After receiving countless messages from the people of Montreal about their dissatisfaction with the state of our roads and sidewalks, mayor Valérie Plante has spoken out.
According to La Presse, Plante feels the city has become a "punching bag," and a "lightning rod" for Montrealers who are exasperated by the snow-and-ice-heavy winter. She also notes that we've received nearly 200cm of snow, which is an "average" amount in her eyes.
The mayor continues by stating that she sympathizes with Montrealers' irritation, but asks them to also consider the crews working tirelessly to clean city streets of ice and snow.
But major challenges persist. According to the CBC, the city has already had to use money from its reserve funds to continue with snow removal. Last month, the mayor herself also had to put pressure on borough mayors to adequately clean streets in a timely manner.
TL;DR Mayor Plante says that Montrealers like to use the city as a "punching bag" for their winter frustrations. But many of these complaints are well-founded.
The mayors' comments also disregard the difficulty many people, especially seniors and people with disabilities, have had this season. Countless Montrealers have taken to Twitter to voice their frustrations about icy, treacherous sidewalks. Some have even shared stories of broken bones.
À ma mairesse @Val_Plante : Jamais de ma vie je n’ai eu peur de marcher à Montréal l’hiver. Jusqu’à cette année. Ma ville déblaie les pistes cyclables mais pas les trottoirs. Ma ville qui se veut verte oublie que le moyen de transport le plus écolo et accessible, c’est nos pieds!— Catherine Pogonat (@catpogonat) February 20, 2019
My good friend broke his ankle on a snowy Montreal sidewalk. @WinemanSpeaks can attest.— JJ Krakowski (@Rayeth) February 17, 2019
I hope I didn't break my bones after that terrible fall I had on #Montreal 's icy sidewalk this morning...😒🤕— Priya (@priya_p88) February 16, 2019
The icy sidewalks pose a real risk to people with reduced mobility.
St. Henri, Montreal: a climbing rope helps pedestrians navigate the sidewalk. pic.twitter.com/478XyPu62W— Adam Hooper (@adamhooper) February 8, 2019
On the left the beautiful clear bike path on de Maisonneuve. Contrast this to the sidewalk to the right-which is icy and full of snow. Conclusion? It’s better to be on a bike in February in Montreal. pic.twitter.com/OsI1cg2KMy— Mariam Pal (@mariampmontrea1) February 7, 2019
Was walking down the sidewalk with my friend he fell and broke his 2 front teeth,definitely need more salt 🧂 .— yomairis (@yomairis16) February 5, 2019
This happened Jan 25th on St Jacques and Regent in NDG. 10 weeks off work. When the temperature drops below freezing you salt the sidewalks; anyone with half a brain knows that pic.twitter.com/RKLdvtxD5t— Nathan Gagne (@NathanGagne3) February 4, 2019
Montrealers may not have much luck avoiding the sidewalks, either. Just this week, a Montreal man got a ticket from the SPVM for walking in the street while attempting to avoid an impassable, dangerous sidewalk.
This winter has not been easy for Montreal pedestrians.