Chicago’s March snowstorm may have already passed the region and headed East, but Chicagoans are still dealing with some minor after-effects of the storm that dumped over 9 inches throughout the area (O’Hare reported 9.2 inches of snowfall). Early yesterday the city deployed its fleet of plows to city streets, and as of this morning they are still out there, clearing and salting main roads.
Thanks to online city service Chicago Shovels, residents can stay up to date on snow removal efforts and can access all city-related snow resources. Residents can use this online portal to track plows throughout the city, adopt a sidewalk for shoveling, and connect with other residents in need of help. Unshoveled sidewalks appear to be the lingering concern after yesterday’s storm, so take advantage of this online resource to see how you can help dig out the city.
Chicago Shovels features:
Plow Tracker uses GPS technology to show the real-time locations of city plows on a map. According to Kevin Hauswirth, Director of Social Media for the City of Chicago, this tool is “just another way that we’re bringing transparency to city government and keeping city services accountable to the taxpayers.”
In addition to city services, the public holds its own share of responsibility in managing snow conditions. Adopt-a-Sidewalk allows Chicagoans to come together as a neighborhood and “claim” the sidewalks in front of their houses for cleanup; embedded in this function is the opportunity for the sharing of resources among friends and neighbors.
Similar to Adopt-a-Sidewalk, Snow Corps draws on public volunteers who are willing to service residents in need of snow removal, such as senior citizens and people with disabilities. Elderly and disabled citizens can request help through 311 services and will be matched with volunteers to have their sidewalks shoveled.
Using Chicago open data, Winter Apps help people navigate Chicago snow by providing alerts and access to city information. For example, one app informs drivers of winter parking bans while another app helps owners find their cars in cases of winter towing or relocation.