Updates from February, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:51 on 2018-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

    Drivers lose 50 hours yearly in traffic jams, according to this study here. I’m surprised it’s so little – that’s less than an hour a week.

  • Kate 22:40 on 2018-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

    Several old MR-63 metro cars retired from the green line will reappear this summer as galleries, bistros and pop-up shops along the Lachine Canal near the corner of Richmond and Basin.

    A later edit of this story on CTV is headlined Retired Montreal metro cars finding second lives as public spaces. Galleries and cafés are not public spaces.

    • Matt G 09:46 on 2018-03-01 Permalink

      Bit of a weird moment some weeks ago: going north on St Denis in a car, stopped at the light at Cremazie, saw a MR-63 on a flatbed soaring east on the 40. I was like, the hell did I just see?

    • Uatu 20:45 on 2018-03-01 Permalink

      Ehhh…. I’m hoping it looks better IRL than the concept art. The one with the stacked cars looks like the Hulk got angry and threw a metro into a pile. The other looks like a Mad Max settlement…

  • Kate 21:16 on 2018-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

    Firefighters are facing high rates of cancer because of exposure to toxins and various particles and nanoparticles. A study will seek better ways to protect them on the job.

  • Kate 21:09 on 2018-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

    Kwasi Benjamin, accused of strangling his Inuk girlfriend Nellie Angutiguluk in 2015, was found guilty of second-degree murder Wednesday. Benjamin claimed that Angutiguluk had killed herself.

    Also Wednesday, Christian Pépin pleaded guilty to killing his mother and grandmother in December. In court, he shouted that if he were let out of jail, he’d kill other family members and that he wants to die in prison.

  • Kate 06:59 on 2018-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

    The matriarch of the Rizzuto clan, Libertina Manno, has died a natural death at 90. She was the widow of Nicolo Sr. and mother of Vito and came from a family described here as powerful in the Sicilian mafia.

    More on Libertina Manno in the Journal. A woman of iron, she spent six months behind bars at one point but ended up not facing any charges. Her funeral is Saturday, March 3 at Madonna della Difesa.

  • Kate 06:56 on 2018-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

    Guy described as an expert talks about the possibility of building a tram up Pie-IX after all while Alan de Sousa says he’s going to push for the extension of the orange line to Bois-Franc train station.

    • Daniel 07:46 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      I’d be interested to learn more about the advantages of trams (aka: Streetcars) over Bus Rapid Transit. The latter has been a huge success in some places, but in others it’s been a short-sighted way to save money.

    • ant6n 07:55 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      One oft the advantages is that trams require less space, so widening the street and cutting down trees wouldn’t be necessary. But they already did that, didn’t they? Usually trams are more expensive than BRT in capital construction, but cheaper in operation (BRT is really a solution for low-wage countries). The thing is, Pie-IX is extraordinarily expensive for a BRT, presumably because of heavy works, widening, integration into Laval (parking lots?).

    • Ephraim 16:18 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      A single articulated bus can carry 115 people (uncomfortably squeezed like sardines) and uses one driver. The Bombardier Flexity 2, is available in 5/7 car and 2.3m/2.65m width. Using the data for the 2.65m 7 car version from the Gold Coast of Australia that’s 80 seated and 224 standing for a total of 304 people (uncomfortably squeezed like sardines) with the same one driver and all electric with low floor. Flexity Freedom, which is what Toronto ordered is 5 sections up to 31m long with 2.65m width and holds up to 251 people.

      So basically dedicated, less expensive to run, carry more people quicker (faster loading and unloading, since people can board by all doors) and no emissions or refueling.

    • Faiz Imam 17:03 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      Regular articulated buses might max out at around 100 passengers, but thanks to the massive adoption of BRT around the world, much more massive options, which are just as large as any LRT, have been made.

      The Autotram Extra Grand for example is a 30m long double articulated bus with a crush capacity of 258 passengers.

      I’m pretty skeptical of at grade LRT’s. the danger of them getting stuck at intersections and other points where they mix with regular traffic is a big problem, and it means other bus lines can’t take advantage of the reserved area.

      If we are serious about BRT we can really maximize it’s capacity, and stretch it pretty far beyond what we are normally used to.

    • Ephraim 19:02 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      Faiz, you forgot about the stupidity of Quebec…. it’s not manufactured here. We have these silly rules in the province… we can’t buy what’s best, we have to buy what’s made here, even if it’s crap.

    • ant6n 19:58 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      Hamburg bought a bunch of the double-articulated buses, but they have problems because they are more failure prone than normal buses, and have a shorter life (article).

      Trams have been reliable for a hundred years, those xxl buses are still a new niche product. I wouldn’t buy into it.

