Proposal: here's a long-term plan to eventually save the money we spend on snow-clearance and have our streets clean and dry at all times.
First, we start by reducing the street clearing budget from $125 million to $60 million.
The city could clear the main arteries.
But residential streets would just find a way to take the snow from in front of their homes and dump them onto their front lawns, sort of like we are doing already the last week or so.
And city hall could try to sucker citizens into shoveling tasks by making them responsible for shoveling snow and ice from the sidewalks in front of their homes.
You just dump that snow onto a lawn and you're done.
Next we take the $60 million savings and start building heated sidewalks and roads.
New laws would make to that any road being built or resurfaced would then have to come with heated sidewalks.
It might cost about $1 million per block to do, more or less. (Okay, probably a bit more...).
The province could fund this by pulling the plug on the wasteful multi-billion Turcot Interchange remake, which really only requires repair rather than replacement.
You can use electricity to heat the sidewalks but grab some of that heat from Hades, you're going to save good money by going geothermal.
Heated sidewalks and roads might seem like a ridiculous extravagance but each block would be always clear of snow, there would be no more environmentally-damaging salt or gravel or truck trips to the riverside.
And eventually the snow clearing required for the city would be tiny, so the $125 million we now spend would become just a fraction of that.
Or else we could just wait for global warming to heat this sucker up and turn the snow into rain.