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  • Kate 11:47 on 2017-11-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Bixi is said to be considering year-round operations.

     
    • Ephraim 12:53 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      What is the income on those months compared to the outlay for those months? If it’s profitable, maybe. But I have my doubts that it will be profitable. Who is going to be responsible for snow removal around the Bixi bike system? It should be Bixi and not the city. (Yes, I know that the city owns it, but it’s a different department and one department should not be responsible for the folly of another department.

      Which leaves me with the same question I have asked repeatedly…. is Bixi billed for the usage of the parking spots it occupies? It should be.

    • Clément 14:07 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      Yesterday, Kate had a statistic that said 10% of the island is dedicated to car space. What a scandal that 0.00001% of that is dedicated to Bixi.

      Bixi uses public space, not parking spots. As a society, we sometimes choose to dedicate public space for parks, sometimes for cars (roads and parking spots), sometimes for bus stops and dedicated bus lanes, sometimes for metro stations, sometimes public space is turned into sidewalks for pedestrian, sometimes as bike paths, sometimes as a convenient refuse container storage place for contractors, and sometimes, we use some of that public space to install a bixi station.

      But in the end, Bixi doesn’t occupy “parking spots”, they occupy public space.

    • Bert 14:39 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      Then it’s clear. It’s public space. Public space for all. Public space for cars and bikes.

      From a little look around, Stationnement de Montréal seems to make on the order of 9$ per day per spot. Data taken from: http://www.statdemtl.qc.ca/images/rapports/Rapport_Annuel_2015_EN.pdf

    • dwgs 15:08 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      Parking revenue aside, this is a ridiculous idea. I can’t see them generating any significant revenue through the winter months, the additional wear and tear on the bikes will be significant (salt, grit, gravel, moisture, being dinged by snowplows), the cost to keep the stations clear of snow…and for how much usage?

    • j2 15:09 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      I love bixi and miss it when it’s gone – but a heavy bike and ice is a bad combination. I’ve ridden in the winter but always a beater that you hope lasts another season but don’t expect to make it.

      Now make me a bike path in the underground city…!

    • Blork 15:15 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      I tend to agree that this is a bad idea. It’s one thing for experienced dedicated winter cyclists to take the challenge on their own bikes; it’s another thing for occasional cyclists to take to ice-riding in winter, on a clumsy bicycle, with no helmet (seriously, nobody uses a helmet on a Bixi).

      True fact: people are stupid. Or more precisely, people do stupid things. Run Bixi in the winter and people will do stupid things, and they will hurt themselves and damage the bikes.

    • Ephraim 16:23 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      It is PUBLIC space and it has a value. If it’s use for bikes, then BIXI should pay for it. If it’s used by cars, then the meters are paid and the city collects on that. Either way, it should be PAID into the city coffers. It’s NOT FREE. Not to Bixi, not to Stationment Montreal. It belongs to the citizens and if we aren’t paid for it, it adds more to the property taxes. Either way, it is NEVER FREE. Not to bikes and not to cars.

    • Blork 16:36 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      Ephriam, I think you’re taking too much of a literalist hard line on this. Some things are considered a “public good” so they get a free pass. Bixi might be one of them.

      For example, you cannot park your car at a bus stop. Does the STM reimburse the city for the loss of parking revenue in those spaces? I doubt it.

      Same applies to various loading zones, taxi zones, etc. I doubt they all reimburse the city (maybe some do, but not all).

    • Ephraim 17:28 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      Blork… I’ve point this out before… YES, I think that the STM should pay for each and every spot it wants, same with the SPVM, the SIM, etc. The problem with NOT accounting for things is that people start to think of them as FREE and they aren’t.

      In the first year, you compensate for the value of eachs spot on the road. The STM gets X spots at $x dollars each, depending on where they are. The value is added to their budget and they have to pay the city street authority back for them. So the result is essentially nil. (Note, you also have to set a price for the conversion of a spot… the signs installed/removed, paint, etc.) BUT, all of a sudden the STM will start to think about all the spots that they use. For example, could we use 3 spots instead of 4 if we move the stop to after the traffic light. Do we need all these stops, etc. The SPVM uses spots for cars, do they need them, for example, the two on Prince Arthur West are almost never occupied… they could be bringing in $3.4K annual (and that’s conservatively and only including the 30% the city gets from the meter at 50% occupancy.) Ville Marie, for example, uses at least six spots right here (https://goo.gl/maps/LptscT4rc7B2) and they sit empty a lot of the time… why? Because there is NO COST to using them. But it’s PUBLIC property. The city could put in 6 spots with meters and simply park their cars in either a garage, or parking meters themselves. Heck, they could even use resident zones, assuming these are real city cars and not simply employee cars… because if they are employee cars under Quebec law these are therefore INCOME TAXABLE spots and I’m sure these people wouldn’t want to see the $10K worth of parking added to their income tax.

      Yes, you heard me right, that’s $10K per parking spot in Ville Marie. Meters are active from 9AM to 9PM on weekdays, 9AM to 6PM on Saturday and 1PM to 6PM on Sunday that is a total of 5*12+9+5=74 hours a week of paid parking. In zone 1 that is $3 per hour so… $222 hours a week, 52 weeks in a year that’s $11,544 per parking spot. And to be truthful, I realize that they won’t be occupied all those hours, but then the city also doesn’t refund for spaces unoccupied, so you pay for 60 minutes and use 40 and then someone else comes along and they are double dipping, so I’ll call it a wash just because I don’t have the statistics on that.

