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  • Kate 06:52 on 2018-01-15 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Devoir consulted experts on the question whether the Montreal-Quebec monorail is a good idea. Item notes that the route would be longer than any existing monorail system: they usually only run within cities.

     
    • ant6n 17:26 on 2018-01-15 Permalink

      Every time an article is titled with a question, the answer is “no”.

    • Faiz Imam 21:32 on 2018-01-15 Permalink

      To echo Antons article from last month, the Düsseldorf line pictures is very nice looking, very unassuming.

      The issue is that the cars are significantly smaller and slower than any serious regional train proposal, therefore any actual elevated line would be much more massive.

      This article is good, it has way more critics and info on challenges than most.

      This line is the most stupid by a long shot though: « Vu que c’est aérien, pas besoin de construire des ponts au-dessus des cours d’eau, ni de viaducs, ça permet d’économiser comparé au TGV. »

      I did not realize monorails magically floated in mid air…

    • Ali Bear 19:16 on 2018-01-16 Permalink

      This monorail is a waste of money. By the time it’s built, the 3-D printer will be so advanced you won’t have to go to Quebec City anymore. You’ll be able to just print a 3-D version of the old city without leaving your Leed-Platinum bungalow in Boisbriand.

  • Kate 06:44 on 2018-01-15 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC reminds us that the Plante tax bump is likely to raise residential rents.

     
    • Chris 20:02 on 2018-01-15 Permalink

      As well it should! After all, renters also benefit from all the new fixed water mains, new buses, etc. that we’re supposedly getting.

  • Kate 22:17 on 2018-01-14 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC has a new piece Sunday evening about the roadwork on Ste-Catherine Street but it’s mostly a summary, vague on details and it doesn’t query the supposed necessity to revitalize the street. Yet every time I’ve been along the street over the last year it’s been crowded and lively, and the revival of the Atwater-Guy segment, moribund for so long, is striking. I don’t think the street needs gimmicks foisted on it now.

    One thing I saw in an article, but can’t find again, was praise for the ideal of getting rid of sidewalks as such and having the whole street on one level. This is what they did to Place d’Armes and what goes on behind Place des Arts now, where it’s virtually impossible to discern the boundaries between pedestrian, cyclist and motorist zones. It’s the kind of idea dreamed up by design groups that never actually walk around a city.

     
    • Bartek Komorowski 23:19 on 2018-01-14 Permalink

      The main reason for the Saint-Catherine project is to replace the aging, leaking sewers and water mains. It is the reason for all major street reconstructions. They literally have to tear the whole street up to get to the pipes – not just the main pipes which run deep beneath the roadway but also the perpendicular branches that connect them to the buildings.

      As for the curbless street design around Places des arts, it was chosen to reduce the risk of tripping during festival. The roads are in fact delineated by piston-like bollards that rise from the ground when the road reopens. I’m not aware of any accidents involving wayward pedestrians being hit by cars in that while the roads are open.

    • Blork 23:56 on 2018-01-14 Permalink

      I’m on Team Kate with this WRT the idea of “revitalizing” that which is already pretty vitalized. (Necessary repairs notwithstanding.) The curbless design makes sense and works well around the Quartier des Spectacles, which is basically closed to traffic most of the summer anyway and is hugely a pedestrian zone in the fair weather months. But turning the whole street like that seems bonkers and unnecessary.

    • Bartek Komorowski 00:06 on 2018-01-15 Permalink

      Dear Blork, please understand that Saint-Catherine has to be ripped up. I think that when you rip up a street from building face to building face to replace all the underground infrastructure, you should you use it as an opportunity to make improvements to the public realm – not put things back exactly as they were. The latter is This what happened recently on Saint-Denis – it got ripped up and redone the same as before – except that now it has granite curbs. Big whoop. Still a shitty four-lane highway; no value added for the walking and cycling public and none for merchants either.

    • DeWolf 06:01 on 2018-01-15 Permalink

      For such a busy street, Ste-Catherine and awfully narrow sidewalks so I’m with Bartek here – since the street needs to be ripped up anyway, might as well take the opportunity to improve some things here and there.

