that identifies any areas that are potential flooding when we get heavy rains or whatever the case may be," Perez says. "So that’s something that will be appearing pretty soon on the mobile app."

Austin’s 3-1-1 app is free in the iTunes and Google Play stores.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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