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Website Lets Pittsburghers Track Locations Of City Snow Plows

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) - Pittsburgh has unveiled a Snow Plow Tracker that lets residents track the movement of 120 vehicles assigned to remove ice and snow.

The city has dealt with complaints that streets in some neighborhoods aren't cleared fast enough, especially in some hillier areas with narrow streets.

For now, the tracker won't be updating residents on which streets have actually been plowed or treated, though that feature will be added in the coming months.

But the tracker website - using GPS units on the vehicles - will let residents know the location of Public Works vehicles that have moved within the past four hours.

"It doesn't track active snow and ice treatment of streets," said Lee Haller, Deputy Director of the Public Works Department. "In the future one of the things we are planning to do is pilot enhanced sensors that will actually allow us to know whether the plow is up or down or whether the spreader is actively on or not."

However, the idea of tracking plows is hardly new.

"Two years ago during his campaign, he had initiative No. 92 which was to make sure every city plow had a GPS system in there so we were able to track the snow operations to be more efficient," said Guy Costa, Chief Operations Officer for the city.

Mayor Bill Peduto says his administration is "creating a new version of city government that delivers services effectively, efficiently and equitably."

"People in Pittsburgh have the ability to see the operations of our city in real time," Peduto said. "To be able to get on-line in your living room while that snow is coming down and see if that plow truck has been on your street or where it has been."

The system will cost about $31,700 per year.

Visit the city's new website here:

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(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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