Chicago takes pride in its snow plow fleet. Snow removal is a serious and expensive business in Chicago, so the emphasis on the snow plows is understandable.

By the numbers

In 2012, The Atlantic Cities reported "The city has 278 snowplows, plus 26 smaller ones, and 200 garbage trucks it can outfit with plows without disrupting trash pickup. In a given year, the city’s Department of Streets and Sanitation has a $20 million budget for all of this. That is not, to clarify, for the whole department. That’s the snow budget.

“It’s salt, it’s buying trucks, that’s fuel, that’s paying laborers, paying truck drivers,” says Thomas Byrne, the Streets and Sanitation commissioner.

Watch those line items add up, and snow-plowing officials in Chicago – and a host of other cities this winter, for that matter – have been celebrating tens of thousands of dollars in savings as the rest of us cringe over climate change."

For updated numbers, check out this Dec. 2013 infographic.

Plow Tracker

You can watch the plow tracker live at

In 2012, The Atlantic Cities reported "In Chicago, residents are so sensitive to the urban conspiracy that some neighborhoods get more prompt plowing than others that the city unveiled a live tracking app this winter. Roughly 65,000 people viewed it in its first week online."

Apparently "The system is the brainchild of Mayor Emanuel’s director of social media, Kevin Hauswirth." [source]

Source of Pride

"“I’d take my plow drivers and put them up against anyone in North America,’’ said Bobby Richardson, Chicago’s snow removal boss. “Ten inches, a foot of snow? That’s nothing for us. Nothing.’’" [source]

Please add more examples of the snow plow fleet as a source of pride here!

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