City of Independence, Missouri

Independence announces new technology just in time for snow season

Following the 2018-2019 winter season, which included 15 winter storm events, the City of Independence has installed automatic vehicle locator, or AVL software, in its snow plows and trucks. Drivers will be beta testing the new system this winter.

“Last year was an exceptionally challenging winter but we took the lessons we learned from it and are now putting new systems in place to respond more effectively and efficiently for our citizens and businesses,” City Manager Zach Walker said. “This AVL technology will eventually allow our citizens to regularly check where our snow plows have been and how they treated the streets in those areas. We ask for everyone’s patience as we roll-out and learn this new technology but are hopeful it will be a great addition for all involved.”

Snow plow drivers have begun training on the new system but will use the technology for the first time in a real-life scenario this season. The technology replaces print-out maps that drivers were asked to reference or memorize in their route areas.

“In addition to the AVL updates, we have simplified the street levels from four levels to three,” Assistant Director of Public Works Rick Arroyo said. “The new street levels are Priorities, Secondaries and Residential. These levels are determined by traffic volume and emergency responder access needs. All streets are important but we ask for everyone’s patience as we work around the clock to treat our streets in these storms.”

Below is a description of each level:

  • Priorities - Roadways that carry the highest volume of traffic. They generally have 3 or 4 lanes.
  • Secondaries - Streets that connect priority roadways to residential streets.
  • Residential - Residential streets that include cul-de-sacs and dead-ends.

Citizens are asked to assist crews in these storms by parking off the street whenever possible so that plows can easily access the road. You can learn more about the new street levels and the AVL technology in this video,, or online at