On October 11, 2017, City Council approved the Broadband Back-up Alarms pilot for a sampling of winter snow clearing vehicles during the 2017 – 2018 snow-clearing season. Broadband alarms use multi- frequency sound, which is different from the tonal beeping back-up alarms.
Now, I am happy to share that 62 vehicles have been updated on the fleet with the new back-up sound, including sidewalk machines and large commercial snow trucks and will working primarily in the downtown core as of mid-January. Of the 62 vehicles equipped with the new broadband back-up alarms, 35 are City-owned vehicles from the Catherine and Hurdman yards and 27 are leased units.
The new sound is a concentrated noise behind the vehicle whose volume increases or decreases, depending on other nearby environmental sounds. The goal of this test is to demonstrate that the City can continue to safely clear streets and sidewalks of snow and ice, all the while providing a more pleasant experience for our residents by doing so in a quieter manner (in particular in the middle of the night).
In order to ensure this transition is completed safely, a multi-layered communications strategy has been implemented to advise residents and staff of the change, including an informative video which can be watched/listened to below:
I highly encourage all residents to take 30 seconds to listen to the new sound and familiarize yourself with it. One of these trucks may be coming to your street soon!