In a previous post I wrote about Unlock Philadelphia; a web app we started developing at a transit hackathon to map accessibility in Philadelphia. Well, thanks to the app, and a few tweets about an abandoned elevator at 8th and Market Station, accessibility and civic hacking made the news this week.
NBC10 reporter Vince Lattanzio noticed tweets with photos I made to SEPTA_SOCIAL reporting an elevator that had been out of service for 2 months. The outage had prevented hundreds of people from getting between trains going east-bound and the street. I got back to him with more information about why I cared about this and shared the Unlock Philly app. He phoned me later that day for an interview.
The story made the afternoon TV news and also featured on websites. Read more in Lattanzio’s article; Elevating Accessibility on Mass Transit.
Following the news story, a crew arrived the next day to fix the elevator and give it a thorough clean.
This experience really demonstrates how we can use open data and social media to highlight local problems and make a difference.
Unlock Philadelphia is being developed further. We’re looking for more people to get involved at Code For Philly. Click the following link for the project website http://codeforphilly.org/projects/Unlock_Philadelphia