Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Report from the Snow-filled Streets of Montreal: A Real Carless Day

The schools were out yesterday, exams at McGill University were even postponed, and many people obviously didn’t go to work, or took public transportation. With the second storm leaving more than 30 cm of snow on the city in two weeks, it was not weather for cars—if you could find them. As I walked around yesterday afternoon I saw a number of cars completely covered by snow with their despairing owners, shovels in hand, trying to dig them out.

Downtown was crowded, though. Many must have had the same thought I did—there won’t be anyone shopping so now’s the time. Coming back, the bus was packed, but it moved along quickly because there was so lititle traffic.

This morning the traffic reporter kept saying how much worse conditions were than yesterday. The roads were clearer—snow removal crews have been working overtime, literally—but schools were back in session and the impromptu holiday was over. The bridges were blocked by 6:30 a.m. and coming in from the off-island northern suburbs drivers reported even longer times than usual.

There are definite advantages to going carless, it seems to me.

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