Plans for snow removal set in most Montreal boroughs
Published Saturday, February 15, 2014 4:46PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 15, 2014 6:28PM EST
By Sunday, snow removal will be underway in most of Montreal’s boroughs.
Starting the operation on the weekend is easier because there’s less traffic on the roads and on the sidewalk, said Anie Samson, the Montreal executive committee member responsible for snow clearing operations.
“It’s a big operation. But when we start it we cannot stop it like this. So it’s important for us to plan it,” she said.
A Valentine’s Day storm left around 15 centimetres of snow on Montreal streets.
City spokesman Jacques-Alain Lavallee said beginning the snow clearing on the weekend gives the city a head start before people return to work and school on Monday.
Snow removal generally takes about four days.
But four boroughs – the Sud Ouest, the Plateau–Mont Royal, Mercier–Hochelaga Maisonneuve and Rosemont–La Petite Patrie – haven’t let the city know when they’re going to be starting to cart away the snow.
And Samson said since snow removal is the full responsibility of the boroughs, there’s nothing the city can do to pressure them into getting started.
“The only thing is we give them money for the year and they have to spend it for the snow removal. But they can do other things with that, and (it’s) a decision that (the boroughs) make,” she said.
None of the mayors of the affected boroughs were available for comment Saturday.
But a source told CTV News that cost is a big factor in the decision.
One big snowstorm can cost up to $20 million to haul away. And the price tag can rise if weekend and overtime hours are factored in.
Samson advised frustrated residents of those boroughs to call their representatives and ask them why snow removal has not begun.
“They have to respond to their citizens, because a few are very angry – they tweet me all the time, every night to say ‘Where are my people to remove the snow?’ And I tell them I have no power,” she said.
After every snow storm, about five thousand cars are towed for being in violation of parking regulation, Samson said.
At a news conference, Lavallee said the city’s drivers can call 311 to find the closest lot where they can park their cars during no-parking periods.
Samson said obeying the signs and parking elsewhere can help speed up snow removal, and helps motorists and the city save money.
"It’s a ticket for them, for us it’s money more because it takes more time," she said.