      Also, if you consider xxl versions, then the trams get really much bigger. Tram vehicles in Budapest are up to 56m long. But you can also run multiple trains together, in Berlin they can run trains up to 65m long. In Germany, it’s I believe it’s possible to have street-running trains up to 80m long; in Calgary they’re even bigger.

    • Faiz Imam 21:04 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      Good point. But the detailed planning and reduced flexibility for trams does need to be considered. rail has it’s own frustrations.

      I think this is a situation where a real feasibility study makes sense. What are the costs and benefits of both, what risks and limitations would we run into?

      Having studied BRT’s and LRT’s of many kinds, I think there is a good argument for either option.

      The key deciding factor is that total passenger volume they want, and how dedicated will the line be?

      If the government really does have the money to spend, you can do an analysis pretty quickly. But so many times we use study as a way to delay projects we don’t want so pay for.

    • ant6n 21:31 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      Uh no, the deciding factors are more than just the passenger volume — for example, the total life-time cost. But also, local impact — which is high for the BRT on PIE-IX, due to the required widening of PIE-IX, and cutting of trees (my first point, btw).

      (In Germany, a corridor with 60K daily trips would be considered for subway replacement. In Hamburg, where they are using those XXL double-articulated buses on a corridor which has that much ridership, the line will likely be replaced by subways next).

      Another point: double-articulated buses would only be used on single bus line, so the flexibility is still low.

      Feasibility studies are great and all, but can be incredibly biased. Just look at the recent SRB-vs-tram feasibility study for Quebec City, which reads like an ad for double-articulated buses by Van Hool (at Busworld Europe, the Van Hool people told me they ‘helped out’ with that study). So a study may not be that useful if you lack the critical thinking skills to cut through the bias.

    • PO 23:31 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      “So a study may not be that useful if you lack the critical thinking skills to cut through the bias.”

      Is that straight sass aimed at Faiz Imam, or are you suggesting that feasibility studies in general shouldn’t be trusted because of your anecdote about someone somewhere saying something?

    • Faiz Imam 23:39 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      It’s sass for sure.

      obvs, there are many factors at play, I just pointed out volume since it tends to be the most important one for choosing technology for a given line. But those other ones matter as well.

      Also, i’ve read about articulated BRT lines that also act as trunk lines for a bunch of regular buses as well, i’m not sure why double articulated would not be capable of the same. Other than a more constrained turning radius, they don’t change the line at all.

    • Kate 06:37 on 2018-03-01 Permalink

      PO, Faiz Imam, ant6n has proven his knowledge about transit issues, and in particular his skill seeing past the fog of obfuscation emitted by PR people. He can sass on my blog any time.

    • Faiz Imam 06:53 on 2018-03-01 Permalink

      Oh, you don’t have to include me in that statement. I respect anton as much as anyone, which is why I put do much effort in responding to him when I feel he’s on the wrong track.

      Also, the first line of my previous comment was meant to be endearing, you can assume a smilie face at the end.

    • ant6n 12:17 on 2018-03-01 Permalink

      Well, sure, BRT busways could be shared with ‘normal’ buses on trunk sections. But trams and buses can share trunk lines as well.

    • CE 12:22 on 2018-03-01 Permalink

      @ant6n It would depend on how the buses and their stations are built. Id they have high doors, the stations’ doors would be too high to accommodate regular buses meaning you’d need a seperate fleet of smaller buses that can do both. The Bus DUAL in Bogotá’s Transmilenio system is an example of this.

      However, I don’t think this would be a problem for Pie-IX as riders would likely be transferring from other buses (or getting on directly) and then, if necessary, transferring onto the Metro.

    • ant6n 12:30 on 2018-03-01 Permalink

      Transmilenio is all about keeping capital costs low while not having to worry about operating costs, due to low wages — so they used cheaper high floor buses.

      In the developed world, all new buses and trams are low floor, so the platform height is relatively moot. But the flexibility issue is relatively moot anyway, because Pie-IX doesn’t have a whole lot of branch services afaik.

      Then again, the whole discussion is moot, because they’re building a busway, and it’s likely too late to change that.

    • CE 13:46 on 2018-03-01 Permalink

      Interesting. The only BRT systems I have any experience with are the ones in Colombia so I wasn’t aware that there were systems with low floor buses. It would certainly make for a better and more flexible system here in Bogotá if we weren’t using the high floor buses.

    • Faiz Imam 16:17 on 2018-03-01 Permalink

      Easy example for you to check out would be Toronto, their new cars are really nice.


  • Kate 06:39 on 2018-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

    There used to be some VIP parking reserved near city hall for councillors to use, but the Plante admin is not renewing it, instead keeping some spots for bikes.

