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Archive for Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow routes

An online map monitoring the condition of local streets after a winter storm would increase both safety and convenience for Lawrence motorists.

November 23, 2010

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Knowing what city streets have been plowed following a snow storm is definitely news Lawrence residents could use.

This winter may not be as severe as last winter, but the city wants to be ready. City officials have stocked up on road salt and sand and prepared a map that sets the city’s priorities for plowing and treating streets after a snow fall. State and federal highways and main city thoroughfares have top priority. Next come major neighborhood access streets, especially those near public schools.

The map gives an indication of the order in which streets will be plowed, but city officials are going one step further in providing information about when that work is completed. They are working on a GIS mapping program that would allow them to provide detailed online maps showing which streets have been treated, which have been plowed and which haven’t been worked at all.

This would be a great service for motorists looking for the shortest route from their homes to a plowed street. A mapping system would make it far easier for motorists to determine whether they can safely reach their destination or would be better off staying at home. Think how helpful such a map would have been during the big storm that hit the city last Christmas.

The system is in the testing stage and not available yet, but hopefully city workers will be able to get it up and running in time for the city’s first significant snowfall.

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