The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has a new web tool that shows the status of snow plowing in northern Virginia neighborhoods. Once it snows at least two inches, according to a VDOT statement issued yesterday, residents can find out the status of plowing in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William county neighborhoods.
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. 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.
The map can be accessed at http://novasnowplowing.virginia.gov/pages/MapStreet.aspx.