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With Snow Comes Snow Plow Tracker, Reminders To Drive Safe, Help Neighbors

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 12, 2012 5:00PM

Image via Chicago Snow Plow Tracker website.

With the first significant snowfall of the season starting to fall, and sticking, eyes here at Chicagoist are focused on how the City's "Snow Plow Tracker" web app will work.

An estimated four to seven inches of snow means we have the "major snow event" necessary for the tracker to be activated. If the image above is an indication, the tracker will look a lot like an Atari 2600 videogame when the snow is falling hard. Here's what the tracker looks like right now, after we typed in the address of Chicagoist's Bridgeport headquarters.

Too bad there isn't an "I can't drive when it snows" tracker. That might be the most exciting thing online this side of a round of Grand Theft Auto.

Both the city and state are taking steps to make sure commutes aren't severely impeded, and are reminding drivers to use their heads when driving in this weather.

“We want all motorists to be aware of winter road conditions and encourage drivers to slow down, buckle up, and cooperate with snow plows,” said Ann Schneider, Secretary for the Illinois Department of Transportation. “IDOT winter crews remain prepared to clear state roadways as needed, but we also ask motorists to take the necessary steps to help ensure their personal safety as well.”

IDOT has 400,000 tons of salt, 3,600 employees and 1,700 pieces of snow plows and other equipment set for deployment on 43,000 lane miles of Tollway. The mild winter leading up to today no doubt helped IDOT and CDOT in their expenses and stockpiling.

CDOT has already sent out half of its snow plow fleet and no major delays have been reported at O'Hare and Midway Airports. But it's early.

It isn't too early to assist your neighbors and we'll use that to remind interested readers to visit the City's "Chicago Shovels" website to find neighbors and sidewalks that need shoveling or to share snow removal equipment.