Complaints about human feces littering San Francisco sidewalks have skyrocketed from about 7,413 in fiscal year 2013 to more than 23,000 in FY18.
Now, there’s an app for that.
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) October 3, 2018
San Francisco engineer Sean Miller told NBC Bay Area he was aghast when he moved to the city from Vermont for work last year, so he developed a new app to make it easier for residents to file a complaint. It’s called SnapCrap.
Miller said he moved into a communal living space on 6th Street, and after months of sidestepping stinky piles, he simply couldn’t take it anymore.
“A lot of people at the house would joke about the situation because it’s obviously a bit comical, but we also realized it’s a really serious problem and frankly it’s a health hazard,” he said.
“A couple of months ago I was still getting really frustrated seeing this stuff everyday and hearing people complain about it that I just decided to build the damn thing,” Miller said. “I figured that if myself and all of my friends and housemates wanted it there must be a bunch of other people that would find value in it as well.”
The poop piles, left behind by a growing homeless population, have plagued San Francisco for years, but gained more widespread attention through media reports over the summer.
Diamond and Silk, the Trump-supporting sisters from North Carolina, recently featured the crappy conundrum and the liberal policies that created it in the upcoming film “Dummycrats.” The sisters mock far-left politicians like Nancy Pelosi for ignoring the absurd situation in her district, and speak to the folks on the streets hired to clean up the mess.
In August, San Francisco launched a 10-man “poop patrol” – with positions paying more than $184,000 in salary and benefits – to scavenge the streets and respond to the roughly 65 poop reports the Public Works Department receives each day, Business Insider reports.
The total budget for the poop patrol totals more than $830,000, which is in addition to the budget for a separate crew to collect used needles the riddle the streets.
City officials have also installed 24 Pit Spot public toilets and created its own app to report poop, though Miller contends it’s not very user friendly.
“It takes so many clicks to actually submit a ticket,” he said. “We wanted to build a simple mobile app that would simplify the process and remove as much friction as possible.”
SnapCrap allows users to take a picture of the problem, then it auto-fills the reporting ticket form using location data and random automated comments like “I see poop” or “Whoa, whoever cleans that up deserves a raise.”
“The app is extremely basic right now, but I plan to add a bunch of other features soon,” Miller said. “I think a crap map would be pretty funny.”
SnapCrap is currently available only for iPhones, but Miller said he plans to introduce an Android version soon.
Rachel Gordon, spokeswoman for the city’s Public Works department, touted features the city’s app has over SnapCrap, but commended Miller for taking action, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Any way people want to report concerns and service requests to us … that’s great,” she said.