As soon as snow hits the city, it's as if moutains of salt magically appear on busy sidewalks across Montreal. Seriously, on busier streets like Sainte-Catherine it's as if there wasn't even any time taken to spread the salt out.
TL;DR Côte Saint-Luc is in discussion of installing heated sidewalks across the borough, and eventually the entire city, after prices for salt reach $600k for this year. Although heated sidewalks would be better for the city, there are some major drawbacks. Read below for more details.
You'll find heaps of it on different sections of the sidewalk, left for commuters to spread it out by constantly walking over it.
For many reasons, salt can do more bad than good in conditions of ice and snow. Not only is it pretty bad for the environment in ways such as clogging sewers, but it can really hurt your dogs paws, or even your own skin, when walking over it. Not to mention salt isn't cheap whatsoever.
In fact, this year alone Côte Saint-Luc is expecting to dish out around $600,000 just on salt maintenance. Due to the inconvenience and hatred the city has for salt, Montreal has been looking into a few more, less damaging options.
Heated sidewalks continue to make its way into discussion and honestly, we could use these now more than ever.
Not only would it especially help the elderly and small children in super slippery conditions, but this is a much more environmentally-friendly and health-conscious way of still keeping the streets safe.
There are a few setbacks to the plan. First of all, the heated sidewalks would be insanely expensive. The city is talking about millions of dollars just to begin installation in a single borough.
Although in the long run, if the technology were to last for years then Montreal would actually save some money.
And that's the second issue. Some say that the technology is still too unreliable to actually be installed right now. Although in 2011 Côte Saint-Luc set up geothermal rods behind city hall during the winter, snow and ice was only melted from sidewalks in light conditions.
Montreal has been discussing installing the heated sidewalks on Sainte-Catherine Street, but only time will tell if the plan actually moves forward. Considering this winter is expected to be brutal and long, we can only hope.
Stay tuned for more information on heated sidewalks across the city.