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Alert

02/17/2021
City Launches Interactive Map to Track and Monitor Treatment of Roads During Snow Events

PHILADELPHIA – The Streets Department continues its efforts to provide residents with greater access to its services by publicly launching the final phase of its online StreetSmartPHL  platform, PlowPHL. PlowPHL is an interactive web map that allows residents to track and monitor the status of the City’s plowing and salting operations.

“The recent back-to-back snow events demonstrates how winter weather can be unpredictable,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “With PlowPHL residents now have near real-time access to track how the City responds and treats roadways during any type of snow event. This new tool further demonstrates our Administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability in City services.”

PlowPHL is an interactive tool that tracks vehicles assigned to a route for plowing and salting during a storm. For the first-time the public can view the progress of vehicles as they are deployed to treat the roadways. Responses to snowstorms vary depending on the type and severity of the storm. The public will be able to view the type of deployment that has been issued in response to a winter storm event: Conditional, Highways, or Full deployment.

“PlowPHL is the City’s first data-driven tool that focuses on snow operations,” said Michael Carroll, Deputy Managing Director for the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability. “PlowPHL supports the Administration’s goal to provide the public greater access to data. It furthers the Streets Department’s mission for clean, green and safe streets by maximizing technology to keep residents informed and updated on snow operations.”   

Not all streets are treated during every snow event. Residents can find out if their block will be treated by entering their address. The online map highlights which streets residents can expect to receive treatment, when a roadway has been treated and how long it has been since the last service was rendered. Color-coded information displays the status of the treated roadway using dashed and continuous lines to show streets treated less than 6 hours ago, streets treated between 6-12 hours ago and streets treated more than 12 hours ago. Residents will also be able to view current updates on snow operations and a submit a report directly to 311 through the platform. 

“PlowPHL will play a significant role in supporting the Streets Department’s priority to make streets safe and passable during a snow event,” said Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams.  “The online mapping tool assists managers with monitoring what areas of the city vehicles are servicing. It also allows managers to redirect vehicles to areas where they might be needed most, a far cry from the old system where spotters would have to physically visit an area and report the information back to snow operations team.”

PlowPHL is one of the many tools the Streets Department is utilizing to deliver more effective and efficient service quickly to the public. The Department is also utilizing cameras to supplement spotter’s reports. They provide mobile, visual monitoring aids to assist management in determining the condition of streets. Also, 311 complaints are tracked and mapped to determine effectiveness during storms, equipment need and route planning.

The StreetSmartPHL platform houses four components:  PavePHL, PermitPHL, PickupPHL and PlowPHL. Each provide direct access to the Streets Department's core services, and connects users to real-time information related to permits, paving, trash and recycling collections, and snow plowing.   The site is in its beta phase, so feedback and suggested improvements on the site is encouraged. To access the site, residents can visit StreetSmartPHL.phila.gov. The web mapping tool refreshes every 30 minutes with updated information from GPS devices installed in most city vehicles and portable devices in vehicles without hard-wired GPS devices. The site was designed, built, and maintained by in-house IT staff, saving the city on outsourcing costs.

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