Wake County

Have you seen litter or icy spots in downtown Raleigh? There’s a hashtag for that.

Members of “Team Downtown Raleigh” pose with shovels as they clear the sidewalks around Moore Square.
Members of “Team Downtown Raleigh” pose with shovels as they clear the sidewalks around Moore Square. City of Raleigh

There’s a new way to to draw the city’s attention to snow, ice, litter, or other obstructions of downtown sidewalks and thoroughfares – use the hashtag #TeamDowntownRaleigh on Twitter.

Raleigh decided to roll out the hashtag as a way for residents to quickly alert the city to concerns that are more aesthetic than functional, said Jen Baker, a downtown coordinator.

Baker said she also wants the phrase to inspire a sense of ownership and pride in “the city’s living room.”

“What we want, eventually, is for people to all feel like they’re part of Team Downtown Raleigh,” Baker said. “It’s in everyone’s best interest to pick up litter if you see it or not litter in the first place – not just to wait for government to swoop in and fix everything. I didn’t want it just to become a negative thing.”

The hashtag has been in use for months, but Raleigh announced it Friday amid a cold snap that has allowed snow and ice to linger in some areas.

Business owners are responsible for keeping the sidewalks in front of their buildings free of ice and snow, while the city takes care of ramps, crosswalks and walkways in and around city properties and parks.

“We keep the public space, the right of way, clean of litter,” Baker said. “That’s our primary goal.”

The city already uses an online service called SeeClickFix that allows residents to alert the city to problems such as broken streetlights and potholes.

Baker tweeted out a map showing where her department considers “downtown” Raleigh to begin and end. She said her team focuses on this area because of its density and its importance to the impression Raleigh leaves on visitors.

Gargan: 919-829-4807; @hgargan

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