Updates from July, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:30 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM’s three-year dig on Bishop Street to put in a ventilation shaft for the metro is drawing to an end, but now merchants on the street are facing more construction because a developer is putting in a condo building on top of the site.

  • Kate 19:37 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

    Although opposition councillors are calling for Benoit Dorais to be sacked, Mayor Plante has the good sense to know this whole speeding ticket thing will blow over, and she’s sticking up for him. Allison Hanes also writes in Dorais’ defence, although the suburbanite bias of the paper shows in her coda: “Let he or she who has never exceeded 100 km/h on a highway cast the first stone.” Well, I never have, nor have several of my friends who haven’t driven either. But we’ll save the stones for other public figures.

  • Kate 19:33 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

    Tenants in Hampstead have been fighting the owner’s intention to demolish the two buildings they live in, and there was even a council vote against approving it Monday night, but it was instantly dismissed by the veto of mayor Bill Steinberg. Has anyone looked into whether he or any of his connections stand to profit from the new condos planned on the site? I mean, those Steinbergs gotta be hard up.

  • Kate 08:03 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

    Bixi’s experiment with electrically aided bikes seems to be over, as it’s leaving that category to Uber’s Jump. One Journal writer writes how he loves the red bikes.

    • Mr.Chinaski 09:37 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      There are some times where it is actually cheaper to rent a Car-2-go than a Uber Jump. Those prices are crazy high, you can ride a Bixi for a year compared to taking a Jump twice a day in a single week.

    • walkerp 10:36 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      How can you find out how much it costs?

    • Blork 10:50 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      The article say it’s 30 cents per minute.

    • walkerp 11:41 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      So 2 rides at 20 minutes each = $12.00 a day x 5 = $60 a week.

      Yes, that adds up. Mr. Chinaski does not exaggerate. I will continue to use pedal power to get up the hill.

    • DeWolf 12:04 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      I would love to see some information on who is using these bikes. My own completely unscientific observations suggest that there isn’t as much overlap between Jump and Bixi users as you might expect. I was in a restaurant the other day when a woman came in and told her friend, “I wanted to get an Uber bike to come here but there weren’t any around, so I had to drive.”

    • Blork 12:52 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      @DeWolf: I can tell you this much: AFAIK anyone who already uses the Uber app (and that’s just about everone under 40) is already signed up for Jump. And you only pay when you ride.

      Contrast that with Bixi, where you either need to go through a Byzantine sign-up process and pay an annual fee, or you go through a Byzantine pay-as-you-go process.

      So Jump is essentially instantly available to just about everyone, whereas Bixi is only available to those who have sat down and contemplated the blah blah blah of Bixi and have gone through the signup process (i.e., the “true believers” and whatnot).

      The key factor is ease of use for casual users. Jump nails it. Bixi does not.

      (BTW, I stand to be corrected on Bixi; this is based on me trying to use a Bixi once several years ago and giving up because it was too complicated, and then looking into a Bixi membership and giving up because I had to pay whether I was using it or not plus the variety of options and integrations left me with a massive WTF headache.)

    • Blork 13:04 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      A bit more on that: With Jump, your options are basically “do you want to ride this Jump bike? Yes or No.”

      With Bixi your options are along the lines of “Do you want a Bixi membership? Do you qualify for one of the group memberships on this long list? Do you want it for 30 days or a year? Do you want it integrated with your Opus card? (Opening a can of worms regarding how TF this might affect your Opus card…) Do you want it integrated with Communauto? If so, which flavour of Communauto? (Opening a can of worms regarding how this might affect your Communauto membership.) Do you want it integrated with both your Opus card and your Communauto membership? OK, here are a whole lot of fields to fill out, including your phone number (spam calls?) and your gender (why?). Oh wait, you just want to do this one-off trip without a membership? Here is an incomprehensible list of signup options and a whole lot of seemingly arbitrary rules about when it is and isn’t valid…”

      I don’t mean to knock Bixi, but the difference is pretty clear in terms of usability for casual users.

