New Online Resource Helps Residents Survive Winter in Chicago

February 14, 2012

It’s been a mild winter, but there has still been snow, and we’re going to get more. It’s snowing as I write this!

A new resource called “Adopt-A-Sidewalk” can help Chicago real estate owners and renters navigate through that snow as neighbors and, quite possibly, as friends.

“Winter preparedness and looking out for one another is everyone’s responsibility,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “With the “Adopt-A-Sidewalk” initiative, we are leveraging new technologies to bring neighbors together like never before.

“We all saw how this city came together during last year’s blizzard. Neighbors, businesses and organizations helped one another to get through the snow and inclement weather. The spirit and goodwill we saw last year is something we want to continue and spread.”

The Plow Tracker tool showed that Chicago's plows were out in full force Monday night.

A city ordinance states that residents are responsible for keeping the sidewalks near their properties clean of snow and ice.

Adopt-A-Sidewalk is an online shoveling initiative at ChicagoShovels.org in which neighbors can connect with each other to help shovel sidewalks and share resources. Residents “adopt-a-sidewalk” near their home by claiming it on an interactive map and then have the option to connect with their neighbors to help keep the sidewalks clear.

There is even a section from OhSoWe.com, which allows neighbors to share shovels and snow blowers.

Since this is the first time Chicago has created a map of its sidewalks, there might be mistakes. If you find a missing or incorrect address, report it, and help make this new service even more efficient.

In addition to “Adopt-A-Sidewalk,” ChicagoShovels.org features other tools:

*Real-time Snow Plow Tracker: Find out where the city’s snow plows are working in real time.

*Volunteer “Snow Corps”: Volunteers help with snow removal for certain residents, including seniors and residents with disabilities.

*Winter Readiness Apps: Chicago web and app developers created 2inch.es, which alerts drivers to winter parking bans, and WasMyCarTowed.com, which helps people find their towed cars.

Winter in Chicago, normally, is very rough for drivers and residents. Hopefully this new online tool will help make it more manageable.

“Chicago is the city of big shoulders,” said Mayor Emanuel, “so I am confident that it can lift some big shovels.”

Check out this video about ChicagoShovels.org:

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