Orillia residents can now track when local roads are plowed using an online application developed by Bell in partnership with the City of Orillia. The Orillia Snowplow Tracker is available through the City’s Pingstreet mobile app or at Orillia.ca/plows.
“One thing you can always count on in Orillia is the unpredictability of snow,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “With the Orillia Snowplow Tracker, we’re taking some of the guess-work out of winter and letting residents know exactly which roads have been plowed and when. City crews work extremely hard to maintain local roads throughout the winter and this application will help you see their progress throughout snow events.”
Using coloured lines on a map of City streets, the Orillia Snowplow Tracker indicates the timeframe when roads in Orillia were last plowed. The map resets each day at midnight, erasing the coloured lines of the previous 24 hours. For security reasons, there is a 15-minute delay in the mapped location of the operations vehicle.
“The Orillia Snowplow Tracker application is a great way for Orillia residents to stay up-to-speed on City plowing operations directly from their mobile device or computer,” said Kyle Mitchell, Manager of Source Protection and Operations. “The City of Orillia has made several improvements to its winter operations over the last two years, including increasing plowing response times, greater plowing frequency and snowbank removal, and reducing the snowpack on roadways. This app will highlight many of these improvements by showing residents exactly where and when snowplows are out keeping Orillia roads up to winter control standards.”
The Orillia Snowplow Tracker was developed as part of Bell’s Smart City platform, which works towards providing the City with a more a centralized view of data, operations and infrastructure to enhance the City’s service to residents and collaboration across City departments. The Snowplow Tracker application is currently in the pilot stage. It is still undergoing testing and will continue to evolve.
The Smart City pilot initiative between the City of Orillia and Bell also includes:
- An application to monitor and detect the volume of ground water infiltration into the City’s sanitary sewer system, pinpointing cost-effective repairs to sanitary pipes.
- A public Wi-Fi network in the Downtown Business Improvement Area and along the City’s waterfront in Couchiching Beach Park.
- Multi-function digital kiosks providing touchscreen directional wayfinding and promoting local businesses and events to residents and visitors to the city.
“The City of Orillia is a Canadian leader in finding new ways to enhance service to residents with Smart City innovation,” said Nauby Jacob, Vice President of Products and Services at Bell Mobility. “Snowplow Tracker is another great example of how Bell’s Smart City platform and world-leading broadband networks enable centres like Orillia to develop innovative new applications that serve the specific needs of their communities.”
“The Snowplow Tracker application and other elements of the pilot project with Bell represent ways the City is leveraging technology to provide more efficient levels of service in a cost effective manner, helping to make Orillia a smarter community,” said Dan Landry, Manager of BR&E and Industrial Development.
The City of Orillia will review the effectiveness of the Snowplow Tracker application as part of the overall Smart City pilot project with Bell. Residents are encouraged to provide their feedback by submitting comments through the application.