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Fixing Los Angeles With MyLA 311


There has been a pothole the size of a beach ball outside of our apartment for two months. It seems to have formed as a result of water runoff from the hill above it, speeding Hollywood Blvd commuters, and constantly turning Runyon Canyon visitors. We’ve learned to avoid it in our car but have seen many broken down cars camped out above it after injuring a wheel on it. How do you fix a problem like this? You can’t buy cement and patch the hole up yourself–but you can report it in via MyLA 311, a very helpful city maintenance (And more!) app every person in LA with a smart phone needs.


The app isn’t necessarily new news but, when researching things for that Garcetti article, we downloaded the app, played around with it, and have some results to share. The app serves as an easy connector between you and the City of Los Angeles. You can pay your LADWP bill on it and tap into city news via their concentrated social media and even get a little, interactive map of recreation items like museums, parks, hiking trails, and more.

The most important part of the app is the Submit Service Request feature. This allows you to take a photo of a problem (dead animal, pothole, illegal dumping, etc.) and give it a description and location so the city can tend to it. It’s a very easy three step process of photograph, describe, inform and you can be as much a part of the solution as you want to be: you can get email updates on your problem or totally let it be by opting out of updates.

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We wanted to get the update emails and that means getting a confirmation receipt and update that, yes, the problem is being addressed. You will feel like a computer is just smiling and nodding at you but–seriously–it is listening. Within a matter of a week-ish, the hole was filled. We didn’t notice it at first but eventually realized it after seeing car after car carelessly plowing over the former hole. The patch seems good for now and time will tell if it lasts. Regardless, the giant car killer in front of our apartment has finally been tamed.

The experience with MyLA 311 was shockingly efficient. Not that we expected it to be bad but, damn, a week turn around? You better work, City of Los Angeles. That’s way impressive! The app may be a little basic and not a designer’s wet dream but it does its job very well. If you don’t have this app, you need it so that you too can help the city help itself.

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