no plow has reached us yet, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from saeru’s photostream

Snow removal is always a touchy subject in Pittsburgh. Communication between the city and residents leaves much to be desired. It often seems there is no coherent plan within or between Public Works zones. Lack of coordination and professional management has even led to tragedy in the past when public safety officials could not pass snow-covered roads. We should be able to effectively communicate plans for snow removal and get the job done in a reasonable amount of time.

1. Track Your Snowplow

With a simple investment in readily-available GPS technology, we could modernize our snow removal operations and dramatically improve efficiency. I will equip every city snowplow with a GPS tracker that allows public works supervisors to see where their workers are, how many streets have been plowed, and what areas of the city still need work. Having ready access to this information will make supervisors’ jobs easier, cut down on duplication of routes, and make our streets safer faster.

With this technology, we can make tracking maps available to the public. Imagine if you could visit the city’s website and see an interactive map showing you where every plow in the city is, where they have been, and when your street is expected to be plowed. You’d no longer have to guess when it would be safe to venture out. You could see it with your own eyes.

2. Find the Best Route

With this technology, we can also find the best, most efficient routes help drivers get where they need to go. Between the natural knowledge and instincts of our drivers and the GPS programmed route information we can find the best routes to make sure that our primary streets are cleared immediately after a snowfall and begin quickly working on secondary streets including residential areas and, eventually, alleys. Pre-programmed GPS routes will allow our drivers to get their work done quickly, reduce the number of snow and ice-related accidents, and clear the way for all important public safety vehicles.