20 February 2007

Five Days After the Snow

Here is a little look at what happens after a large enough snowfall in Montréal. What you see streaking by outside my window above is the grader that goes by to make the snow into a ridge in the street away from the sidewalk. Next is the other kind of large plow that they use mostly for the street corners and to clear the snow away from bus stops and the like.

If you see one of these (below) coming your way, jump! They are the small plows that speed along the sidewalks, removing snow and depositing salt and (*argh!*) tiny rocks that I have heard are actually a by-product of aluminum smelting (these are for traction).

Once the snow has been prepared for removal, you will see lines of empty dump trucks like the one below.

And then along comes the snowblower, picking up all the snow and depositing it in the trucks to be hauled away. While it used to be dumped into the river, salt and all, they are now a little more environmentally conscious and work to try to recover some of the salt and process the rest before it gets to the river.

Here is a full truck speeding by my apartment to get rid of the snow:

This can be a very efficient exercise when all the drivers obey the 12-hour no parking periods to allow for snow removal (those who park get towed, but it slows the whole thing down). This time, my side of my street was cleared overnight between Friday and Saturday (2 days after the snow) and the other side was done the next night. They are so efficient at getting rid of it that when I came home from shopping on Saturday afternoon the sidewalk on my side of the street was actually bare and dry (a little help from the sun being out, too).

And all of this accounts for tens of millions of dollars in the city's budget each year, but, like I said in a previous post, it is the stick by which we measure the effectiveness of the municipal government. If the mayor can't get rid of the snow within 5 days, it's time to consider getting rid of the mayor.

2 comments:

Brian FInch said...

Ahhh thank you for reminding why it is that I headed south for six weeks.

Hope all is well in MTL.

Interesting enough, while here in Puerto Vallarta the only real people with which I connected were all francophones.

Thank god, because the rest of it was Church St. on a beach.

Bri

davidmccombs4 said...

Thanks for the memories Ken. I am in Hamilton now where the term ‘snow removal’ does not exist. It is simply ‘snow moval’. It is piled up in banks and left until it melts. David