Adopt-a-Storm Drain is a public facing web-based mapping application with basic task management features. It allows individuals or groups to claim ownership over neighborhood storm drains, as well as provide designated public departments with a basic notification system to respond to citizen concerns related to their adopted storm drains. This web-based mapping application’s will expose Lafayette to the power citizen driven technology has to improve communication, efficiency, and transparency between local government and citizens. It empowers citizens to take part in neighborhood safety and beautification and encourages the public and private sectors to work together to solve local challenges. If you are interested in learning more about our project, please visit bit.ly/AaSD-LFT.
We believe in the power of collective impact by individuals to drive meaningful change in our region. We believe open engagement with data nourishes an informed, engaged, and invested citizenry. We believe that the most effective way to propel communities forward is to utilize strengths and resources to meet challenges head on. The Adopt a Storm Drain project taps into the passion of local technological talent and the Acadiana’s strong communal drive to empower our neighbors to take part in reducing street flooding while increasing communication between citizens and local government. Our goals are simple. Every storm drain in Lafayette is mapped, adopted, and free of debris.
Citizens of the Lafayette area struggle against the challenges associated with street flooding. Every time it rains, we know to avoid certain areas- Ambassador, St. Mary around the UL Lafayette campus, and even the heart of downtown. This program empowers each of us to take a small step towards addressing one of the causes of street flooding which taps into the collective impact of the entire community. ‘Many hands make light work.’ We are utilizing an open-source program which has already been implemented in multiple cities around the US (New Orleans, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, Portland, and more) and connecting to already existing data of Lafayette storm drain locations. This will then connect to Lafayette 311 using an existing integration approach currently utilized by New Orleans’ application. This code base can be easily adopted to other “Adopt a ____”, and has been in other areas, such as “Adopt a Hydrant” in Boston. Once the inaugural project has been implemented, this idea can be easily scaled to expand across our regional watershed, parishes and communities. Once completed, the application will be managed with little oversight by a stable and invested partner. Maintenance costs are estimated at approximately $100 annually based on potential minimal adjustments and a subscription to the necessary weather API.
The bulk of our funds will be dedicated to marketing, and branding because these tools only work if we use them as they were designed to be used! This is why we’ve committed to making this a pilot neighborhood initiative with specific implementation phases. This scaled approach allows us to assess, evaluate, and respond to challenges. Once the pilot is completed, the fully functional application will be available across Acadiana. This pilot will empower citizens, promote transparency and accountability, and incentivize citizen participation.
Pre-Project: Our team has created a broad outline of the actions needed to complete this project. Our next steps include confirming the technological specifications and creating a more detailed action plan while continuing to move forward with partner and citizen buy-in.
Months 1 – 2: The beginning of the project will focus on formalizing partnership cooperative endeavor agreements and setting up the infrastructure of the application. We will work with local stakeholders and experts to locate a neighborhood to pilot the program.
Months 3 – 4: The next milestone will be the launch of the beta version of the application. This will include building and testing the app, as well as creating marketing and educational materials.
Month 5 – 8: The largest chunk of time in our project will tap into our software development skillset to pilot the application. We plan to utilize established neighborhood networks and door-to-door outreach to secure invested participants. This pilot program will include focus groups and incremental enhancements to improve the application and will result in an impact report. The educational and promotional content will be updated and finalized. We anticipate soft organic growth in this time by word-of-mouth.
Months 9 – 11: After the pilot program is completed, the impact report will be released and the promotion and educational campaign will be implemented. This includes educational videos, traditional and social media marketing, and utilizing community resources such as local radio and television programs.
Month 12: The last phase will be ownership transfer of the application to the Lafayette Consolidated Government in order to ensure its continued success.