Updates from February, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:53 on 2019-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is putting up $18 millions for projects enlarging access to the river, and it’s putting further millions into spiffing up its parks.

  • Kate 20:48 on 2019-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The Insectarium is to close soon for two years for a depth renovation. The facility will be getting much bigger, which is all very well – but I’ve said before I’m concerned about deserving projects gradually swallowing up the green space in the botanical garden over time.

  • Kate 14:48 on 2019-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    Valérie Plante says the city’s being unfairly blamed for winter conditions by people sick of the season.

    • dwgs 16:07 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      She’s going to have to learn that sometimes it’s better not to respond…

    • Jonathan 18:20 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      What a good lesson dwgs!

  • Kate 08:09 on 2019-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    QMI asks whether the city’s expensive croque-glace machines were worth the price, given they can only work under specific conditions or else risk tearing up road and sidewalk surfaces. Note the heavy presence of Lionel Perez in this story. But it may be true that the city oughtn’t to have invested in a dozen of these gadgets before testing one in real world, real winter conditions.

    • mare 09:40 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      I vaguely remember they tested one or two (in Verdun?) last year.

    • Steve Q 09:59 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      I hate to repeat myself again but heated sidewalk would have been a much better investment. Yes, they wouldn’t be covering the entire city but so is these new ”toys” who won’t go on certain sidewalk because they are too narrow.s

    • dwgs 10:43 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      If we have purchased a bunch of these things why are we not seeing them in action? Are they waiting for an even icier winter?

    • Kevin 11:04 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      Ice needs to be at least 3 cm thick to use them without damaging the sidewalk. So if there’s one bare patch (because all the salt was dumped in one spot) they can’t use them.

    • Alex L 12:34 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      Problem is, we don’t seem to have real winter conditions anymore.

    • Bill Binns 12:54 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      I think the large scale heating of sidewalks throughout the city is unworkable. Even for a province that is swimming in budget megawatts like we are, the amount of energy needed would be staggering. Years ago somebody posted an article on this blog that explained what it would take to melt snow in place rather than trucking it around and it was eye-opening.

    • Faiz Imam 14:26 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      I susepct we will see more use for these machines as time goes by. The conditions for ice rink type hazards is a lot of snow on the ground, followed by worm temperatures and rain, followed by a deep freeze. We’re def going to see more of that sort of variability going forward.

  • Kate 08:04 on 2019-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    In Wednesday’s stabbing incident near Decarie Square, the older of the two victims has died, making him homicide #4. The background story is still vague but police seem to think the two men attacked each other.

  • Kate 08:01 on 2019-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    Snow is making it easier to track coyotes and get a handle on their behaviour in city settings. The east end has seen a surge in coyote sightings recently.

  • Kate 23:22 on 2019-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    On Citylab, Tracey Lindeman gives a solid summary of the state of play with the Royalmount project – “TMR needs the Montreal and Quebec governments to help pay for transit and public infrastructure associated with Royalmount, but it also feels strongly that it was within its rights to greenlight the mega-mall without their consent.” Also, that massive lot for 8000 cars which will “bring just five percent more cars to the area” – according to the developer.

  • Kate 23:05 on 2019-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Chef David McMillan of Joe Beef writes about the excesses of his life and giving them up, in Bon Appetit.

    • dwgs 10:45 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      I saw that elsewhere last night, well worth the read.

  • Kate 22:00 on 2019-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Two men were found stabbed early Wednesday in the Decarie Square parking lot. One account says they may have stabbed each other.

  • Kate 20:37 on 2019-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s estimated that it will take three years and as much as $400 million to remove the old Champlain bridge, a process set to begin a few months after the new bridge opens.

    • steph 20:43 on 2019-02-20 Permalink

      Is it in that bad of shape? I thought with trucks causing the most damage to roads & bridges, that leaving the old bridge only open to smaller cars would let us keep using it for many more years.

    • Tim S 21:10 on 2019-02-20 Permalink

      I’m no engineer, but I figure the fact that the Harper government, with no hopes of winning many votes in greater Montreal and a determination to balance the budget, finally agreed to spend billions to build the new bridge demonstrates that the old one is completely done.

    • Tim F 21:32 on 2019-02-20 Permalink

      Yeah no, it’s rotted inside out apparently. There was no effective drainage on the thing until the 80s so all the salt put on it in the winter from the early 60s till then just soaked into the concrete, corroding the rebar. It needs to be dismantled safely.

    • Uatu 11:40 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      Yeah it isn’t worth the expense of maintenance and it’s a crappy design in that you can’t just remove and replace damaged segments since everything is all attached. Better to have it dismantled and be done with it.

    • Faiz Imam 14:35 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      From what I understand, without major traffic it totally could be kept around for non-motorized traffic or the odd emergency vehicle. But honestly what’s the point?

