Corp Comm Connects


Website will keep Aurora residents informed about snow plow service
Sept. 4, 2014
By Teresa Latchford

When the snow flies this winter, you will be able to track plows as they work to clear local roads and sidewalks.

In an effort to keep residents updated on its road clearing plans, the Town of Aurora has created a publicly accessible website where you can view and track plow and sidewalk clearing fleets in real time.

The tool will show exactly where each vehicle is working and what parts of town are cleared.

“The phone rings off the hook when it’s snowing,” director of infrastructure and environmental services Ilmar Simanovskis said.

“With this, people can log in and see the bread crumbs of where the plow is and when their street will be done.”

All of the town’s equipment has onboard GPS tracking systems that provide the town with data. This initiative, dubbed “Where’s My Plow?”, will now make the information accessible to the public.

The City of Vaughan offers the service to residents and has had great success, he added.

The scheme also has the potential to alleviate traffic congestion and increase road safety if residents utilize the resource to plan a route or to wait 10 or 15 minutes until the plow goes by before heading on to roads.

The project was included in the winter maintenance service level review, approved at Tuesday’s general committee meeting.

The review focused on providing safe roads while protecting the environment from salt and maintaining service levels. It also addresses the public’s top complaints, including not knowing where the equipment is, when plows will be on the street, not knowing which sidewalks are treated after roads are complete and having snow left in inappropriate locations, especially on cul-de-sacs.

Upon final approval at the next council meeting, the town will also fully contract out sidewalk clearing so both jobs can be done at the same time.

Currently, contractors and staff share the task but this method significantly delays sidewalk clearing since roads take first priority.

Snow vehicles in cul-de-sacs are a waste of time and result in poor clearing due to the lack of maneuverability of the vehicle.

Final approval is expected at an upcoming council meeting.