CSL digs out from biggest snowfall in years

Leave a comment

In Côte Saint-Luc we are very proud about how we handled snow clearing

by: Cllr. Mike Cohen

Posted: 18 Mar 2017 02:59 PM PDT

As we continue to dig out from the biggest snow storm the Montreal area has seen in years, I would like to applaud the work done by the City of Côte Saint-Luc`s Public Works Department.

CityTVsnowmarch2017

I have received a great deal of kind comments from residents in regards to how well  we  handled the snow clearing.  In fact, most of the Montreal media praised the work we did on the main roads. Please understand that this is a very difficult task and I was among the motorists on the Thursday morning stuck trying to get past the underpass on Cavendish. It was unavoidable and inconvenient, but later in the day all cleared up

“It was an emotional day for many residents,”  Public Works Director Beatrice Newman reported to city council. “Please help us help your residents understand why things appear to be a certain way while in the background, the city is working fervently to provide safe passage-ways in the city.”

The light on Guelph Road broke Thursday morning and stayed green. This meant that Westminster stayed on a red light. Traffic began to build up, employees rushed to help traffic. Public Security  directed traffic and electricians worked on determining and fixing the light. “Things like this happens when there are drastic changes in weather,” Ms. Newman said.

Cavendish Boulevard was congested, southbound. Our snow removal operations provided clear roads for our residents, but unfortunately once they hit CSL Road and Cavendish, they were faced with congestion. NDG kept their side of Cavendish at one lane. Therefore, our three lanes had to squeeze into their one lane. “Et voilà, major traffic accumulation on Cavendish and  CSL,”  Ms. Newman explained.

Fleet was at one lane from our city right through Hampstead. The objective at first is to clear the road with one lane for access. Then approximately 24 hours later, the blowing began. “We cannot start our operations earlier in the morning or traffic issues would be inevitable,” said Ms. Newman. “Only one lane would still be available in this case. We must consider the safety concerns first. This was not a regular snow storm. This was a blizzard with white out conditions, dangerous road conditions and more. We must have patience. Close to 40 centimeters fell and the process to remove it all will not be quick, we must work efficientlyand safely.”

We had five  teams working all day Thursday, five sidewalk cleaners, five loader/blowers, five 10 wheelers, five walkers and two salt trucks remained to follow the contractors as they salted the roads once the contractor blew the snow. Once snow falls on the asphalt  we secure it with abrasives.

Snowdump2017

Our snow dump after the storm.

 

Two teams worked at the municipal buildings and one  worked on our special calls such as  snow blown accidentally on personal walkways, emptying public garbage, etc. One  employee was stationed at the snow dump on Marc Chagall in District 2, which now looks like an Olympic ski hill.

The balance of the areas around Yavne, Merton and Maimonides schools were done on Friday.

We are working hard to do our best in operations and customer service.

“In Public Security, our agents have seen their call volume go up by a factor of 2.5,” explained Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson. “Our agents have responded with professionalism and tact despite trying circumstances, horrible road conditions and lots and lots of snow. They have always kept the safety of our residents at the forefront and I have been impressed by their ingenuity and dedication.

“Our Dispatch Centre has been flooded with calls and complaints about everything from traffic to snow removal to cars blocking driveways. Despite being screamed and sworn at, they have maintained their composure and professionalism.”

Mr. Reichson noted that while  we did not activate our emergency plan, we kept it close at hand. We ensured that our evacuation routes remained as accessible as possible and were prepared to activate elements of the plan as required. “Despite what some residents have posted online, our response has been as strong and efficient as it can be,” he said. “ This was not just another storm, but rather an opportunity for our employees to shine and from what I have seen, all have risen to the occasion.

FACT SHEET: All about potholes in Cote Saint-Luc

Leave a comment

Potholes are back across the island of Montreal. Here’s information on why they are formed, the procedure of the City of Côte Saint-Luc in filling them, and how much it costs.

 

Territory

Côte Saint-Luc is responsible for all roads on our territory. However, the City of Montreal is responsible for the south side of Côte Saint-Luc Rd. from Décarie Blvd. to a few blocks east of Westminster Rd. Motorists who spot potholes on that side can call 3-1-1 to speak to a Montreal information agent.

 

How potholes are formed

Potholes are a result of the freeze/thaw cycle, which deteriorate road surfaces. If water seeps into crevices of the road and then freezes, sections of the pavement are forced up. Then the weight of vehicles travelling over the section of road breaks the pavement and the asphalt is forced out. That’s why potholes are more frequent in the spring or even during the winter right after a period with a sudden rise and decrease in temperature.

 

How we identify potholes

City employees who are frequently on the road from Public Works, Public Security, and volunteers from vCOP and EMS are on the lookout for potholes and report them to the Public Works office. Residents can help by calling the Public Works office at 514-485-6868 or using the SeeClickFix app on a smartphone to notify the city of a pothole.

