WATCH: Montreal's pothole season well underway
Spring won't officially arrive for another month, but the spring-like weather we've been seeing means pothole season is already upon us.
The city's executive committee member responsible for infrastructure, Lionel Perez, says the city is fully aware that potholes are a fact of life in Montreal, and he says the city is about as well prepared as it can be.
"We know we're at the start of the pothole season. People can definitely feel them," Perez says. "We have 10 machines out at full force right now. We have many operations that are being done over the weekends, it's a new process we've started to, in fact, have more machines out while there are fewer people on the roads. And we continue to invest heavily in infrastructure."
That infrastructure investment, he says, means road repairs, better quality roads — and ultimately, fewer potholes.
Nonetheless, he says preventative operations have been undertaken by the city since the beginning of the winter.
"Since the beginning of the new year, we've had a couple of operations. We've had blitzes in different boroughs on a rotating basis. We've obviously put emphasis on major arterial roads," Perez said.
Part of the problem for Montreal's notorious pothole issues, he says, can be traced to generations of neglect.
"We have a certain investment deficit that's been accumulated, not just for a couple of years, for a couple of generations," Perez says. "Anybody that has a leaky roof, they know that, you patch it up once, it's okay, but at the end of its life cycle, all you're doing is patching up, and at a certain point, you have to repair."
Meanwhile, at least one group of people is enjoying pothole season — garage owners.
At Merson Automotive in N.D.G., pothole season represents thousands of dollars in business as people come in with damaged tires and rims.
"There's a lot of flats on a daily basis, for sure. Tires that are not repairable, in terms of cracked rims as well," Mark Bisares, a service advisor at Merson, says "The reason why is because with the weight of the vehicle [the pothole] pinches the side wall of the tire, cuts the tire on the side wall, so it's not repairable anymore. So obviously, it's a pain in the butt."
Basically, the best way to avoid pothole damage to your car is to slow down before you hit one, and then release the brakes.