As someone who moved to Montreal two years ago, there are lots of things I've had to get used to, but by far the hardest one has been the driving.
And as hard as I try to really embrace the culture, there are certain things I will just never get. Here are some of the things about driving in Montreal that will always be a mystery to me.
This just boggles my mind, and no matter how many people explain this to me, it will just never make sense. The person going straight always has the right of way. PERIOD. And I may add for people who are new to the city or are visiting for the weekend, it reads as "If you're going forward, you may proceed." That's just everybody.
The painted lines (or lack thereof)
Listen, I know that Montreal is all about the history and stuff. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love it. But just because Old Montreal dates back to the 1600s doesn't mean the road lines have to as well.
It's like they haven't been repainted since they were originally done. If you think people don't know the rules of the road, it's probably because they can't actually see where one lane starts and another ends.
No right on red
Yes, yes, I know there are reasons for this, but I'll still never get used to this one. The number of times I've sat at a red light and thought, "Wow, now would be a great time to turn right." I'm convinced that bringing this to the island would alleviate at least 75% of road rage.
To the person who makes the detour routes for the endless construction: On the one hand, you drive me absolutely bonkers with your nonsensical, absolutely aggravating twists and turns trying to get out of my own neighbourhood to go about my day.
On the other hand, I also feel like you would make the world's most epic scavenger hunt. It's so iconic, it could be a Halloween costume, and everyone would know what you were without even asking.
I've said it once and I'll say it again: No matter where you go in Montreal, even if it's 10 minutes away, you need to give yourself an extra half hour just for parking. I'll admit the parking app is great — it's probably the only upside to parking in this city.
Oh, and remember the detour person? Are they responsible for randomly blocking certain public spots for absolutely no reason? If so, we need to talk. Don't even get me started on trying to decipher what street parking signs mean, either. Does anyone understand 'em?
So many one-way streets
I get that this is another nod to the city's European influences, but for a city as liberal as Montreal that claims you can go anywhere and be anything you want, the roads sure do dictate only one direction of travel a few too many times.
And if all the one-way streets weren't bad enough, why is it that there are nine streets that go south in a row and the only chance you have to turn north is when you're already on the other side of town?
Confusing street signs
Even people who were born and raised in Montreal drive like it's their first time, and to be honest, I don't really blame them.
The street signs aren't for the faint-hearted. Go left, but not left, but straight, but only backwards, but only on weekdays, unless it's the weekend, and only when the sun's out, except at night time. Yeah, it's confusing.
Everyone knows that Montreal gets hit with some of the worst winters around (trust me — if you don't know, Montrealers will let you know soon enough), and the city's become used to dealing with snow removal. Or have we?
It definitely feels like it's always happening either first thing in the morning when I have somewhere to be or at 4 a.m. when I'm trying to sleep. If anyone knows the schedule, feel free to send it my way. And the sirens? Don't get me started.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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