In response to criticism that its snow plow routes favor certain areas over others, the City of Chicago has launched a website officials hope will help disprove that theory. Complaints that the city plows homes of powerful politicians before and more efficiently than it plows other areas engendered the city's actions. They launched a website, ChicagoShovels.org, that has a Plow Tracker to show users the location of City plows clearing the streets. "If it's happening, you'll see it," Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's chief technology officer John Tolva told the New York Times. Known for political corruption, the "windy city" is trying to separate itself from that reputation.
The website describes the PlowTracker feature as part of an effort to keep "streets clear and governments transparent." Other features of the site include Adopt a Sidewalk, which allows users to claim sidewalks to shovel on an interactive map; Snow Corps, which connects volunteers with elderly and disabled residents; and Winter Apps created by Chicago-area developers.
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