    • dwgs 13:11 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Further to Blork’s questions, my son and a friend used Bixis to get home last month when they missed the last metro. He doesn’t have a credit card so he put them on his debit card. Bixi took $200 from his account (100 for each bike) which they held for 10 business days as security even though the bikes were placed properly in a station near us after a 25 minute ride.

    • Chris 13:30 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Blork, presumably there was lots of blah blah to sign up for uber tho.

    • Ant6n 13:41 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      You can rent bixis using transit app, including sign up and paying for everything from single to annual pass.

    • walkerp 14:04 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      The annual Bixi account is pretty easy and the most economical and efficient option if you use it regularly. $94 bucks for the year, get a key add it to your keychain and you are good to go.

      Hardly byzantine.

      I’ve done 130 trips so far at an average of 14 minutes per trip (and that includes a month out of town). So that would have cost me $364 with Jump.

    • Blork 14:33 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Chris: probably less, and with fewer options, and the main thing is that once you’re signed up that’s it, you’re done. And Uber sign-up already has “deep penetration” to use the marketing term, meaning there are already thousands of people signed up in Montreal. So for them, it’s a no-brainer to use Jump.

    • Blork 14:35 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Ant6n, I knew you could find Bixis with the Transit app, but I didn’t know you could do the sign-up or pay-per-ride with it. Thanks for the tip; maybe I’ll finally ride a Bixi soon!

    • Blork 14:39 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      walkerp: yes, exactly: if you use it regularly. For people who just want to try it, or might use it for ten minutes a month, or don’t want to commit to a membership, it’s not so easy.

      I’m not saying Jump is better than Bixi. I’m only saying that there are no barriers to entry with Jump and there are with Bixi. I’m only talking about getting to that first ride.

      If I lived in a Bixi zone and didn’t have my own bike I would definitely be a Bixi user. But as it stands there are maybe two or three times a year where I think it would be handy. If I were already an Uber user, then I’d jump on a Jump because I’m already signed up.

    • Mr.Chinaski 15:07 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Bixi isn’t byzantine anymore, it’s been like that for at least 2-3 years now. For a single ride, it takes about 5 seconds in the app to get a bike. You then get a 5-digit code, with a 30 seconds timer to input on any bike lock. It’s really as easy as 1-2-3

    • Blork 17:22 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      OK, that does make it simpler. But you need to have the app, which means you need to have thought about it and downloaded the app and have intentions to be a Bixi user. My WHOLE POINT is that the Uber app is practically a DEFAULT app for anybody under 40 — they all have it already — so there is no extra effort or even thought that needs to go into using a Jump.

    • Max 18:34 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Blork: The Transit app also supports Bixi, and from what I’ve seen a *lot* of people use that app. Most STM users, I’d reckon. The integration is really smooth too. Of course you have to log in with your Bixi account credentials, but it’s one time only. When you want a bike it’s simply a matter of tapping on the station, tap ‘Get ride code’, beep-beep-beep-beep-boop on the bike stand, and off you go. You don’t even need to tote the key around anymore.

      For sure the UI at the ‘borne’ for occasional users could stand some improvement. I see a lot of tourists scratching their heads around those things. But if you have a Bixi account, they’ve made it a real breeze to use.

    • ant6n 20:43 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Transit App is the largest third party transit app in North America (i.e. only Google/Apple Maps are bigger). And u don’t need to sign in, just pay for whatever pass/ticket in the app.

  • Kate 07:26 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

    Some young guy who apparently didn’t know how to swim went for a dip in the river off Pointe‑aux‑Trembles on Monday. Onlookers saw him slip under the water and one even tried to help him, but eventually his body was fished out by firefighters.

  • Kate 07:23 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec has hastily shuffled 30 towns off its latest flood maps and the mayor of Beaconsfield calls the CAQ incompetent.