      The same thing recently happened to Laurier and it now has much wider sidewalks, which is an improvement even if the local merchants killed the planned cycle track.

    • Kate 06:59 on 2018-01-15 Permalink

      Bartek Komorowski: we do all know that the water main and sewer stuff under the street has to be redone. That’s a given. But as I’ve said before on the blog, that need not take four years.

      People seem to assume wider sidewalks would be an unquestioned good. I’m in doubt about this. Part of the vibe of Ste-Cat is the big city feel of crowded sidewalks. Sometimes it’s annoying to make one’s way among people walking at different speeds, but it feels like city to me, which a wider, more leisured, more strolly sort of place does not.

      I am willing to consider that this is because I am a born Montrealer so that memories of going to Ste-Catherine to shop are deep within my psyche, making me resistant to change, but I’m not sure that’s what it is. But I think I may be right. People can go to any mall to stroll at ease. Ste-Catherine is not just a shopping mall. It’s a working street. It needs to have some edge. It needs buses and cyclists and horns honking and people jaywalking and all the noise, not trees and benches and a sort of retirement home vibe.

    • Blork 09:24 on 2018-01-15 Permalink

      I’m not against improvements; I’m against gimmicks, especially if building them adds time and expense to the project. As Kate says, it’s a working street. It needs parking spaces. It needs enough space for trucks to go through. It could also use some traffic calming measures and better ways to manage cars and pedestrians at intersections, but that shouldn’t be complicated. I don’t think it needs heated sidewalks nor curbless sidewalks, etc.

    • Ali Bear 10:35 on 2018-01-15 Permalink

      ‘It`s a working street`sounds a lot like you’re talking about the corner of St. Lawrence and Ste. Catherine, The sidewalks need to stay narrow so that Johns can brush up against working girls? To discourage pedestrianism? To send shoppers and strollers elsewhere?

    • Kate 11:14 on 2018-01-15 Permalink

      Ali Bear, I have a very different meaning for “working” than you evidently do.

    • Uatu 18:45 on 2018-01-15 Permalink

      It’d better have good drainage. I don’t want to walk in ankle deep slush or water after a snow/rainstorm.

    • Faiz Imam 21:34 on 2018-01-15 Permalink

      I should point out, the whole project will take 4 years, but the entire stretch will not be closed off for that long.

      It’s three phases, with each third being completed before the next begins.

  • Kate 19:03 on 2018-01-14 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is predicting a rough rush hour Monday morning and recommending commuters take public transit if possible.

     
    • Blork 23:59 on 2018-01-14 Permalink

      I’ll go one step farther and just work from home. (Flexible working cannot be under-rated!)

    • Kate 07:00 on 2018-01-15 Permalink

      Blork, I wish I could do that myself, but I’m a sort of short order cook of a graphic production team now, which means I have to be on site, more’s the pity.

  • Kate 19:01 on 2018-01-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Roberto Rocha has done a series of charts comparing the current city tax hikes to those in previous administrations and years.

     
  • Kate 16:43 on 2018-01-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Father Emmett Johns, who started Dans la rue, has died. He was 89.

    Update: CBC talked to some of the people who benefited from Johns’ kindness; Le Devoir traces the creation of Dans la rue; Tu Thanh Ha’s done an excellent piece in the Globe & Mail. A brief piece by TVA conveys the suggestion that Johns deserves a national funeral.

     
  • Kate 09:22 on 2018-01-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Jean-François Nadeau on shoebox houses and how they came to be part of the city landscape, although they rarely appear in photographs of a century ago.

     
  • Kate 08:20 on 2018-01-14 Permalink | Reply  


    Snow removal from this weekend’s storm – the fourth snow operation of the season – will begin Sunday night. The Journal also notes that we’ve already had more than half an average winter’s worth of snow: 134 cm out of 211 cm. It’s –26° as I post this.

