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Bug in city app prematurely shows pothole work as finished

Posted: 6:00 PM, May 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-15 20:38:41-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – Reporting a pothole in the City of Colorado Springs is as easy as snapping a picture with your smartphone and sending a message. But News 5 viewers helped us to discover a flaw in the City’s GoCoSprings app that makes it look like the work is finished when it really isn’t.

It happened recently with a series of potholes along Sorpressa Lane on the northeast side. A viewer submitted multiple reports through the app in mid-February. Last week, the app showed the work ticket as “closed” even though the potholes are still there.

The damage is hard to miss.

“You mean the swimming pool,” joked neighbor Michael Gist.

He suspects dump trucks and other heavy equipment that frequently drive down this residential street as a short cut are wearing down the pavement.

“That street’s not strong enough to hold heavy trucks like that and they’re constantly through here like 8 hours a day,” Gist said.

Serene Toney also lives in the Woodmen Vistas neighborhood and suspects that lingering snow and rain puddles contribute to the road erosion.

“We get so much snow on that road that it creates problems with potholes and lingering puddles essentially,” Toney said.

During the March blizzard, gusting winds blew snow drifts onto the road that were so large folks were trapped in their homes until a neighbor with a tractor cleared the street.

A city spokesperson explained the bug in the app is caused by a compatibility issue between the servers used for the app and the networks used by the Public Works Department. Whenever the repair crews open a new work-ticket, it automatically changes the data in the app to show the work as “closed” even if crews haven’t started work yet.

While the bug can be looked at as a sign that work is about to happen, Toney and Gist can’t shake the feeling that their neighborhood is being overlooked.

“It takes time to get stuff done over here,” Gist said. “We’re off to the side and we’re back in the back.”

“We are at the very edge of the City and due to that, this neighborhood may be overlooked a little,” Toney said.

Citizen Engagement Specialist Jay Anderson is currently developing the new GoCoSprings app and said it will be more efficient and more user-friendly. However, it is still in testing and not ready for public release. The City is asking for user testing to provide feedback on the new design. Follow the link in this tweet to participate in the testing.