Every city must balance the time and effort of a snow-removal system with the odds of ever having to use it. Montréal gets an average of 82 inches (120 cm) of snow every year. In a city of four million people, that means a lot of street plowing. But Montréal isn’t like other cities that plow the streets and push the snow up in big banks on the sidewalk and across driveways to linger for months. Here, snow removal is serious business.
In Montreal, a blizzard is a call to action. With a budget of nearly $180 million and a staff of over 3,000 workers, the city is poised and prepared to manage and remove it all. Once snow begins accumulating, a multiphase operation begins to unfold across the city’s 19 boroughs. Between roads, bike lanes, and sidewalks, the city clears over 10,000 km – roughly the distance between Montreal and Beijing.
Montreal doesn’t just push snow to the curb with plows – instead, snow is picked up by a fleet of trucks and transported up to one of 28 snow dump sites across the city. Throughout a typical winter, roughly 300,000 truckloads of snow are transported – a volume of about 12 million cubic meters.
The city even has a complex system for dealing with the snow it gathers up- it is treated as wastewater to avoid polluting the water supply with salt and road grime. And there’s another system for removing parked cars from the streets before plowing. Read a surprisingly interesting writeup on how a city that prioritizes snow removal has perfected its protocols at The Prepared. -via Metafilter
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