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Montreal potholes
Photograph: Courtesy Flickr/CC/Khosrow Ebrahimpour

All these empty roads means Montreal can start to fix potholes and clean streets today

JP Karwacki
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JP Karwacki
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When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.

When life gives you empty roads, you start fixing a city's massive amount of potholes and cleaning up the trash.

There are two constants in our city that will never change: Every time spring rolls around, when all of the ice and snow melts, it reveals all of the trash that was frozen underneath it. As for the other constant? For years, the city of Montreal says that it fixes upwards of 200,000 potholes a year, but that never seems to be enough for those of us who drive. The bent wheels, misalignments, punctured tires and more that come from driving in this city are too many to count, so the city of Montreal's announcement yesterday that street cleaning and pothole fixes will resume as of today.

Really, this announcement only informs us that the regular work that we expect to be done every year is done anyway. Not only is this maintenance only going to be carried out when the weather and temperature permits it to happen. As the announcement reads, pothole repairs "must be performed during specific weather conditions: it can't be too cold, and roads must be dry enough. These are the conditions that will dictate whether the work can be done each day."

Will the repairs last? Quebec continues to use the same road repair system that France uses, and France's system of asphalt and repair is one that doesn't account for Canadian climate, only their own. We want to get as excited as the next person about repairs actually lasting for a change, but we'll only believe it when we see it.

For now, however,  this is a good time for the city to make the most of empty roads and complete some long-needed repairs and street sweeping. If you would like to share your wishlist around what streets could use some patching, call 311 to report a pothole. At least you won't need to add "pretty please" to the end of your message.

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