A snow grader navigates the narrow stretch of Third Avenue ,as a man is forced to walk on the street as sidewalks were uncleared, in Ottawa following a second snowstorm in less than a week. Wednesday February 15, 2017.
Errol McGihon / Postmedia
The city has had enough of beeping snow machines.After reviewing a pilot project involving 62 snow-removal vehicles operating in central-Ottawa communities last winter, fleet staff want to use the “whooshing” back-up warning alarms instead of the annoying back-up beeping alarms.The 62-vehicle pilot project involved 35 city-owned vehicles and 27 leased units.The city also wants all snow removal machines contracted by city hall to have the whooshing alarms.Council’s transportation committee in October 2017 approved $120,000 to install the new “broadband” back-up alarms on 302 city-owned snow vehicles, such as plows, sidewalk machines and graders.Not only is the whoosh alarm quieter than the ear-piercing beeps, it’s seen as a safer mechanism as a machine reverses.Don Dinelle, the director of the city’s fleet services, told council in a memo that the whooshing sound of the new warning system provides more safety than the annoying beeping sound. The volumes on the broadband whooshing alarms automatically adjust up or down, based on the other surrounding sounds in the environment.While some operators were concerned that people didn’t know what the new whooshing sound meant, the city sees it as an opportunity to beef up an awareness campaign in time for next winter. The city’s communications department might do a media blitz ahead of the 2019-2020 snow-clearing season.All the work to install the rest of the whooshing alarms is scheduled to be complete by the 2019-2020 winter maintenance period.The whooshing alarms are more expensive than the beeping alarms, but the price is being reduced because of the quantity of units being ordered, Dinelle says in the memo.ALSO IN THE NEWS:Firefighters battle blaze at Allium restaurant, Holland Ave. partially closedIf not LeBreton Flats, what other central location could the Ottawa Senators consider for a new arena?Henry Burris leaves morning show, ‘shifts focus back to football roots’firstname.lastname@example.org/JonathanWilling