We're finally approaching winter. In Montreal, that means the beginning of the season of crazy driving.
TL;DR December 1st is the last day of street cleaning this year in Montreal. That means the end of annoying weekly parking restrictions starting December 2nd. Street cleaning resumes on April 1st. Read more below.
Hazardous, icy roads combined with endless construction and a culture of generally bad driving make the winter perhaps the most intolerable season in the city.
A few weeks ago, for example, Montreal drivers made use of a snow-covered sidewalk as an extra lane of traffic, putting pedestrians at risk.
Plows on sidewalks and in streets can also sometimes pose a risk to cars.
Thankfully, however, there is a silver lining to the arrival of December: the end of street cleaning.
Between April 1st and December 1st (inclusive) on varying days of the week, parking is forbidden on select sides of most streets to allow street-sweeping trucks to easily pass.
This is a pretty great service. It keeps Montreal streets (relatively) sanitary.
But the end of the street-cleaning season means drivers will no longer have to perform the weekly chore of moving their cars to accomodate cleaning trucks.
Most car-owners in the city will be likely be relieved.
Montreal Gazette reporter Andy Riga was the first to use "Parking Freedom Day" to jokingly describe the end of street-cleaning season in 2015.
Tomorrow is Parking Freedom Day in Montreal. pic.twitter.com/7qHyoXVB0G— Andy Riga, Montreal (@andyriga) November 30, 2015
Starting Sunday, December 2nd, there will be more continuous parking spaces available in the city.
This year, the end of street-cleaning season comes at a good moment. More and more STM passengers are becoming frustrated with service as metro and buses become increasingly crowded.
The relaxing of parking restrictions on December 2nd will make it at least partially easier to operate and store a vehicle in the city – that is, until cleaning resumes on April 1st, 2019.