 

How we fill potholes

There are two types of asphalt used to fill potholes, cold mix and hot mix. They are used at different times of the year. Cold mix asphalt contains an additive that prevents it from hardening and makes it more granular. Hot mix asphalt doesn’t bind to frozen surfaces, which is why it shouldn’t be used in winter.  Cold mix asphalt, however, is a temporary solution.  Once the weather gets warmer,  we have to re-fill the potholes, but this time with hot mix asphalt, which is a more permanent solution.

 

Our procedure

From May to November, we have a crew that is dedicated to minor asphalt repair and potholes. During the rest of the year, we have crews to fill potholes as needed.

 

When we receive a call from a resident or employee about a pothole, a crew is sent out to fill it. Most potholes take just a few minutes to fill.

 

Pothole costs

It costs about $2.60 of hot-mix or cold-mix to fill the average pothole. Of course, this doesn’t include the labour cost or cost to operate and maintain the equipment used. One team of two employees and equipment will cost about $800 each day to fill 15 potholes. Therefore, an average pothole costs Côte Saint-Luc about $50.

Côte Saint-Luc fills 50-100 potholes in one week during blitz

Leave a comment

Pothole

Following the fluctuating temperature over the past two weeks, Côte Saint-Luc  crews have filled 50 potholes in 3 days, including  10 on its side of Côte Saint-Luc Rd.

 

“The milder weather has caused potholes to form and I directed our Public Works Department to prioritize filling them as quickly as possible,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “In particular, our crews have been very quick to fill potholes on our major streets, including the westbound portion Côte Saint-Luc Rd. I’ve received many complaints about the eastbound side, but unfortunately that’s part of the City of Montreal. We’ve asked Montreal to prioritize their part of Côte Saint-Luc Rd.”

 

Pothole repairs done in winter are temporary because cities must use cold mix asphalt. In the spring, potholes are filled with hot mix asphalt, which is a more permanent solution.

 

City employees who are frequently on the road from Public Works, Public Security, and volunteers from vCOP and EMS are on the lookout for potholes in Côte Saint-Luc and report them to the Public Works office. Residents can help by calling the Public Works office at 514-485-6868 or using the SeeClickFix app on a smartphone to notify the city of a pothole.

CSL crews clear snow almost as fast as it falls

2 Comments

Cote Saint-Luc's newest snow plow blazing a clear path on this sunny Wednesday afternoon

Cote Saint-Luc’s newest snow plow and sand trailer blazing a clear path on this sunny Wednesday afternoon

 

“After the freezing rain from last night we ended up with light rain, cloudy skies and warmer weather this morning,” said the woman behind Cote Saint-Luc’s major snow clearing operation. “The side streets are covered with a thick layer of accumulated snow and ice but graders were called in at 3am this morning to start breaking up and clearing the catch basins on all the arterial streets. As of early this morning, all main streets were beautifully scraped and cleaned for residents to travel safely to work and to school,” Bebe Newman said. “We appreciate the collaboration from our contractors who together with our night shift, worked very hard last night to produce crazy clean streets this morning.”
Bebe Newman, Cote Saint-Luc Public Works Director

Bebe Newman, Cote Saint-Luc Public Works Director

Bebe Newman is the director of CSL Public Works. She is a tireless leader. Creative to the core, she is always looking for ways to implement innovative, novel solutions to everyday problems. Customer service is in her veins. She knows what riles up residents as well as how to provide superior services to put a smile on the face of a frustrated winter motorist or slip-sliding pedestrian.
Public Works crews clear the catch basin of ice and snow so water can drain away

Public Works crews clear the catch basin of ice and snow so water can drain away

Newman routinely updates City Council and directors with the very latest forecasts. Her weather monitoring reports are precisely pinpointed for the CSL area.
“From around 6pm tonight until 6am tomorrow, we are looking at cloudy skies with a potential for lightening – crazy! Temperatures will range from -4 to about -14 tomorrow morning,”Newman advised city leaders this icy afternoon. “From 6am tomorrow until 6pm tomorrow night, it looks like more clouds and maybe more lightening – still crazy! Temperatures will range all day around the -14 mark. We’re looking at even colder temperatures after that, up to -20. I’m thinking about becoming a meteorologist!,” Newman added.
This grader scrapes away the ice the accumulated on the last 24 hours

This grader scrapes away the ice the accumulated on the last 24 hours

We’re lucky to have such a dedicated and passionate city director along with her loyal crews from Public Works and city contractors. They keep our streets and sidewalks, parking lots and pathways clear of snow and ice to the best of their abilities. And by all accounts, they do an excellent job.
Merci à tous nos équipages et entrepreneurs. En raison de votre travail acharné et de votre dévouement, notre ville est l’une des mieux entretenues dans le déneigement de toute la région.
The weather outside need not be frightful as CSL snow plows clear the road

The weather outside need not be frightful as CSL snow plows clear the road

What do you think about Cote Saint-Luc’s snow clearing operations? If you’re one of our very satisfied residents, please share your views and appreciation for our team.