    • Chris 13:37 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      That CTV article is pretty devoid of information to decide if it’s the mayor or province that’s incompetent. ex: what does the science say?

  • Kate 07:13 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse alleges the city doesn’t know how many roads are blocked off at any given moment, because while it does know about its own roadwork sites, it doesn’t try to keep track of private construction sites affecting road access.

    • Alex 08:47 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Which is weird as you have to pay for an obstruction permit if you want to block a road with a construction vehicle..

    • Blork 09:17 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Probably not so weird considering the information likely isn’t centralized. You go pay for your permit and the info is written on a file somewhere and shoved into a file cabinet. If it even is computerized, it’s probably just shoved into a local file folder or maybe even a local database, but the data is probably not centralized.

  • Kate 07:02 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

    An abandoned industrial building was consumed by fire Monday evening on Notre-Dame East

  • Kate 07:01 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

    A cyclist was arrested Monday evening after apparently going berserk and breaking the windshield and several other windows on an STM bus near Place d’Armes. He’s facing charges, probably mischief and uttering threats.

  • Kate 18:07 on 2019-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

    I didn’t know food writer Byron Ayanoglu, but his death on the weekend has been mentioned several times in social media I follow, so I can see it’s newsworthy, and his friends have my condolences.

    On looking him up in the newspaper’s obits, I happened on another obituary, of a woman I was in grade school with. She was a couple of years older than me but still – it’s an awfully nice day for a memento mori.

    • Blork 09:24 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Sorry to hear about Byron Ayanoglu. I used to hear him on CBC Radio a lot 15-20 years ago, and I even have one of his cookbooks (“The New Vegetarian Gourmet”), which is nice for its emphasis is on simplicity and finding the real heart of simple meals.

    • dwgs 09:49 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      I never met the man but I quite liked his work. We have one of his cookbooks that sees regular use and his book about life on Crete, also good. He sounds like someone who lived well.

  • Kate 08:04 on 2019-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

    A reminder we’re building an old-style elevated train system: people in the West Island are unsettled by how close the tracks will run to their houses. “Le bureau du REM […] assure que l’intégration des trains à leur environnement fait partie des préoccupations.” Sure, I bet it’s preoccupying them like maybe ten minutes a week.

    • Mr.Chinaski 10:14 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Their houses have already increased price by 25% minimum, and for the bungalows really near the stations, people will propose large amount of money so that they can buy and densify the lots. In the end, I can understand CDPQ Infra saying “Shut up and sleep on your money pot”

    • Chris 13:30 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Money is not the only thing people care about.

    • Kate 15:53 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Right. If you own a house chiefly as a place to live in, you don’t want a train going past your bedroom window every ten minutes. The fact you could turn the house over for a little more than you paid for it is cold comfort if you can’t sleep.

    • Josh 18:27 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Is there any sense yet of how often the trains will run, and what times first and last departures will be? Will it be closer to metro-like frequency or AMT-like frequency?

    • Kevin 20:54 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      It was pitched as being every 2.5 to 15 minutes, 20 hours a day

    • Faiz Imam 00:00 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Should be pointed out that the people in question have had heavy 200m long Deux Montagne trains going by their houses every 20-120 mins all day for decades. Those are heavy trains that cause a lot of vibration.

      This same argument has been ongoing in TMR since day 1, and there as in here, the counter argument to frequency is that the new trains are shorter, lighter and quieter. They are also faster, so each disruption should take less time.

      In the end, if it turns out the noise is unbearable, good news is that the vibration frequency profile of the new trains is much easier to build sound walls for than for the previous ones.

    • Chris 06:27 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      So, as with the bagel smoke complainers: there’s always been trains/smoke, now there’s more, but don’t complain, just move.

    • Mr.Chinaski 09:41 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      There *was* smoke, now there will be no more. They’ve exchanged air pollution with frequency. Josée Riopel has been actively against the REM from the start and it shows in every article of her.

