Does the city clear snow from bike paths before doing roads and sidewalks?
The City of Montreal is set to embark on the first major snow removal operation of the season on Wednesday morning, with the first of the orange signs set to go up on Tuesday night.
But even as the snow started falling, crews were out and about clearing streets, and sidewalks, and bicycle paths. But a common lament among pedestrians for the last couple of winters has been that of those three things, bicycle paths are what gets cleared and salted before the other two.
Is this true?
Mayor Valerie Plante was asked about that at City Hall Tuesday morning — and the question appeared to get under the mayor's skin.
"You know, I'm really tired of all this opposition. That needs to stop. That's really my cri de coeur [cry from the heart] for this morning," the mayor told reporters. "People should be able to use the sidewalks and roads, but it's not a competition, and it's not like, 'oh, let's do the cycling path first so that other people are not happy about this. This needs to stop."
Plante suggested the kind of equipment they have at their disposal makes it easier to clear bike paths and roads before they get to sidewalks.
"It is easier with the machinery to do the cycling path, just like they're doing the roads. It's kind of the same thing," she said. "It has to stop."
City officials say it will have all of its machinery available to clear Monday's 20-centimetre snowfall from the city's streets. And as is always the case, motorists are being advised to respect the orange no-parking signs that will go up. It'll make life easier for those tasked with clearing your street, and furthermore, there may be consequences if you don't — you could have your car towed away, and you'll have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get it back, after you pay the fine.
City spokesperson Jean-François Parenteau says never before has a major snow removal operation happened this early in the season.