Glass in the road? Potholes in the bike lane? A poorly timed crosswalk signal? These are all issues that the City wants to be alerted to. And they have a handy tool that you can use to get your message to city staff. It’s called Access Fort Collins and it’s accessible from your smart phone or computer.
The application covers pretty much any city department, so it’s not just for issues related to the street. But given that Pedal Fort Collins is a bicycle blog, I’m guessing that’s what you’ll be most interested in.
When you click on an area, a bunch of sub-topics appear. And when you click on a sub-topic, there will (hopefully) be some information that presents itself to the right of the City departments list. (I say hopefully because there are some sections with no information at present.)
Although I tend to think of Access Fort Collins as a reporting system for issues that I see around town, it’s also an FAQ program. (FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions.) The hope is that the information that is presented will resolve your problem. But if it doesn’t, then you can either follow one of the links that’s included in the FAQ answer, or click the “Next” link to the right.
If you’re not an Access Fort Collins member, but you want to be contacted about the problem you’re reporting, you’ll want to fill this next section in. You can also become a member (which will enable you to sign in with an email address and password) or you can send in an anonymous report (but then you’ll never get a response to your problem).
Once you’ve completed this section, you can move on to telling the city staff what the problem (or praise) is.
I have sent in several reports — from graffiti in my neighborhood to potholes in the street — and I’ve almost always gotten a response within the week. Some departments will pick up the phone and call me right away. Others email back.
The city staff can’t be in all places all the time. Unless they travel the same route you do on your way to work or school, it’s unlikely that they’ll even know an issue exists unless you tell them. This is our way of being the City’s eyes and ears, to alert staff to issues that they may not be aware of, or to get information on improvements that are already in the pipeline. If a city staff member gives you a call back about your issue, I find that it’s most productive to have a “we’re both in this together” kind of attitude, offering sound reasoning or helpful suggestions towards resolution of the problem (especially when I’m calling about a big issue, like the dangerous intersection at Mason and Cherry).
The City wants to get feedback from residents. Although there are many opportunities to give the city staff your 2 cents through community meetings, surveys, and workshops, those all tend to revolve around specific topics. Access Fort Collins is a handy way to send the city staff an alert about something that might not already be on their radar.