    • Chris 13:58 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      There was smoke, then there was even more when they switched to 24 hour (they weren’t always). It’s pretty analagous to there being trains, then there being even more trains. Also like how the airport has always had flights, but ever more.

  • Kate 07:30 on 2019-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

    It was reported earlier this month that Quebec was supporting a new airplane fuel terminal in Montreal East, meant to supply not only Trudeau but also airports in Ottawa and Toronto. Except for mentioning BAPE approval nothing else was said about environmental or public security concerns.

    Now it becomes clear that most of this fuel is intended for Pearson Airport, so a stream of freight trains hauling tankers full of kerosene will be crossing Montreal east to west on their way to Toronto.

    • SMD 10:28 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Some of the fuel will be sent to PET by a rented pipeline, called Trans-Nord. According to Metro, Trans-Nord: was built in 1952; is responsible for 23 of the 31 pipeline incidents identified by the National Energy Board since 2008; spilled twice in 2010; was recommended for closure in 2016 by two National Energy Board commissioners, since Trans-Nord Inc still hadn’t performed necessary infrastructure work as directed; and completely encircles Adélard-Desrosiers primary school in Montreal-North.What could go wrong?

    • Blork 11:08 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      I’m not crazy about pipelines, but I remain amazed at the level of opposition to them in Quebec. Quebec of all places! After all, the risks we’re comparing are (a) a pipeline spill vs. (b) catastrophic fiery explosions like we saw in Lac Megantic. Apparently Quebecers prefer the fiery explosions. WTF?

    • Jonathan 11:20 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      People are asking for more secure pipelines in this case, Blork. The article states that environmental groups are asking that regulations be strengthened and that the reliability of the pipeline be improved before it transports the kerosene.

    • Blork 13:12 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Jonathan, I was speaking in general, not specifically to this case. Last week the CAQ-man (Premier Legault) was telling the other Premiers that “there is no appetite for pipelines in Quebec” which basically means Quebec would rather get trainloads of Saudi oil coming in from Eastern Canada than a pipeline of Canadian oil coming in from Western Canada. Plus anytime you mention “pipeline” around here people automatically go into “no pipelines” mode whether or not they can even articulate their opposition to it.

      It’s become some kind of ingrained reaction, and it surprises me after Lac Megantic, because I would have thought that even would have turned people against rail shipping of oil products.

    • walkerp 14:05 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      We don’t want pipelines or oil by rail. We want to get off fossil fuels altogether.

    • Jonathan 14:15 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Thank you walkerp. I agree. I think we would rather no oil at all. Not by rail from eastern Canada, not by pipeline from western Canada. Not by sea from anywhere.

      But considering that kerosene has to get to PET somehow we would rather have a method that is secure and just and considers there is little future for oil.

    • Blork 14:53 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      “We want to get off fossil fuels altogether.” I agree. But that’s not going to happen overnight. It needs to be phased out, and that will only happen if there’s a specific plan to phase it out. Just wishing it would disappear is pointless.

      I don’t know where rail or pipelines fit in there; I’m only talking about perceptions of danger at this point.

      Side note: a couple of months ago the Green Party announced a plan that on the surface seemed very anti-green; it involves (I think) pipelines and Alberta oil, which seems counter-productive, but the details (as far as I can tell, and I didn’t read up on it extensively) are very sensible. Instead of just complaining about Alberta oil and pipelines, which creates divisions in the population, they proposed a long term plan (30 years maybe?) whereby the oil would be extracted and piped around the country but on a declining production schedule all the way to zero.

      In the meantime, the profits from the oil will be used for R&D into sustainable energy.

      Sounds like win-win, because in the short term, fossil fuels will be burned no matter what; whether we pull it out of Alberta or ship it in from Saudi Arabia. So instead of making Saudi princes even richer, why not keep Canadians working (and thereby complaining less about green policies) and use the money to invest in sustainable energy?

