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PlowNYC Inaccuracies Prompt City Councilman to Call for Hearing

By Katie Honan | January 9, 2017 11:30am
 A snow plow parked on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria in 2016.
A snow plow parked on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria in 2016.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

FRESH MEADOWS — The city's PlowNYC app didn't accurately show which streets had been cleared during this weekend's storm — the same problem that angered residents during last year's snow debacle, a city councilman says.

City Councilman Rory Lancman, whose district includes Fresh Meadows, Kew Gardens Hills, Hillcrest and Jamaica Estates, drove through his neighborhoods after snow fell Saturday.

He found that while PlowNYC app said streets had been touched by a plow, the Department of Sanitation's app wasn't always accurate, he said. 

The app had similar issues last year when a record-setting blizzard left many major Queens streets unplowed, he said. 

"If PlowNYC can't get it right after a minor snowfall, what will happen when we have a real storm?" he said in a statement. 

Residents complained about the lack of accurate information, he said. 

Lancman is calling for a City Council hearing to take a closer look at the city's PlowNYC app and find out why there are inconsistencies. 

A spokesman for DSNY said they didn't find the same issues they had last year with multiple unplowed streets listed as having been plowed.

“PlowNYC is one of many tools the Department of Sanitation uses to track plow progress," spokesman Vito Turso said.

"Our most important information comes from the eyes we have out working through grueling conditions.

"Based on observations from the field matching the PlowNYC system, the Department does not believe there is a systemic issue of streets showing plowed when they were missed."