City app to report potholes, downed trees in Colorado Springs malfunctions for months

Colorado Department of Transportation crews fix potholes along Highway 50 on March 14, 2019.
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (The Gazette) - The city's mobile phone application that allows Colorado Springs residents to report issues from potholes to downed trees malfunctioned from April 18 until the first week of July, delaying the receipt of more than 2,000 reports.

The issue with the GoCoSprings mobile app was caused by the vendor that provided the software, said city spokeswoman Jamie Fabos. The vendor changed its Internet address, blocking delivery of emails to the city.

"People would report it, and it sort of went into a void somewhere and it didn't make it to us," Fabos said.

The malfunction went unnoticed for months because the reports didn't stop rolling in right away.

"Rather than just instantly shutting off, it dwindled," Fabos said. About 200 reports were received in May, followed by only 20 in June. That's when city officials realized something might be wrong. The issue finally was discovered in early July.

The delayed reports were intended for a variety of departments, including Neighborhood Services, Forestry, Public Works and non-emergency reports to Colorado Springs police, a city news release says.

Since the error was discovered, "Public Works has shifted crews to ensure prompt response to the delayed requests, 900 of which were pothole requests," the release says. Before the malfunction, crews were repairing potholes within an average of nine days from when they were reported.

The issue with the old app has been fixed, but in the next few weeks, the city will launch a new app that has been in the works for about six months. The new app, called GoCOS, was created using a different vendor, Fabos said.

"The GoCoSprings app is by far the most efficient way to report potholes and other issues, and as evidenced by the number of reports we receive, residents are using it frequently. These reports are very helpful to the city, and we certainly want people to keep sending them in," said Travis Easton, the city's Public Works director, in the release.

"We are getting this news out today, because we recognize that people were probably frustrated when they didn’t get a response. That’s not the norm. We want everyone know that the app is back up and running and is still the most effective way to report, and that we are taking swift action to complete the backlogged requests."