Monday, March 1

Here’s why some bike paths are better cleared of snow than sidewalks

If you walk around the metropolis these days, you may have noticed that some bike paths are better cleared of snow than sidewalks even though they are less crowded than those. We asked the City of Montreal to explain to us why. Here are the explanations.

The machines used to clear snow from cycle paths and sidewalks are not the same: the City cannot therefore send all its small snowplows to the sidewalks, then take care of the cycle paths.

Both are done simultaneously, but since there are many more kilometers of sidewalks than cycle paths, the latter may have been cleared before.

Cycle paths are also cleared more quickly than sidewalks, since they are typically wider and contain fewer obstacles to avoid than sidewalks (letter boxes, garbage bags, trees, flower beds, etc. stairs).

“We finish the bike paths before the sidewalks not because we decided to do it before, but because there are fewer kilometers to clear and the operation is simpler”, moreover summed up the mayor of the borough of Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie, François-William Croteau, in a Facebook comment posted on November 25, in response to a question on this subject.

Snow melts faster on cycle paths

Bike lanes also look in better condition than sidewalks for physical reasons: asphalt retains heat more than concrete on sidewalks, allowing ice and snow to melt more. Manholes in the street collect water directly from cycle paths, while on the sidewalk, puddles can form, according to Mayor Croteau.

“At no time is snow removal from cycle paths prioritized over sidewalks. All the bike paths that are cleared of snow in winter are cleared according to the same level of priority as the street on which they are located, ”insisted Marilyne Laroche Corbeil, public relations officer in the media relations division of the City of Montreal.

Here's why some bike paths are better cleared of snow than sidewalks


What are the priority routes?

All of Montreal’s roads are effectively classified into three priority levels for snow removal operations. Here they are, as they are identified by the City on its website:

– Priority 1: main arteries, access to health facilities and schools, priority bus routes and reserved lanes, major commercial streets (e.g. Sherbrooke, Lacordaire, Henri-Bourassa)

– Priority 2: collector streets, other bus routes, local commercial streets (e.g .: Cadillac, Bernard, Villeray)

– Priority 3: local streets and industrial sectors (ex: De Normanville, Beausoleil, Rameau)

Snow removal operations are launched by the City of Montreal as soon as 2.5 centimeters of snow has accumulated on the ground. If the buildup is less, but the pavement and sidewalks are slippery, you simply spread salt and crushed rock.

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