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As Chicagoans prepare for the upcoming winter season, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), and the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) today announced enhancements to online tool to provide more information to residents about Chicago’s snow removal operations.
“The City of Chicago is using technology to provide residents with the tools and support they need to be prepared for winter conditions,” said Mayor Emanuel. “New enhancements to the Plow Tracker tool will show the real-time progress of snow plows, including direction of travel, so that residents can check to see when a plow is coming their way.”
This year, residents will be able to watch snow removal operations on a larger map with an improved snow plow icon design. Additionally, residents can view the direction of travel for all snow removal vehicles in real-time. Residents will also be able to more easily read current snow conditions along with viewing snowfall totals for each snow system and or the entire winter season.
“The Plow Tracker tool is an important component of the City’s communication with residents throughout the winter season,” said DSS Commissioner Williams. “The Department worked closely with DoIT to enhance the Plow Tracker tool to provide much needed information to residents on citywide snow removal operation.”
The City activates the real-time Plow Tracker tool during major snow events, allowing residents to follow snow removal operations as plows begin on arterial streets and then move to neighborhood streets once the snow has stopped.
“The Plow Tracker tool demonstrates the importance of city government harnessing technology to improve communication with residents and engage directly with residents on city operations to keep streets safe and Chicago on the move,” said Chief Information Officer Brenna Berman, DoIT.
Plow Tracker was launched in 2012 as part of ChicagoShovels.org, a website focused entirely on snow in Chicago. From tracking snow plows to sharing shovels, this website is designed to help Chicagoans work together during winter weather as well as track snow removal operations on city streets. ChicagoShovels.org brings together City of public resources to provide a platform for residents and businesses to organize and participate in snow removal block by block.
Throughout the winter, the City will activate the Plow Tracker tool during major snow events along with updating residents on snow removal operations through the Mayor’s Office Twitter account: @ChicagosMayor and the Department of Streets and Sanitations twitter account: @StreetsandSan.