Traffic Pinball in Icy Montreal

Snow day in Montreal

Montreal’s having a bit of a snow day today, and for a city that normally gets 218 cm of snow a year, this storm is giving some motorists an extra headache.

You can see a big piece of that headache in this Youtube video that shows some of the chaos that happens when there is ice hiding under that snow.

It starts with a city bus slamming into four stopped cars (including one that has already been spun around backward by the hill), and just gets crazier from there. The lanes heading down the hill on Beaver Hall, just above Rue de la Gauchetière Ouest, look mildly snow-covered but are far more treacherous than they appear.

Winter tires are mandatory in Quebec after December 15, but it seems that maybe these Montrealers don’t have theirs fitted yet, and therefore can’t negotiate the hill safely.

Following the first bus, a taxi barely escapes the vehicular carnage by sliding into the oncoming lane as an F-150 becomes the filling in a bus sandwich. Even starting from a stop or at a crawl, traction is so low on the road that vehicles are accelerating down the hill with their wheels locked, or even riding against the curb. Even a Montreal Police cruiser can’t escape and slides backward into the second bus.

The video ends when a plow truck with a salt spreader arrives. Unfortunately for the plow driver and the Police cruiser, the spreader is at the back of the truck. Even the plow isn’t immune to the hidden ice on Beaver Hall Hill, and it too comes to a crashing stop at the bottom.

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Evan Williams

Evan Williams

Evan is based in Halifax, and has been a car nut for as long as anyone can remember. He autocrosses, does lapping days and TSD rallies, breaks cars and then fixes them again.