  • Kate 06:31 on 2018-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC says two writers who were teaching at Concordia are being investigated for sexual misconduct, but calling them “leading” (or “prominent” as on the radio report) is to inflate the tale – I read books and do this blog and have never heard of either of them.

    • Patrick 12:09 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      McGimpsey is probably better known than Fiorentino and has won some official recognition. Interesting to compare their student reviews on ratemyprofessors.com, not a site I would rely on, though. Note that neither one is rated as “hot” on the chili pepper meter. The stories I’ve read about them seem pretty damning, I have to say.

    • Blork 12:37 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      While I support the idea of weeding out sexist douchebags, this (and other things like it) sure have the feel of a witchhunt. The article says that Fiorentino is being expunged — Stalinist style — from the archives of one of the magazines he has contributed to. Based on *allegations,* not even proven accusations.

      It disturbs me that so few people are disturbed by things like that.

    • Jack 14:54 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      I’m disturbed by the fact that any person in a classroom, instructing and grading their students, would also think that it was cool to sleep with them. In that context that relationship is never consensual. I do agree with Blork that “expunging” someone before they have a hearing is overkill.

    • david100 20:58 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      Canadians always take American movements way too far, it’s the original “me too.”

      An example of that is Jack’s comment that a relationship between a university instructor and a student “is never consensual.” Like, huh? How could a person think this?

      It’s not good form and certainly against probably every school’s rules, but a presumption against consent as if you’re talking about an underaged person is insulting to young people.

  • Kate 20:15 on 2018-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Temporary police chief Martin Prud’homme presented plans Tuesday to make the operations of the SPVM more transparent and reduce the number of managers. Meantime, TVA says Valérie Plante has her eye on BIG chief Denis Gallant for police chief starting next year.

  • Kate 20:08 on 2018-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada reports that cyclists and pedestrians are getting organized on a borough basis.

    • Tim S. 21:24 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      Hmm. While both cyclists and pedestrians face a common danger in the car/truck, in other ways their interests are not the same. In my experience of attending city council meetings, groups of people who call themselves “Walking and Cycling associations” usually just present complaints about the maltreatment of cyclists, using pedestrians as rhetorical cover, and the article mostly seemed to list cyclist concerns.
      This isn’t to say that we couldn’t design our city in such a way as to accommodate both groups, or work towards more cooperation, only that for the moment we shouldn’t read too much into a name.

    • Michael Black 22:04 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      That’s my take too.

      Also, there’s a guy who seems to be the Westmount organization, and also the NDG one. I think he’s been attributed to a third group, “XXX Cycling and Pedestrian Association”. I think his name is Daniel Lambert. I’ve never seen mention of other members, or details about the group. It really seems like one guy who wants more clout so he created organizations

      And yes, he’s always there for cycling issues, but only vaguely for pedestrians. I remember a recent comment where he seemed to sidestep the issue of bikes going through pedestrian lights. I also recall one time when there was an accident, and immediately he called for some change at that corner, when it was clear to me that it was a “freak” event, changes made long ago fixing the bug issues. And nothing about his background, so what makes him the “expert” that he’s assumed to be? I’m pretty sure he followed the notion that the bike path in Westmount was “recreational” when that was never the intention.


    • Emily Gray 11:40 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      And then there are pedestrians who get annoyed when cyclists break rules that affect the pedestrians, such as cycling on the sidewalk and not stopping at stop signs/lights.

    • Ephraim 16:23 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      Emily, put on a back brace, carry a cane and walk around with and see how you feel about cyclists on sidewalks, crosswalks and cycling in the wrong direction. It’s harder to understand it from the perspective of older people and the handicapped. The back brace is to understand what it feels like to not be able to turn swiftly and see as much in your peripheral vision. There are 80 year olds and 90 year olds that are walking on those sidewalks, not just 25 year olds.

    • Emily Gray 00:39 on 2018-03-01 Permalink

      I understand.
      I’ve been bumped by cyclists on the sidewalk, but it’s much worse for older and/or less mobile people.

  • Kate 07:04 on 2018-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Tennis Canada wants support to put a retractable roof on Uniprix stadium in Jarry Park. Very bad idea for the park, which Tennis Canada treats with disdain as a mere parterre for the stadium.

    • Joey 08:57 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      Why is this a bad idea for the park? Would you even be able to tell that the stadium has a retractable roof if you weren’t sitting in it?

    • Blork 09:34 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      I think the concern is that the retractable roof would open the stadium up to more events, and the worry there is that the park would be constantly overrun with event-goers and the resulting noise and litter, and this goes against the idea of the park being a peaceful green space for the neighbourhood that occasionally hosts a big event.

    • Jack 10:09 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      With Blork, the other thing I have never understood about Jarry Park is why Hydro Quebec has a huge parking lot in it. Would that space be better used for …anything else.