    Did the previous snow clearing job even finish before this weekend’s storm blew in?

     
    • Roman 11:06 on 2018-01-14 Permalink

      Previous snow clearing was largely useless as it was well into plus territory. I observed them playing with slush only unable to pipe it into the truck and just smear it around. Yet the concert went on from street to street.

    • Kevin 12:11 on 2018-01-14 Permalink

      They did not finish. There were massive piles of snow Friday on residential streets throughout CDN NDG, and lots downtown too.

    • Kate 16:47 on 2018-01-14 Permalink

      Thanks, Kevin.

  • Kate 08:13 on 2018-01-14 Permalink | Reply  

    A man convicted of killing a security guard in a bungled 1994 heist in NDG has had his parole revoked after a drunk-driving incident and an assault.

     
  • Kate 21:04 on 2018-01-13 Permalink | Reply  

    This weekend’s history piece is a then-and-now on Park Avenue at Laurier, looking south.

     
    • Ian 22:03 on 2018-01-13 Permalink

      Kind of a shame they couldn’t match the angles better… still pretty cool. The hat store is now a Starbucks, FWIW.

  • Kate 14:28 on 2018-01-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Eater has put up a restaurant guide to Montreal which pretty much covers the territory. It includes a glossary of terms (Pizzaghetti – “…not something you need to try.”).

     
  • Kate 12:39 on 2018-01-13 Permalink | Reply  

    The Turcot was to be almost completely closed this weekend, but the snowstorm has delayed the closure till Saturday evening. Mind you, we’re still being advised to stay home if we can, flights are disrupted, and 911 is overwhelmed with calls.

    Update: Media report we got 36 cm of snow over the last 24 hours, that’s 14 inches or almost 200 agate lines of snow.

     
    • Ephraim 12:57 on 2018-01-13 Permalink

      I can testify to that…. 4 hour delay flying out…. waving from airplane. (free wifi in plane)

    • Ian 13:00 on 2018-01-13 Permalink

      Lots of footage of buses skidding out and the green line is currently down until 1:30 (estimated) – great day to stay off the roads as much as possible.

  • Kate 12:32 on 2018-01-13 Permalink | Reply  

    While we’re talking natural disasters, a report by the fire department’s civil security unit notes the many ways in which the city was unprepared for the flooding we saw around the western end of the island last spring.

    Allowing people to build on known flood plains is not mentioned, but is one man-made aspect of the problem. Also, I read some items last year about water controls upriver by the lakes which affect river levels here, but, oddly, not much about this since.

     
  • Kate 12:27 on 2018-01-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Nothing has actually happened, but a new report suggests that any sizable earthquake here could cause serious and expensive damage.

    Note to copyeditors at CTV and the Gazette: damage is what is caused by an earthquake. It is not a countable noun. “Damages”, which you’ve both used in your headlines, is a legal term describing money that has to be paid by court order in restitution for some injury.

     
  • Kate 11:42 on 2018-01-13 Permalink | Reply  

    Concordia University has acted on recent allegations of exploitation of students by professors in its creative writing department, reassigning them to other duties, which aren’t specified although we can assume they’re not cleaning toilets, and an investigation has begun. It’s a complicated story, with allegations being raised – in another blog posteven against the male writer whose blog post put accusations into the public eye and sparked this scandal.

    One prominent anglo Montreal writer is speaking up about her experience there in the 1990s.

     
    • Blork 14:40 on 2018-01-13 Permalink

      Julie McIsaac’s piece is a welcome addition to the conversation, but if Spry is being “valued in the media for painting himself as this fly on the wall who saw his mentors and colleagues behaving badly” it’s because those people haven’t read his piece very closely. I read it when it first came out (before the media got hold of it) and I immediately saw it as both an exposé and a mea culpa. It seems to me that Spry has had a reckoning with the school and the industry and now it’s coming (mostly) clean, so good for him.

      And good for McIssac for adding another dimension to the story, but it would be a mistake to see her piece as some sort of negation of his piece, or a negation of his reckoning.

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