City of Airdrie embraces social media technology to aid in snow removal
The City of Airdrie’s public works department is off to a busy start this winter season.
With several snow storms already this year, the department is embracing social media to keep residents informed about travel conditions.
According to Mike Avramenko, the City’s team lead for roads, residents can receive updates on Airdrie’s Twitter page at www.twitter.com/City_Of_Airdrie
“It’s just another way to communicate with more of our travellers,” he said. “It seems to be the way to get the word out. People can get real-time updates really quick.”
Avramenko said during snow events, he updates followers about road conditions.
According to Avramenko, the city is divided into four snow-clearing priorities, with arterial roadways, such as Yankee Valley Boulevard and Main Street being cleared first.
School zones and emergency services facilities, including the route to the RCMP detachment and firehalls are cleared as priority one, he said.
Feeder roads, including Allen Street, Cooper’s Drive and Meadowbrook Drive, are considered priority two for the city’s plows and sanders.
City facilities and arena parking lots are cleared next, with the final priority given to local and residential roads, only if the roadways are rendered impassable and other priorities are met.
“(Residential streets are cleared) only in extenuating circumstances,” said Avramenko, adding only trouble spots, such as curves, intersections, playground zones and hills are likely to receive spot sanding treatments after snow events.
The City’s public works department has 22 employees who work on a rotating schedule, with employees available every day around the clock to clear Airdrie’s 200 lane kilometres of streets.
Policies and procedures set up by the City give staff 24 hours after the end of a snow event to clear priority-one roads and 48 hours to clear priority two and three roadways. Plowing begins when snow has accumulated to 2.5 inches and when excessive drifting has occurred.
Avramenko said if the snow continues to fly, the department concentrates its efforts on keeping major roadways clear.
According to Avramenko, the department embraces other forms of technology besides social media. Its sanders are equipped with Eposat technology, GPS software that directs operators where to apply chemicals minimizing the amount applied and increases efficiency, according to Avramenko.
“We are trying to minimize our use of chlorides on the road, and we are getting it in the strategically determined areas,” he said. “It’s part of our salt management (program).”
For more information on the City’s snow and ice control policies, visit www.airdrie.ca or contact the public works department at 403-948-8415 or after hours at 403-948-8800.