City Of Ottawa Launches Pilot Program To Promote Quieter Snow Removal

The City of Ottawa is hoping to get the beep out of your sleep by muffling the sound snow plows make when they back up this winter. The city is launching a pilot project that will see the high-pitched chirp on some of its plows replaced by multi-frequency alarms that sound more like whooshes, or pulses of white noise. The city’s current alarms cost about $29 each. The new one will cost between $151 and $266 each depending on the decibel level. The city’s fleet services department hopes to have the new alarms installed on a few of its plows in time for winter. They’ll be used in areas where the city gets the most 311 complaints about noisy snow plows. If the new alarms are deemed safe and reduce the number of complaints, the city will consider replacing the alarms on its entire fleet. “If this trial is successful there will be a lot of happy citizens in this city,” said Counsellor Diane Deans.

Click on the bar below to listen to the familiar sound of snow removal equipment backing up, followed by the new ‘muffled’ sound proposed by the city…

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