City of Toronto's new snow plow tracking map put to the test
PlowTO, the new City of Toronto real-time map, allows you to track when specific roads were last salted and plowed.
Feb. 16, 2016
By Evelyn Kwong
With hundreds of collisions reported during Tuesday morning’s snowy commute, PlowTO, the City of Toronto’s new tracking map, was put to the test as snow plows and salting trucks hit the city roads and sidewalks.
Similar to the real-time technologies in tracking Uber drivers the PlowTO map uses GPS technology to track the real-time location of snow plow and salting trucks. The map also highlights when specific roads and sidewalks were last serviced using a colour-coded legend indicating different times.
A week since its launch last Tuesday, many Torontonians decided to give the PlowTO a shot after a day of slushy and snowy conditions.
“After checking it out, I decided to walk today,” said Toronto resident Rachel Lissner. “I wanted to know how long ago the streets around me had been plowed because I was contemplating riding my bike.
Lissner, who is also the organizer of Toronto’s Young Urbanist League, a group consisting of young city denizens interested in urbanism and city building, shared the PlowTO map with her group. “I had posted it in my group to share with other city enthusiasts, and people liked it.”
Resident Robert Bergen saw the merits of safety not only as a walking commuter, but the importance of the city’s new technology to provide winter road and sidewalk safety.
“For any drivers and cyclists, this would be crucial for safety,” Bergen said. “Even for parents, knowing your kids’ route to school is plowed and salted gives you peace of mind.”