Help Improve Adopt-A-Sidewalk

In February of 2011, a massive blizzard hit the City of Chicago effectively shutting the city down for a day and a half. Lake Shore Drive, Metra lines, and business closed down as the city was buried under 20 inches of snow.

In the storm’s aftermath, Chicago cleaned itself up with neighbors helping neighbors shovel out the snow. In that same spirit of being good neighbors, Chicago is joining Race for Reuse to push adoption of the Adopt-A-Sidewalk app.

Adopt-A-Sidewalk is Chicago’s implementation of the Adopt-A-Hydrant application. Users adopt a sidewalk that they agree to shovel after a snow event. Through the site, you can also share resources like snow blowers and salt as well as let people know that your sidewalk has been cleared. More importantly, those that need help clearing their sidewalk can do so through the app. This will let volunteers, who sign up through the city’s Snow Corps app, know which sidewalks also need to be cleared.

Through a partnership between the City of Chicago and Code for America and the Smart Chicago Collaborative, the Adopt-A-Sidewalk app is getting overhauled for the new winter season. The app has been open sourced on GitHub and civic hackers are invited to help improve the app. The app will be hosted on the Smart Chicago Collaborative AWS account in order to make it easier to implement improvements to the Adopt-A-Sidewalk code.

Christopher Whittaker (, the Code for America Brigade leader here in Chicago, is leading this effort. Civic hackers interested in working on Adopt-A-Sidewalk are invited to come to the OpenGov Hacknights Tuesdays at 6:00pm inside 1871. There we’ll discuss needed improvements and enhancements to the app.

Adopt a Sidewalk