CSL crews clear snow almost as fast as it falls

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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

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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

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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

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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.

CSL purchases first electric vehicle

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Electric Car Icon

After much prodding over the last few years I am very proud and excited that Cote Saint-Luc City Council has finally agreed with my proposal to purchase electric vehicles as part of its fleet strategy beginning with a first acquisition of a KIA Soul for the Public Works Department. I was particularly proud to move this resolution at this week’s Public Council Meeting.

In June 2015 I wrote to Council:

I recently attended the Branchez Vous electric car show on Ile Ste. Helene. I was very impressed with the growing number of vehicles coming onto the market for consumers as well as corporate and industry fleets.

The Government of Quebec is heavily promoting its transportation electrification initiative and are offering $8000 rebates on vehicles and up to $5000 on charging stations (up to 75% rebate). The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has had several exhibits on electric vehicle fleet options for cities.

Having test driven an electric vehicle I was extremely impressed with its size, handling, storage and passenger capacity.
 
I’ve also noticed that Lantier, Quebec, with a population 828 residents, has an electric vehicle charging station at its city hall. It got me wondering why progressive and forward-thinking CSL doesn’t yet have one?
Furthermore, electric charging stations have been popping up in villages and towns all across Quebec: Complete list here: http://www.lecircuitelectrique.com/trouver-borne.en.html
My brand new Chevy Volt Electric Vehicle

My brand new Chevy Volt Electric Vehicle

One year later, I have purchased my very own 2017 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with an estimated electric range of 85 kms. In less than three months I have yet to use a drop of gas for any of my city driving and I am not contributing any CO2 emissions to pollute our city. What’s more, the cost of electrical charging is roughly about one-eighth of the price of gas. (It’s a lot of fun too).

So with much encouragement and support by Council and Administration the city has finally approved the purchase of one electric vehicle, substituting the cargo van for Buildings and Trades in the Public Works Department.

kia-soul-ev-2016

The cost breakdown details are as follows:

Total before taxes: $35,216.90
GST:$1,760.85
QST: $3,512.89
Grand Total: $40,490.64
Less Gov’t Rebate: $8,000
Grand Total After Discount: $32,490.64

This KIA Soul model is the largest SUV style EV that has 4 doors and can carry up to 5 passengers.

Thanks as well for the ongoing support of fellow Councillors Steven Erdelyi and Dida Berku and Public Works Director Bebe Newman.

An EV Charging Station will soon be installed at PW with more to follow at the ACC and City Hall. And, I will continue to push for the electrification of the city’s fleet of vehicles.

To learn more about EVs right here in CSL mark October 27 at 7 PM into your calendar and check back here for details.

 

Oct. 25, 2016 | Free Press | Click to enlarge

Oct. 25, 2016 | Free Press | Click to enlarge

CSL Mayor on first 100 days in office

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Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein gives a quick update on his first 100 days in office and on latest developments on Fleet Road, Cavendish extension, CP Rail, city events and staying in close contact with constituents.

Fleet to flow at 40 km/h

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speedlimit40

Cote Saint-Luc and Hampstead have agreed to harmonize the speed along Fleet in both towns to 40 km/h and to enhance the signage and street line marking at crosswalks. This cooperative project is aimed at ensuring greater safety of pedestrians.

Currently, the speed varies between 50 km/h in CSL to 50 km/h and 30 km/h in Hampstead.

Hampstead and CSL will install 40 km/h speed limit signs on Fleet between Cavendish and Dufferin Road on their respective territories. The cities will also collaborate to do their utmost to ensure that the traffic lights on Fleet Road, on their respective territories, are synchronized.

No_left_Fleet_Hampstead_2013a    No_left_Fleet_Hampstead_2013b

They will also work together to create a simplified plan as related to the wording on the signs for the no left turn policy on the streets running perpendicular to Fleet Road, namely, Netherwood, Finchley, Dufferin Road. This has been a serious source of frustration for motorists from both cities, many of whom have been ticketed for turning left off of Fleet, unable to decipher the confusing signage. The confusing road signs were also cited by a Montreal Court judge in dismissing a ticket to a Hampstead motorist (posted elsewhere on this blog).

Free Press, May 23. 2012

Free Press, May 23. 2012

Hampstead has also agreed to provide greater visibility for the unprotected cross walk between Queen Mary Road and Netherwood.

This synchronization plan is good news for West End motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike. While Fleet is not wide enough for a dedicated bike lane the slower traffic will improve the safety of those on bikes and walking across the street. It is intended that crosswalks will be even more visible by better street line markings and signage will be installed in high visibility colours.

As the one who called for the initial meeting to discuss this project with Hampstead Mayor Steinberg I am very pleased with the cooperation between our two municipalities. Councillor Dida Berku and I along with CSL Urban Development Director Charles Senekal met with Mayor Steinberg and members of his administration last winter to discuss common concerns and ideas to reduce risk.

Two weeks ago I met again with Mayor Steinberg, CSL Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and members of council along with CDN-NDG Mayor Russell Copeman and Councillor Marvin Rotrand at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Winnipeg. We had a productive working meeting where we touched upon the Fleet –  Van Horne corridor among other subjects. Copeman and Rotrand are also open to the idea of synchronizing Van Horne between Hampstead and Decarie to 40 km/h as well.

Safer at 40 km/h speed sign

In addition I’ve asked Councillor Rotrand to have his staff repair the significant depressions in the roadway on Van Horne to ensure a steady flow of two lanes of traffic during rush hour and to have police enforce the no stopping regulation which often causes a bottleneck, blocking the flow of traffic and the 161 bus.

Thank you to the three municipal administraions and especially mayors Steinberg, Copeman and Brownstein for demonstrating a genuine interest in cooperation and collaboration.

Do you have ideas to improve this thoroughfare? Please share your ideas here.

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