    • Joey 10:35 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      I suppose that’s a risk, though the park is quite big and the tennis centre is sort of segregate enough that this shouldn’t be a huge issue. I wonder if the “more events” thing is a bit of a red herring, and the larger issue is that increasingly major tennis events are expected to be rain-proof.

    • Blork 11:03 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      Jack, who says that parking lot is owned by Hydro Quebec? I don’t see any indication it’s anything other than the Jarry Park parking lot. (The big HQ building across the street has its own parking area on the north side of Jarry.

    • Josh 11:56 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      I think you are correct, Joey. The trend is roofs on tennis stadia, but it’s mostly because weather is increasingly messing with the schedules at tournaments. If you look at the upcoming events at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York, it’s not as if it’s competing with Madison Square Garden for big shows.

      To be honest, I bet the pressure is coming from RDS and Rogers Sportsnet as much as anyone else.

    • Jack 12:08 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      Your dead right Blork its owned by the City….why is it there? Do other Parks besides the Mountain give up green space for car parking?

    • Blork 12:40 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      Yes, actually. Most large parks that have infrastructure for “activities” usually have a parking lot. Angrignon Park has a lot (aside from the Metro station lot). Parc Maisonneuve has a parking lot. Even Parc Lafontaine has a parking lot plus a lot of parking on the streets that surround and run through it. Parc Laurier is the odd one out, as it does not have a lot, but it’s also smaller than those other parks. The parking lot at Jarry seems really big when you’re looking at it, but it’s not much in terms of percentage of the whole park. It takes up less space than the tennis stadium (which has its own, separate parking lot).

  • Kate 07:02 on 2018-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s planning a second census of the homeless on April 24.

  • Kate 06:55 on 2018-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Olympic athletes were welcomed back to town Monday evening in a scrum at Trudeau.

  • Kate 06:51 on 2018-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

    The metro will be open all night Saturday to Sunday for the Nuit blanche.

  • Kate 20:07 on 2018-02-26 Permalink | Reply  

    The man charged with being drunk and causing a crash on the 20 that killed a worker Friday night has been granted bail with these conditions: he can’t drive between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. and is not allowed to drink alcohol.

    Let me understand this: you can be accused of killing someone with a car Friday, and be legally driving again on Monday.

    • Brett 22:50 on 2018-02-26 Permalink

      He technically didn’t kill anyone. He veered off into another lane which caused an SUV to crash into the workers. So yeah, it was the truck driver’s fault but the SUV driver caused the fatalities.

    • DavidH 00:53 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      @Brett, «technically», he did. That’s why he’s being charged with impaired driving causing death (and multiple counts of impaired driving causing lesions).

      The causality for this event is with the decision to take the road while knowingly impaired. The SUV driver that was driven off the road had no part in that decision. Trying to pin any guilt on her is not only baseless but pretty sleazy, even by internet standards. She has enough undeserved guilt to deal with already (as well as gory images and physical injuries).

      I presume you’re just trolling but you should make a better effort of it (seriously, where’s the lulz?). This is like saying shooting someone is not murder because it’s the bullet impact and not the bullet launch that caused the injuries. It’s hard to believe that is really what you think.

      Also, you, know, there’s a tonload of precedent for cases like this. This is not a new question that society is suddenly struggling with. It’s an old and tested accusation he’s being charged with. There is no set of technicalities under which someone guilty of what he has been accused is not responsible for a death. The prosecutors are not going out on a limb with these charges of causing death.

      The weird thing is what Kate pointed out – that he’s out so soon and with so few conditions. Judges have to balance the public’s impression of justice being carried out in discretionary questions like bail and conditions of release. At first glance, it is not obvious that the judge had a good sense of what «an informed public deems reasonable» (the actual legal technicality that is at play here).

    • Kevin 12:01 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      FYI there is a publication ban concerning the details of the collision that led to Stephane Lebel’s death.

    • Kate 20:51 on 2018-02-27 Permalink

      Kevin, is there a story there? Why should there be a ban on such a thing? If there had been charges and a concern for possibly constituting an unprejudiced jury, I could see it, but there weren’t. I guess you can’t even hint if there’s a story, somebody famous or powerful behind the wheel…?

    • Kevin 16:28 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      The name of the accused is public: Vincent Lemay.
      Publication bans at this point in a criminal process are normal ( although this particular one is a touch unusual) with the justification of not tainting a jury or creating prejudice to the innocent person who is accused of a crime.

      A lot of people forget or simply do not know the basics of our criminal justice system…

    • Kate 23:12 on 2018-02-28 Permalink

      Kevin: Ah, OK. I thought from some report or other that the guy was a U.S. tourist, and had wondered if he had some kind of immunity.

      You call him “the accused” but I thought there hadn’t been any charges.

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