«L'administration disait toujours, ces dernières années, que le déneigement était la priorité no 1. C'est une véritable hystérie, a dit Richard Bergeron. Cette hystérie du déneigement découle de la dépendance à l'automobile. L'esprit de notre initiative, c'est qu'on va marquer une pause par rapport à cette évolution. Est-il si urgent que ça de faire travailler des employés à taux double la fin de semaine pour que ça circule bien le lundi matin?»
"The previous administration was always saying these last years that snow-clearing was priority number one. It's a veritable hysteria," said Richard Bergeron. "This snow-clearing hysteria is a result of our dependance on the automobile. The spirit of our initiative is that we are going to make a break from this evolution [I think, I'm having trouble translating that sentence]. Is it so urgent that we have to pay workers double time in order that traffic flows well Monday morning?"
How awesome is that. A lot of the rhetoric behind is justified by trying to cut down costs. Helen Fotopolous the last borough mayor (and good riddance, she was a pro-development scumbag), incurred a $4 million debt mainly in snow-removal overtime. Budget constraints certainly help the new administration with these arguments, as there is going to be pressure against them for sure.
But the reality is that there are very few people who need to be driving in and out of the Plateau during the week. I know for a fact several people on my block who drive to and from work but live within Metro (and thus bike) range. I have absolutely no sympathy for them and I hope several snowed-over Monday mornings will convince them to think seriously about using more sustainable modes of transportation.
As for the sidewalks:
Le déneigement des trottoirs est la priorité de Richard Bergeron. «Il faut penser aux aînés. Les jambes cassées, ce n'est pas dans la rue qu'il y en a, c'est sur les trottoirs. On va donc demander une brigade trottoir pour le prochain budget de la Ville de Montréal, car pour la majorité des Montréalais, c'est l'état des trottoirs durant l'hiver qui les préoccupe, pas que la neige des rues ne soit pas chargée pendant deux jours.»
The clearing of the sidewalks is the priority for Richard Bergeron. "We must think of the elderly. People aren't breaking their legs in the roads, it's on the sidewalks. We are therefore going to ask for a sidewalk brigade for the next budget from the City of Montreal, because for the majority of Montrealers, it's the state of the sidewalks during the winter that concerns them, not the snow in the roads that may not be cleared for two days."
I can tell you right now that there is not going to be any need for a sidewalk brigade in front of our condo, but if the borough mayor needs some volunteers to help keep the rest of the sidewalk cleared and save some budget, I'm going to be in the front of that line.
Bravo Projet Montréal! This is exactly why I voted for you. I hope you can make it work.
Here is a link to the original article in the CyberPresse.