January 3, 2012

Mayor Emanuel Launches ChicagoShovels.org to Bring Chicagoans Together to Participate in Winter-Preparedness Efforts

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

You’ve heard of train trackers and bus trackers. Today, the Mayor announced the launch of a snowplow tracker, part of a new City website focused entirely on snow: ChicagoShovels.org.

From snowplow tracking to shovel sharing, ChicagoShovels.org is designed to help Chicagoans work together in the midst of winter weather as well as keep track of how the City is taking care of its responsibilities in the streets.

“ChicagoShovels.org is an important resource that not only informs Chicagoans about how they can help their neighbors and allows them to see the City’s snow program in action during severe weather,” said Mayor Emanuel at a press conference.

During major snow cleanup efforts, the City will activate the “Plow Tracker” map, allowing the public to see in real-time the progress of City snow plows and make snow removal efforts more transparent.

Just as important is the "Adopt-A-Sidewalk" feature, which allows people to "claim" a sidewalk to shovel near their home or business on an interactive map. Over time, you can see who is shoveling where, connect with neighbors, even share shovels or snowblowers to keep the sidewalks clear.

ChicagoShovels.org brings together City and public resources to provide a platform for residents and businesses to organize and participate in snow removal block by block, right in their own neighborhoods:

  • Volunteer Chicago “Snow Corps”: Snow Corps is a new program that connects volunteers with residents that might need a little help getting their sidewalks clean, such as seniors and residents with disabilities. Groups and individuals can volunteer to help those in need by signing up using an online form.
  • Adopt-a-Sidewalk Program: This web app will allow neighbors and businesses to connect with each other to help shovel sidewalks and offers a platform for sharing resources. Users “adopt” as sidewalk near their home or business by “claiming” it on an interactive map. Chicagoans will over time be able to see who is shoveling where, and have an option to connect with their neighbors to help keep their sidewalks clear. Users can also “share” various snow items. The ability to share items will be powered by www.OhSoWe.com, a site that facilitates the sharing of resources such as shovels and snow blowers.
  • New Winter Readiness Apps: Chicago web and app developers have leveraged the City’s open data to build apps that help the public weather winter storms.  2inch.es informs and alerts drivers of winter parking bans. WasMyCarTowed.com uses the City’s towed and relocated vehicle data to help people locate their vehicles.
  • City Resource Links: With just one click, Chicagoans can submit an online 311 request, view press releases, sign up for Notify Chicago alerts, watch educational videos, follow the Mayor’s Office on Twitter, and find answers to questions. 

Last winter we saw how people came together to help their neighbors and share resources and information. ChicagoShovels.org is a one-stop shop where people can connect with each other and connect with the City to get the help and information they need for another winter.