In between the holidays of Christmas and New Years. If you had to much to drink and have your car with you, you can call Operation nez rouge..It is the for drivers not to driver there cars under the influence of alcohol durnig the holidays. They will drive your car to where you are going for I believe to be free, I think they accept tips not sure...
We only parked two places in Montreal, once at Parc Mont Royal ($6CAD for all day) and at the library near our hotel on St. Denis, $10CAD per 24 hours EXCEPT when you park after library hours and it's $7 for that evening and then $10 per 24 hours. Took the attendant a while to explain that to us and another couple who were equally perplexed. For 48 hours we paid $27CAD instead of the $20 that we thought we should be charged.
At both places we had to use one of the pay parking boxes which accepted credit cards or cash and then display the receipt on the dashboard.
I didn't find driving in Montreal/Quebec at all challenging, maybe because I live in a big city and am used to lots of traffic. One way streets were clearly marked with arrow signs, when you got close enough to the highways, lots of signs to direct you. The French directional words are very similar to English-est (east), ouest (west), sud (south) and nord (north).
I read somewhere that there is no "right on red" in Montreal.
Let me add that there's absolutely no need to rent a car if you are just going to be visiting Montreal, you can get anywhere you need to go via public transport, on foot or by taxi. We decided to rent a car because we were also visiting Quebec City and Montmorency Falls and didn't want to be tied to a bus schedule.
Getting there was easy, straightforward driving (well, I wasn't driving, lol!). From northern NJ, NY area, it took between 6 and 7 hours up the New York Thruway, Rt 87. We got to the border crossing at about 5pm and waited at customs for about an hour, which was a pain! We plan on returning often~it's so close, but you feel like you are far away on vacation!
Once you arrive at the Pierre Trudeau Airport in Montreal, there are lots of options to get to your destination. One of them is renting a car. There should be no problem with this, even if you have not reserved one. Once you pick up your baggage, walk out into the parking lot and then into another building. There are counters for at least 5 major car rental companies: Budget, Avis, Enterprise, Dollar, and National. Show them your driver's license, fill out a form and you should have a vehicle in no time!
If you're coming north from the US, you will most likely be taking the Pont Champlain into downtown. This bridge can get extremely crowded and you can be sitting in traffice for quite a while (one time over an hour!).
As an alternative, you can continue on Route 20 north about 6 miles and take Pont Jacques Cartier. Stay in the left lane as you exit the bridge and continue north until you reach Sherbrooke. Make a left and this will take you into downtown.
NOTE: Do not take this on Sat and Wed nights in the summer - it will be shut down for the fireworks festival.
Turning right on red light will become the standard in the spring 2003 in Quebec, everywhere (unless otherwise indicated) except in the city of Montreal where is it still being opposed. So when on the Montreal island only, do not turn right on red light.
Those using the highway without a cell phone, relax. Should your car break down, have a flat tire, etc, there are 162 live cameras (84 inside tunnels and 78 on highways around) watching you for your protection only. We (where I work) call the protection and a towing to asssist you within seconds of cars being immobilized, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
Link to our cameras (ours are in real time) those are refreshed every 2 minutes : http://www.circulationmontreal.com/
On the pic, some of those with who I work... nice bunch.
To get to Montreal from the Boston area, we took US Interstate 89 through Vermont to the Canadian border. At the border, there was a small wait, maybe 15 minutes while the Canadian border patrol and customs inspectors checked all vehicles entering Canada. With a birth certificate or US driver's license, American citizens should have no problems getting through.
At the border, Interstate 89 becomes a puny little two-lane country road in Canada (Route 133), weaving through a few small towns such as Pike River and Henryville on the way to Montreal. Near St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, you will get on Canadian Highway 10 that takes you over the St Lawrence River and right into the city.
The drive from Boston to Montreal is approximately 310 miles and it takes a little over 5 hours.
The Larentides is full of places that you can only reach by car, and these ones are the special places to see. Pierre and I are very brave men, and we decided to face the winter and spend some days in his chalet in front of Lac Mitchel...you really have to drive with attention because the roads are puer snow and ice!
But for sure you will never forget such a fabulous moment!
January 25th, 2005
Just a few tips if you are from the US and want to drive in Montreal.
- Do not make a right on Red.
- A straight arrow means STRAIGHT. This gives pedestrians time to cross. When it turns to a solid green light you can turn right.
- A flashing green light means you can turn any way you want, left, right or straight.
- The roads are in terrible shape. If you drive, park your car and take the metro. It will take you everywhere you want to go.
In Montreal, our roads are TERRIBLE! I know of people whose airbags deployed because they drove through a BIG pothole... No joke. Our rims get dented, our tires ruined, our backbones hurt! This is NO joke. I am embaressed at the state of our roads! Take the Metro!
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