While the Royal Oak works "around the clock" to remove snow from its 212 miles of roadways and municipal parking lots, many Royal Oak residents still feel compelled to contact the Department of Public Service (DPS) to report no plow activity.
The new Patch snow tracking map is intended to provide a snapshot of where the plows have been to give residents an idea of when the plows might be coming through their part of town.
How snow removal works in Royal Oak
Main roads are the first priority in Royal Oak. Once the main roads are salted, plowed and considered safe to drive on, the plows move into the neighborhoods.
The city is divided into 37 sections, with Section 1 in the city's southeast corner and Section 37 the area of Royal Oak north of 14 Mile Road. During the first 2014 snow emergency, plows started in the north moved south. The most recent emergency, plows started in the south and headed north.
"We flip it for each emergency, which means if you live near 12 Mile Road, you'll always have your street plowed sometime in the middle," said Greg Rassel, DPS director. "It really does take 24 to 36 hours to hit all the streets. It doesn't matter if there is 4 inches of snow or a foot. It takes the same amount of time."
How the snow plow tracking map works
As snow plows clear roadways in the city's 37 sections, DPS will relay that information to Patch via text message and we'll update the snow tracking map immediately. If a section is shaded gray, it means the entire section has been cleared.
Patch readers can zoom in on areas of the map above by clicking the magnifying glass with the "+" located below the map. The map may also be viewed in fullscreen mode.
In the example, the neighborhoods in the north end of town have not been plowed.
Note: The map shown is an example. All Royal Oak roadways have been cleared.
Patch hopes the snow plow tracking map can help reduce some of the calls to DPS by giving residents realtime information during future snow emergencies.