City of Montreal taking high-tech steps to improve snow removal

After last year's rough winter, the city of Montreal is taking some high-tech steps to improve its snow removal operations.

Drones will be used to check snow dumps to see how and where they can pack in more snow.

The city is beefing up its Montreal Services aux citoyens app so you'll be able to report problems in real time to 311 such as icy areas around schools, hospitals and bus stops; poorly cleared streets; and wrongly placed No Parking signs.

They're also improving their Info-Neige app so you'll be able to find free parking more easily during snow removal operations.

They're buying more ice breakers - for a total of eight - to help clear sidewalks.

The city is also buying more salt for de-icing.

City of #Montreal promising new measures/tools to improve snow removal this year: ice breakers, more salt, new online services to alert them to problems, better alerts to indicate free parking on Info-Neige app. #CJAD800 #polmtl

— Shuyee Lee (@sleeCJAD) November 1, 2018

The budget for snow removal will remain the same - around $165M but the city says that can be increased to $200M if necessary.

The city is also emphasizing improved communications with the boroughs and the ministry of transport.

Snow clearing in Côte-des-Neiges/NDG was slow last year because trucks were slowed down by traffic caused by work on the Turcot Interchange and trucks also didn't have access to the nearby Angrignon snow dump because it was full.

While boroughs have to follow directives from the central city on when to begin removing snow, they can decide when and how to clear ice from sidewalks and lay down abrasives.

Anjou got in trouble last year for clearing snow without waiting for the central city to order it. Jean-François Parenteau, executive committee member in charge of citizen services, said Anjou won't have to pay the penalty it got but added that boroughs will still be penalized if they take it upon themselves to begin snow removal operations.

The city said snow removal was difficult last year because it was an exceptional winter that began early with lots of snow: 238 cm compared to the average 190 cm.

The city cleared away 18.4-million cubic metres of snow in seven operations - double the average.