Can Canada teach us how to remove snow?

Minneapolis has enacted parking restrictions, which introduces a new world of hurt in the winter driving season. The restrictions ban parking on the even side of all non-snow emergency routes through April 1.

The city’s assistant fire chief says the snow has been piled up along the curb, reducing the width of the road and making it difficult to get fire trucks through.

St. Paul is also considering parking restrictions.

Can we learn something in cities where it snows a lot?

Take Montreal, for instance, which gets about 82 inches of snow a year. They plow the streets the conventional way to get traffic moving, then they remove it.

First, a grader puts the snow in the middle of the street, scraping the snow clear from the curb.


A little buddy takes care of the sidewalk…


Then, a typical plow truck cleans the street and makes a nice line of snow…


Then this baby comes along…


And you have a cleared street.

The snow is taken to one of 28 disposal sites in the city where it is melted and then treated. Each winter, about 300,000 truckloads of snow is removed from Montreal streets.

Where are all the cars? Montreal provides free parking in lots and garages during snow removal operations.

The city uses 172 vehicles to clear roads, and 188 to clear the sidewalks.

Typically, the city says, all the snow is removed in fewer than five days for a 7 inch snowfall, about five days if it snows a foot.

Montreal is bigger than either of the Twin Cities — 1.6 million people live there. Geographically, the city is almost three times the size of Minneapolis.

Of course, the snow removal operation in Montreal is full of stories of corruption, collusion, bid-rigging and violence. But, hey, at least people get to park their car.

(YouTube video)