Friday, December 17, 2010

New and Improved Snow Map

Check out the Department of Transportation’s new snow map. The new online tool will make it easier for residents to decide when to safely venture out following a snowstorm. The map tool will show the progress of snow plows throughout the County and indicate when emergency roads, primary neighborhood streets and neighborhood streets have been cleared. A zoom feature allows residents to focus on the plow status of their immediate neighborhood and surrounding streets and then zoom out to check on an entire trip route. This improved map comes after residents asked for better information following last year’s storms.

Each road category, whether an emergency/main route or neighborhood street, is designated on the map by a different color. Patterns are used to show whether plowing has begun or not, is in progress or complete. Residents are encouraged to consult the map before concluding their street has been missed.

The map includes a handy icon that allows residents to see road views from any of the County’s nearly 200 traffic cameras. Also shown is helpful information about the location of bus stops and Metro stations. The online map system allows residents to easily report an intersection that needs additional sand or salt, a missed street, or a damaged mailbox.

Since many roads in the County are not cleared by the County’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT), it can be confusing for residents. All State-maintained, numbered roads (such as Georgia Avenue, Maryland Route 97 or Rockville Pike, Maryland Route 355) in the County are cleared by the Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA). A link to information from MSHA about their plowing progress is also available.

Other departments, outside agencies and governmental jurisdictions also have responsibility for plowing. They include the Montgomery County Board of Education; the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission; the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro); municipalities; and homeowner’s associations. Commercial parking lot owners plow their own properties and are prohibited from moving snow into the street.

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