Bus lanes and snow-clearing routes will get priority whenever the city of Montreal is hit by major snowstorms, city officials said Thursday.

Ten major bus lanes in the city will be given priority when snowfall levels are at or below 30 centimetres. If there's a major wallop of more than 30 centimetres, major routes will be cleared for snow crews before anyone else is served.

The emergency routes include Notre-Dame St. east, Sherbrooke St. east, Henri-Bourassa and Papineau. There will be no priority snow clearing in west-end districts that include N.D.G., LaSalle and Lachine.


Parking will be banned on the priority routes, but the city will set aside more than 5,000 parking spaces on snow-clearing nights.

New foremen will be trained and the city will add 11 mechanics to ensure more equipment stays on the road.


The snow-clearing plan was announced at a news conference by Michael Appelbaum, the executive committee member in charge of snow removal. He says there are other improved services as well.

"We look to reduce times of snowplowing on our sidewalks and also the de-icing operations," he said.

"We also have to always take into consideration mother nature and the weather, but the situation will be improved this year, and the objective, of course, is to improve it over the next six years."

The global snow-clearing budget for the city of Montreal is $136 million -- $2.7 million more than last year.

For more information, visit Montreal's Operation Snow Removal site here.