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Pittsburgh City Controller: Snow Plow Tracker Technology To Blame For Untouched Roads

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - After residents expressed frustration over untouched side streets during the recent winter storms, the Pittsburgh city controller is blaming the mess on Public Works not heeding a past audit.

City Controller Michael Lamb said Tuesday that an audit last year raised concerns about the Department of Public Works' GPS-based snow removal system. He says with Pittsburgh's 1,200 miles of paved roads seeing double the amount of snow this year, the "flaws" in the system's implementation have become visible.

"Our audit found issues with the technology installed by the contractors and subcontractors responsible for making this system work," said Lamb in a statement. "We were told by Public Works that the fixes would be in place by now, and clearly that isn't the case."

During the recent storms, city residents told KDKA they were frustrated their streets weren't being treated.

Lamb says his audit points to an expensive GPS Snow Plow Tracker system, saying the contractors and subcontractors tasked with implementing it failed to consult with the on-the-ground Public Works employees who have to actually get on the roads.

Lamb says Public Works drivers said the new routes are one to two hours longer and feel like the system was designed for a flat, grid-based city unlike Pittsburgh.

"Our drivers knew this system was not working as intended. Pittsburgh has a unique terrain and relying solely on mapping software isn't going to cut it," said Lamb. "DPW needs to go back to the drawing board with the system's contractors and implement the feedback of drivers who know these routes better than any software can."

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