Snow Resource Center
Street Classifications

Divisions and Classifications

The Department of Public Works divides the City of Pittsburgh into Maintenance Division areas for service.

In each Division, the streets are classified into one of three categories:  Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary.

  • Primary Routes 
    • Main business arteries that provide access to hospitals, schools, police and fire stations.
    • Primary routes are salted first and continue to receive salt treatment as required in order to maintain traffic flow.
  • Secondary Routes 
    • Primary residential areas.
    • Secondary routes are salted after the primary system has been completely salted and plowed.
    • Exceptions are made in the event of extreme situations such as fires and medical emergencies.
  • Tertiary Routes 
    • Streets and alleyways that have little traffic on a regular basis. These streets are salted and plowed after the secondary routes are completed.

Pittsburgh Snow Plow Tracker Website

This represents the first version of the Pittsburgh snow plow tracker site. Over time, the City will continue to add features, such as sensors that indicate when the plow and spreader on a truck are actively engaged, and new functionality based on user feedback.

The plow tracker site shows the current location of Public Works vehicles that have moved within the last four hours along with the travel history for all vehicles dedicated to snow and ice control throughout the time frame of the snow event. Current location is shown with a vehicle icon on the screen while travel history is shown by highlighting roads on the map.

Currently, approximately 120 Public Works vehicles used for snow and ice control are enabled with GPS devices. The location of these vehicles and their travel history is tracked and displayed in the snow plow tracker site.

The Pittsburgh plow tracker will be activated only during snow events. At all other times, users will see a placeholder message asking them to check back during the next snow event.

While the site shows vehicle travel history, this does not always equate to active treatment of a street. The City hopes to pilot more advanced GPS sensors that will allow us to pinpoint only vehicle movements related to active treatment efforts. However, in the meantime the map displays all vehicle movements whether related to active treatment efforts or not.

Users may see clusters of vehicles on the plow tracker site. These clusters may appear when vehicles are located at a DPW site during shift changes or when vehicles are queued at a salt dome waiting to be refilled.

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