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Montreal’s New Bike Path Snow Removal Tactic Leaves Them Clean But Keeps Sidewalks Icy

Some feel that the city is prioritizing cyclists over pedestrians.
Staff Writer
Montreal’s New Bike Path Snow Removal Tactic Leaves Them Clean But Keeps Sidewalks Icy

Montreal winter cyclists are having an easier winter than usual this year because of a new snow removal technique on the city's bike paths. According to a CBC News report, the new bike path snow removal operations have so far seen incredible success. By using a combination of street sweeping and a snow-melting brine, Montreal snow removal crews have figured out a better way to clear built-up snow.

Pro-cycling activists have praised the city's efforts in this pilot project and they hope that this new method will be used across town. 

You can see the new snow removal method exclusively in the Plateau, Rosemont, and downtown Montreal.

There are some drivers though that are once again feeling forgotten by the city.

One local driver we spoke to said that "it's bad enough I have to deal with bikers in the summer but now I'm seeing more and more in winter."

She tells MTL Blog that "I think the city doesn't care if drivers don't have good road conditions as long as their precious bikes are safe." 

Compared to regular snow removal methods, this new technique that's being implemented in Montreal is evidently better and more efficient.

Despite near-Arctic temperatures, Montreal cyclists are out in force this winter. 

According to CBC, the brine is a calcium chloride-based solution that's only effective on asphalt when there's 5 centimetres or less of snow.

As winter biking gets more popular every year, the city's efforts to accommodate cyclists in winter might seem skewed compared to other winter safety efforts.

Last year, the number of emergency calls for pedestrian accidents due to ice shot up by 55% thanks to fluctuating temperatures that caused awful road conditions.

READ ALSO: Mayor Plante Says To Call 911 If You See A Homeless Person In Montreal At Risk Of Freezing

For winter cyclists wondering if this new method of snow removal will reach their neighbourhood, you might be in luck.

Advocates from Vélo Québec hope that this new equipment can be shared by all city boroughs to ensure clear and safe bike paths.

Though it might sound a little backwards, winter cycling in Montreal has steadily increased in popularity thanks to efforts to make bike paths safe. 

This isn't the only initiative in the Plateau to accommodate cyclists in the winter, either. 

On Twitter, the borough announced a pilot project that includes new four-season storage containers with room for 30 bikes.

Pedestrians and drivers alike will likely remain upset throughout winter, unfortunately, as there's no clear indication that this new snow removal method will be used anywhere else. 

Do you bike in the winter? If so, your ride is about to be a lot smoother.

Can't guarantee you won't get frostbite, though. 

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