Joan Morris 703-259-1799
Jennifer McCord 703-259-1779
Jan. 25, 2012
NEW ONLINE TOOL SHOWS SNOW PLOWING STATUS IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA NEIGHBORHOODS
View video to see how it works
FAIRFAX —The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has a new web tool that shows the status of plowing in northern Virginia neighborhoods.
Once it snows at least two inches, residents can find out the status of plowing in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William county neighborhoods at http://novasnowplowing.virginia.gov. (Note: The URL has since been changed to http://vdotplows.org.) The webpage activates when two or more inches have accumulated.
VDOT has organized northern Virginia streets into 600 “snow maps” which are assigned to plow drivers. These are the maps users will view and be able to find out whether crews are plowing, have plowed or have not started a particular snow map. Street-by-street progress is not shown.
Users can enter an address in northern Virginia to see a color-coded snow map that indicates the plowing status in that area:
• Green indicates a neighborhood has been plowed,
• Yellow means plows are in progress in the neighborhood,
• Blue indicates plows have not yet started the neighborhood; and,
• Gray means the area is not maintained by VDOT. Cities, towns and some developments maintain their own roads.
“This is a test run so we will welcome feedback from the public,” said northern Virginia VDOT Assistant District Administrator Branco Vlacich. “We will make adjustments as needed to make it as user-friendly and helpful as possible.”
Residents can view a video of how to use the webpage at http://youtu.be/HMRaItZLgyo.
Quick Tips for Users
• Be sure to enter your complete address, e.g. 100 Maple Street, Anytown, Virginia.
• The website tracks VDOT-maintained neighborhoods only.
• The website is active only when two or more inches of snow have fallen.
How VDOT clears subdivisions in northern Virginia
Trucks are pre-positioned in subdivisions whenever the forecast calls for two or more inches of snow. Each subdivision has at least one dedicated truck and plowing begins when two inches have accumulated. Main thoroughfares are repeatedly plowed during a storm. Once the storm has stopped and those roads are clear, crews work to make residential streets and cul-de-sacs “passable.”
A neighborhood street is considered passable when a path is drivable (with caution) for an average passenger vehicle. The road will not be cleared curb-to-curb or to bare pavement, and may remain snow-packed, uneven and rutted (especially following any refreeze). Chemicals are not typically used in subdivisions, but crews sand hills, curves and intersections as needed to provide traction. For most storms, one snowplow pass, about eight to ten feet wide, is made.
Once drivers complete a minimum of one pass on the roads in a map, they report back that the route is complete.
VDOT judges subdivisions complete through processed snow maps, resident call volume, AVL and feedback from VDOT monitors.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.