‘Municipalities can’t be perfect in snow clearing’ says judge

Leave a comment

Quebec Small Claims Court Judge Eliana Marengo, ruling in favour of the City of Côte St. Luc in a slip and fall case, cited a Supreme Court ruling that municipalities cannot be expected to be perfect in their clearing of snow and ice after storms.

But the judge also praised the city for its cleaning efforts following storms early in 2015.

The Dec. 15, 2016, ruling emanated from a Jan. 6, 2015 incident in which a woman fell on a slippery sidewalk in Côte St. Luc. Her wrist was fractured and surgery had to be performed.

The plaintiff sued the city for $5,500, citing pain and suffering, and alleged that the city was “negligent in the maintenance of its sidewalk, following the inclement weather of Jan. 4, 5, and 6, 2015, which included approximately 50 mm of rain, over 90 cm of snow, as well as freezing rain.”

The city countered that its public works department worked diligently during the same three-day period “with a view to ensure the safety of its citizens.”

The court felt the evidence, which included the testimony of forepersons, a weather report and worksheets, showed that the city indeed “diligently and repeatedly cleaned and salted [the south-west area of the city where the fall took place] over the period in question.”

The judge also pointed out that the Cities and Towns Act states that, generally, “no municipality may be held liable for damage resulting from an accident, of which any person is the victim, on the sidewalks, streets, roads, walkways or bikeways, by reason of the snow or ice, unless the claimant establishes that the said accident was caused by the negligence or fault of the said municipality, the court having to take into account the weather conditions.”

Judge Marengo ruled that the plaintiff could not prove fault or negligence on Côte St. Luc’s part.

“On the contrary, despite the harsh and difficult weather conditions, it appears the defendant took all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of its citizens at this time,” the judge added.

The ruling also cited a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada that “the fact that a person falls on the sidewalk does not necessarily give rise to a claim in damages; the standard of care required of municipalities is not one of perfection; and municipalities are not an insurer of pedestrians.”

The judge dismissed the case against Côte St. Luc.

Alternate parking restrictions for better snow removal operations

Leave a comment

CSL_snow_clearing_01_2007

Many residents in Cote Saint-Luc districts 4 and 6 will have noticed that alternate parking restriction signs have recently been installed on their street.

This is a pilot project which is being implemented in response to numerous complaints regarding snow removal operations in these areas. Due to the high density of cars on certain streets (generally those with duplexes), clearing and removing the snow in a safe and efficient manner has always been challenging. These restrictions will allow the job of snow removal to be safer and quicker. Indeed streets will be less cluttered with snow banks and parked cars and sidewalks will be cleared of snow and ice much quicker allowing for safer pedestrian travel.

2010-12 snow removal 002

As always pedestrians, and children in particular, should steer clear from snow removal operations.

The new regulation will be in effect from November 15 to April 1. Restrictions are in effect from 8 am to 5 pm on designated days. This information is clearly marked on the signs.

The city reminds residents that overnight parking is tolerated all year long on Fridays starting at 5 pm until Saturday at sundown. The city will closely monitor the snow removal operations in these areas during this period which will enable them to make any adjustments needed in the future.

Please be sure to share this information with all the drivers in the affected areas.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact John Monteiro of the Public Works Department at 514-485-6868 ext. 3005 or jmonteiro@cotesaintluc.org.

The city thanks residents for their cooperation in helping to make Cote Saint-Luc a cleaner, and safer, community.

CSL Public Works electric vehicle rolls into service

Leave a comment

CSL Public Works took delivery of its first electric vehicle, a Kia Soul, mid-November 2016 (Photo: Bebe Newman)

CSL Public Works took delivery of its first electric vehicle, a Kia Soul, mid-November 2016 (Photo: Bebe Newman)

The City of Cote Saint-Luc has taken delivery of its first all-electric vehicle. The KIA Soul will be used daily in the Public Works Department for some of its foremen.

So far it sports the CSL logo (as pictured above). Soon it will be striped similar to the CSL fleet, with a little flair to mark the significance of being an EV.
PW is currently charging the vehicle by 110v which can take up to 13 hours to charge, which is fine for overnight. The 240v charger will cut the time in half.
CSL Public Work's new electric vehicle plugges in to a standard 110v outlet for overnight parking. (Photo: Bebe Newman)

CSL Public Work’s new electric vehicle plugged in to a standard 110v outlet for overnight parking. (Photo: Bebe Newman)

The new EV cost the city $35,000 before taxes. Once you deduct the Quebec government rebate of $8,000 the vehicle comes in at $32,000 including all taxes.

As reported on this blog EV Charging Stations are on order for PW and the ACC. As well, next year we will add a station at City Hall.

And, as promised, I will continue to promote EVs for the City of CSL. Special thanks to PW Director Bebe Newman who supports the acquisition of EVs for the city as a sound management decision and an environmentally wise choice.

Older Entries