      It’s almost completely redundant since the new bridge has a very nice pedestrian/bike path built into it. Plus it wastes a ton of space for the onramps at Brossard and iles des soeur that could be redeveloped.

      The major issue is one of liability. you still have to maintain it and keep in an an acceptable shape, since there’s so much traffic passing underneath. If you have a small bridge line the pivoting wellington rail bridge, you can keep it around as a heritage site and spare the expense of demolition, but Champlain is much to massive to neglect in that manner.

    • Blork 18:03 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      Exactly; what’s the point? Even with reduced traffic it would still cost a fortune to maintain, and for what? Better to just be rid of it, which will be cheaper in the long run.

  • Kate 20:34 on 2019-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The Tribunal administratif du travail has ordered STM maintenance workers to stop pressure tactics. If done right, such tactics can be quite subtle and hard to prove, but in this case it sounds like the union succeeded in keeping a lot of buses off the road in a pretty obvious way.

  • Kate 20:30 on 2019-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is dealing with a shortage of truck drivers for snow clearing duty.

    In addition, apparently the snow removal budget is all used up, but there will be more snow and it will be dealt with.

    • Kevin 23:23 on 2019-02-20 Permalink

      Is my count off, or have we only had 3.5 removal operations this season?

    • Kate 08:12 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      You’re right, and the article suggests the city always underestimates the snowfall. This feels like an average winter to me – more ice than usual, but not more snow.

  • Kate 20:26 on 2019-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    CTV already has the road closures for the upcoming weekend.

  • Kate 20:22 on 2019-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The Quebec statistics institute says that Montreal lost a net 24,000 residents to other parts of Quebec in 2017-2018.

    • david100 06:01 on 2019-02-22 Permalink

      As the artificial land shortage created by poor land use decisions further clears out the neighborhoods. Triplexes become duplexes or even single family residences, flats are converted to illegal hotels in the form of permanent airbnb units, Americans and other foreigners buy second homes they straight up let sit vacant half the year, and all the rest.

  • Kate 09:00 on 2019-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Valérie Plante wants Montreal to be exempt from laws banning pot-smoking outside, saying that the city’s large population of renters would mean a lot of folks could neither smoke indoors nor out.

    In addition, the police chief says he simply doesn’t have the manpower to police all open spaces where someone might light up.

    As well, François Legault is adamant on making Quebec’s law say you can’t legally smoke till 21.

    • Mark Côté 10:46 on 2019-02-20 Permalink

      Montreal police were rather tolerant of smoking pot in public when it was totally illegal. I wonder how much time Legault and Carmant have spent outside in Montreal if they think the police will care more if it becomes a ticketable offiense.

      Carmant’s response that tenants who aren’t allowed to smoke indoors should just consume edibles instead speaks volumes to how little they’ve thought about this whole affair. The biggest problems that states down south have faced after legalization is with edibles, since the effects come on much more slowly and last much longer. Having a brownie that’ll stay with you all night is no substitute for a joint in the evening.

      This government is working as hard as possible to mitigate any of the positive things about legalization, which overall wasn’t handled particularly well to start with.

    • jeather 11:22 on 2019-02-20 Permalink

      Smoking pot was essentially legal well before it was legal. Hell, even selling it was often ignored. I would be fine with some locations/parks being smoke free (all smoke) and some not, but “nowhere outside at all” is just unworkable.

    • Faiz Imam 12:51 on 2019-02-20 Permalink

      The fact that Montreal’s police commissioner seems to be on the same page as Mayor Plante seems to me a good sign.

      He’s the one setting the tone for the cops on the ground. We know from many other subjects and jurisdictions that if cop leadership doesn’t care about arrests being made, they tend not to be.

      Ideally the law in the books says no public consumption, yet its totally unenforced in practice.

      Its not ideal, and one common side effect is that the law will be arbitrarily used to punish people cops have a problem with (usually itinerants, visible minorities, younger people).

      Really though, I cannot imagine them enforcing this strictly, its a complete waste of police resources.

    • Ian 13:12 on 2019-02-20 Permalink

      So basically it’s going to end up being a harassment charge like before, i.e.; if the ops are looking to bust you for something and you happen to be smoking a joint…

    • Mark Côté 13:23 on 2019-02-20 Permalink

      “Ideally the law in the books says no public consumption, yet its totally unenforced in practice.”

      Strongly disagree. What is ideal about this exactly?

    • Faiz Imam 15:51 on 2019-02-20 Permalink

      Yeah. “Ideally” isn’t the right word.

      I meant that the best case scenario of this law going through is for it to be minimally enforced.

    • Bill Binns 12:39 on 2019-02-21 Permalink

      I agree with the mayor in principle on this but still suspect she is just using this as an opportunity to be seen resisting the big bad CAQ. The Montreal Police have a very long history of selecting which laws they will agree to enforce. Unless the CAQ is ready to send provincial cops onto Montreal’s streets to enforce smoking laws, this is a non-issue.

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