There’s now a keyboard-ready alternative to the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s excellent 823-SAFE hotline.
The city’s hotline has a great reputation among those in the know, who use it for things as diverse as a poorly timed traffic signal or a low-hanging branch. Even on issues that can’t be fixed immediately, a history of reports about a given location can alert city staffers to a bigger project worth tackling.
For some reason, you can’t use it without first creating an account on the city’s website (something the site prompts you to do). Fortunately, that process seems to have improved recently, too: today, for the first time in five years, I was able to easily change my password on the site.
Once you’ve successfully logged in, you need to re-enter your name, email address and phone number, and then describe the safety issue. You also have an option to upload photos.
The new site will supplement the PDX Reporter mobile app and the ORCycle mobile app, which is routed by the state transportation department to the relevant jurisdiction. And also the good old telephone — the hotline number remains the same.
823-SAFE is just one of the city’s various hotlines; others worth knowing about include those for street light outages, parking enforcement, damaged sidewalks, potholes and abandoned cars.
Ideally our city would have enough staff and funding to address all these relatively minor street safety and livability issues proactively; but until that happens, this crowd-sourcing approach is the best we can do.
— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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