The next time snow falls in Greenwood, if you want to know if your route to home, school or work has been cleared, all you have to do is get online.
When the city’s 16 plow trucks head out to clear the more than 200 miles of city roads, plow drivers can use an electronic tablet in their vehicles to mark when they’ve started or finished clearing an area. That information is displayed in a map on the city’s website, allowing people to see where the snow plows are working and what streets still need to be cleared.
Every time Greenwood gets snow, city offices start receiving steady calls from residents wondering when the streets closest to them are going to be plowed, street department supervisor Brad Holzhausen said.
Before, all that employees could really tell residents is that the plows would first focus on main city roadways, such as Smith Valley or Worthsville roads, before getting to neighborhood streets. Now, they can direct residents to the website so they can see in real time where the plows already have been and where they are now, he said.
The program was started at the beginning of 2017. The city has had some dustings of snow, but hasn’t yet had a major snowstorm, which has helped as the street department has had time to get used to using the program to track where they’ve plowed, Holzhausen said.
Greenwood GIS technician Tom Maggard wanted to find a better way to keep track of what roads have been plowed and developed the map after seeing something similar used in Indianapolis, Maggard said.
City staff also can use the program to better track their own plowing efforts and re-direct plow drivers to areas that are taking longer to clear, Holzhausen said. Once the snowfall is starting to ease up, they can quickly see what roads still need to be plowed, Holzhausen said.
Forecasts show several more chances for snow through the end of February. When the snow begins to cover streets, residents can go to Greenwood’s city website to follow the plows.
A link to the map can be found on the city website, greenwood.in.gov, under the street department’s additional services tab.