Snow plows already rumbling in West Loop. Photo taken this morning by Seth Anderson.
The City of Chicago’s Plow Tracker, debuting for last week’s snow storm, has some competition from Derek Eder and Forest Gregg, a programmer and a University of Chicago graduate student, respectively. Gregg is also the author of SVO: Powering your vehicle with straight vegetable oil.
Gregg found the data feeds that were powering Plow Tracker and worked with Eder to build a site that shows where snow plows have been, intimating which streets may have been plowed. Visit ClearStreets to see if a plow has traversed your street. The site is from a new organization called Open City. Continue reading New plow tracker-style website hits the web in time for today’s snow storm
A screenshot of the Naperville snow removal status map. It doesn’t track plows live.
After a reader tipped me to a McHenry County plow tracking website, I looked for other examples and found a couple that are leading Chicago’s. Continue reading Checking out other cities’ plow trackers
Thursday was the first time the City of Chicago turned on Plow Tracker, a website that shows the location of every snow plow in the “Snow Command” I reported on last week.
The web application could use some improvement. When I loaded the website at 11:50 AM, the map never loaded – searching for “plow tracker” on Twitter brought up a flurry of messages about the website, leading me to presume that the server was overloaded. The remaining page elements took over 60 seconds to load. On a second load I saw the map appeared as did 183 iterations of the funky snow plow icon.
Continue reading Plow Tracker not ready for prime time
A woman walks in the street after snowmageddon 2011. The City administration wants to avoid forcing people to walk in the street. Photo by Jim Watkins.
Mayor Emanuel announced on Tuesday, in a press release, a new website and effort to address snow shoveling and removal problems. The complete effort is packaged nicely on ChicagoShovels.org. It has many features, and I’ll focus on three (only one of which is available right now):
- Plow Tracker – When there’s a snow storm, the position of every snow plow will be tracked and published on a map. See Plow Tracker in action.
- Adopt-A-Sidewalk – Claim a portion of the sidewalk that you’ll shovel, and share your equipment with neighbors (coming soon).
- Snow Corps – Become a volunteer to shovel the sidewalk and door path to seniors and people who are disabled who call 311 to request a volunteer.
Continue reading Shovel it: How two ideas plan to impact sidewalk snow removal this winter