Montreal Snow clearing APP available; Helps find parking after snowstorms…
By: John Symon – mtltimes.ca
As Montreal is digging out from a record-breaking 39cm snowfall on Dec. 29, the city has launched a new mobile app with snow-clearing information. This app informs the public about: parking; towing; public transit; garbage collection schedules; weather forecasts; and a snow removal operations map. Theoretically, this app helps users adapt after major snowfalls. With it, they can find parking in Montreal on streets already cleared of snow, avoid having their car towed, and quickly find their towed cars.
“Smart snow removal consists of offering Montrealers practical, accessible snow removal solutions, making it easier for them to travel and park their vehicles. It includes all technological procedures associated with snow removal, such as snow elimination [Smart Snow Transportation System],” reads an online text.
The INFO-Neige MTL application presents the schedule and progress of snow removal operations in order to facilitate parking their vehicles. A YouTube video in French even suggests users can enter the geographic coordinates of their car parking spot and receive notifications if snow clearing schedules change in that sector.
Using the INFO-Neige MTL app, users can punch in either the car’s plate number or the sector where it had been parked to find out where it has been towed to.
Snow clearing operations would proceed much more quickly if not for parked cars in the way of snow removal teams. The Times understands that 4,000-5,000 cars are towed in Montreal after a typical snowstorm.
But INFO neige is apparently still a work in progress. Fine print on the online maps reads: “Please note that street signage concerning parking during snow loading operations always prevails over information found on the map.” When The Times did a quick check for a neighbourhood in Lachine, we found the online map invariably indicated “no parking” on the opposite sides of the streets from where the actual no parking signs were placed on Dec. 30. There is also an anecdote of somebody using the app to move her car from a street where snow-clearing was supposedly imminent to another nearby street where no snow-clearing was planned. She returned shortly to find her car towed…
The INFO-Snow app is available on the App Store and GooglePlay, and can be used to locate a street and view the progress of snow removal operations. For info: firstname.lastname@example.org weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Montreal uses some 3,000 employees and 2,200 pieces of equipment to clear 10,000km of streets, not to mention sidewalks, bike paths, and parking lots. Snow clearing operations take a break at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to resume at 7 a.m. on Jan. 2.