      FFS, I feel like the Green Party has been spying on me, because I’ve been saying that for years. Alberta, instead of going all-in for oil only should instead think in terms of “energy.” They have the workforce and are well positioned in the energy sector already. Freakin’ use that leverage to invest in solar, wind, and other sustainable energy sources. Otherwise they will be dead in the water in 30 years time instead of being Canada’s “energy hub” for the future. Dumbasses!

    • walkerp 15:23 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Fully agree with your final paragraph Blork. They have so much energy expertise in Alberta and they could be leveraging it to get a huge headstart on the future sustainable energy market. Instead, they are just doubling down on what is basically old (and destructive) technology. It’s fear of change at the local level and short-term greed at the political and business level. That’s modern-day conservatism for you. Dumbasses, indeed.

    • ant6n 17:21 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      There’s fewer co2 emissions in Saudi oil than tar sands, thise should indeed be shut down asap.

  • Kate 07:21 on 2019-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal found people to say that the vélorue on St-André – signage giving precedence to cyclists for several blocks – is very confusing. I haven’t seen it myself – anyone?

    It also reports that people are not happy about the Vélo festif, the weird noisy party bicycle thing. I recall the SAAQ ruled a few years ago that the Vélo is not street legal. Wonder what happened with that.

    • Alex 10:35 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      I used to live on that street and pass by there quite often and see no difference whatsoever in signage, I just figured they didn’t make a signage pass yet as the street is still heavily under construction

    • Jack 11:03 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Velo festif makes me sad for humanity, like a Hummer.

    • DeWolf 12:32 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      “Même si sa construction n’est pas terminée”

      It’s never too early for the JdM to criticize a bicycle project!

    • Chris 13:31 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Jack, how? why?

  • Kate 07:12 on 2019-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC reports cheerfully on a group of people trying to eradicate ragweed from part of town. Media! They can be reporting concerns about butterflies or bees in one section of a site, while noting with oblivious insouciance in another that human beings are crashing around in an ecology making edits likely to be damaging, yet not put two and two together.

    At the same time, Le Devoir notes that Rosemont borough will be allowing wild plants to grow in more places next summer, rather than mowing the grass to create suburban-style lawns. Will people come along and try to edit the plant life then too?

    • qatzelok 08:39 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      I’m happy to hear that Rosemont will be adding more wild plants. I bike to the countryside whenever I can, and southern Quebec’s local wild plants are more beautiful than any lawns I’ve seen outside of Versailles. And maybe even nicer than Versailles.

    • Chris 13:33 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      Lets organize a ragweed planting event in the same locations! 😉

    • Kevin 17:06 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      The previous owner of my home deliberately planted ragweed, earning him the wrath of many neighbours.

      There are many other plants that will attract bugs but planting ragweed is up there with pedophilia and not maintaining your nuclear reactor in terms of public acceptance.

    • Chris 06:29 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      “up there with pedophilia”?! yikes.

    • Alex 08:50 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      An aside: I have noticed a few patches of Japanese Knotweed around the Plateau, where I am from we usually have to notify the city, is that a thing we should do in Montreal?

    • Kate 09:26 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      Alex, this is the only page I find on the city website for Renouée du Japon and it says nothing about reporting it. Can’t hurt to call 311 and ask, though.

    • Jonathan 09:26 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

      As someone who suffers terribly terribly terribly from ragweed, I would really love for us to find another late and heavy pollen producing plant that causes less harm to the quality of life.

      It’s not like gluten sensitivity, where people can choose whether or not they consume the allergen (by only eating at home, or only eating at GF establishments)… there really is no escape except moving away from temperate climate zones.

  • Kate 21:08 on 2019-07-14 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s actual camping in tents right by the Old Port beside Silo No. 5.

    • Max 07:57 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      I’ve checked them out. They’re more like cabins than tents.

    • ProposMontreal 16:41 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      crap! I’m writting the same freakin’ article right now!

    • Uatu 17:17 on 2019-07-15 Permalink

      I’m glad that there’s security on-site as this is a great place to get mugged…

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