Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 69: Not for chickens

Day 69: Not for chickens, originally uploaded by susanvg.

Driving can be hazardous in Montreal. In winter we fight snow and ice and then there is pothole season. After a winter of freezes and thaws (e.g. tomorrow they predict a high of 9C with rain and by Thursday night it will be -13C) they appear on every street. The rain gets in, freezes and expands and works away at the pavement.

I love the French term, nids-de-poule - chicken nests. But they are certainly not for chickens. Our streets turn into slalom courses as we weave in and out trying to avoid them. The car in the photograph is driving down the middle of a two-way street. Then there are the nature-made speed bumps as the earth heaves and settles with the weather. They have wounded many a car. Wheel alignments and suspension problems keep mechanics busy.

Occasionally the holes become so large that they seem more like ostrich nests than chicken nests. There are even web sites telling us how to deal with potholes and where to report them. So I drive carefully - eyes looking down, ready for the jolt as you hit the bottom of a particularly large one.


  1. Do they get most of them repaired before the next winter season? Like the analogy to chicken nests!

  2. It's a bit of a vicious circle - they patch the holes which means these areas are weaker, easier to crack and easier to allow the water to seep in the next season. So potholes often reappear in the same spots year after year unless they completely redo the road surface. Heavy traffic areas are often the worst as the heavier trucks do more damage. http://www.caaquebec.com/nids/en/nids.asp

  3. Ugh...those are problems everywhere! Hope your car stays in one piece all season!

  4. You get used to looking out for potholes on city streets but yesterday I drove to Toronto on Hwy 400 and almost got swallowed up! You can't easily swerve to avoid them on a busy, major, multi-lane highway. Not fun! Nice shot!