      The point here is that I don’t think that parking spaces on this island should be free at all. They should all have a cost. Even if you happen to live on Suzor-Cote in Ahuntsic or 55th avenue in Lachine (where parking meters are like $1.50 an hour.)

      Don’t care if it’s Bixi, it’s a car, a motorcycle, or a terrasse, it should have a cost. Because anything without a cost will naturally be abused. And incidentally, if you didn’t know this, you pay a fee for the usage/creation of city parks as part of the development cost of your house. If you have a single house and want to divide it, the city taxes you 10% of the value of the land to cover the costs of parks in the city. So parks aren’t free either.

    • Faiz Imam 20:05 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      Steve Faguy’s reaction to this headline seems to be the most prescient:

      La Presse: Have you considered keeping Bixi running all winter?
      Bixi: We thought about it, but it’s complicated and not in our short-term plans
      La Presse: BIXI CONSIDERS RUNNING THROUGH WINTER

      It’s really not a serious and deeply considered proposal, and I don’t expect it to happen for years.

      What I am hoping for is for them to add an extra week or two to the start and end of the season and see how it goes.

      Currently they close it based on being totally offline when they expect serious show to fall. Being a bit more risquee about that is a good first step. Depending how it goes we can extend farther bit by bit.

      Sidenote, Toronto, which uses the exact same BIXI system, is open year around.

      I am sure there are procedures and best practices we could use to make it work optimally.

    • dwgs 20:26 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      @Faiz Imam Having lived in both cities I can tell you that a Toronto winter bears little resemblance to a Montreal winter.

    • Jack 21:55 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      Careful Pie IX was better than Pie IIX and of course Pie IIIX.

    • Ian 23:24 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      When I lived in Toronto I rode my bike to work year-round. That said, Toronto doesn’t get that build up of ice around the curbs that forces you to ride in the middle of the right hand lane.It’s as rare for Toronto to hit -20 as it is to hit -30 here, and there is considerably less snow. Also, Toronto drivers are way more unpredictable but way less aggressive.
      I tried to ride my bike in Montreal year round, and while I can handle the weather and so could my bike, I just couldn’t trust the drivers – especially after it starts getting dark early.

    • Faiz Imam 04:26 on 2017-11-18 Permalink

      I’ve lived in Toronto as well. And I go there regularly.

      While I agree the winters are not “as bad”, from a municipal planning and logistics perspective its materially identical.

      This is because Toronto will get heavy snow, ice or extreme cold at least once or a few times a winter.

      If your operational responsibility is to keep BIXI going in all conditions, it does not really matter if you need to dig it out once a winter or once a week. You need all the same tools and procedures anyways.

      So while it may be more difficult to do it in Montreal than Toronto, the lessons they have learned in keeping it going are very applicable to us, and suggest that if mandated to, the city could probably keep BIXI rolling.

      How much extra work would it take? and is it worth it? That’s the question they’ll need to analyze and answer to know if it is the right thing to do.

      Though, I will say that once we do a better job of having a winter biking network, and maintain it as well as they promise they will, it then makes keeping BIXI much more feasible. If we can’t keep the paths clear, we shoudn’t even bother with BIXI.

  • Kate 04:08 on 2017-11-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada suggests names of prominent women for Pink Line stations.

     
    • Faiz Imam 04:47 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      Seems like they don’t mention it, but plante herself proposed the idea of naming many(all?) the stations after prominent women. She mentioned it a few times over the course of the çampaign

    • ant6n 12:38 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      Rapid transit stations should be named after neighborhoods, to help create a sense of space. In Paris a lot of stops have random names unrelated to where they are and it’s very confusing.

    • Ephraim 12:54 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      It’s a PINK line, they should name all the stations for prominent homosexuals. (And watch the homophobic comments begin…)

    • Blork 14:58 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      I agree with ant6n. Naming them after neighbourhoods (or prominent nearby geographic features) is much more useful than just people’s names.

      Also, names (which is to say, people) are troublesome these days. “Prominent Woman #1” will be accused of having once parked in a bicycle lane, so she’s out. “Prominent Woman #2” will be accused of having left her child alone at home for 10 minutes, so she’s gone. “Prominent Woman #3” will be found to have shared a taxi with a known racist, so she’s off the list. Etc. etc. #lifethesedays

    • Faiz Imam 20:09 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      I’m also in the camp of naming stations after nearby streets or neighborhoods.

      though If we want to rename streets for more women and by extension metro stations, i’m all for that

      But Blork, the way naming works, you only do it after a person is dead. And if you read the suggestions in the article above, long dead.

      So it’s not much of an issue here.

      Personally i’m really hoping we rename pie-IX sometime soon.

      I don’t feel that pope Pious the ninth, in power from 1846 to 1878 is someone we necessarily need to be celebrating with the name of a major street.

    • Ian 23:27 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      I’m also a big fan of naming metro stations after the main street. Lionel-Groulx tells me nothing, Atwater is much clearer.

      If we want to honour people we have lots of opportunity for statuary, something that we have been neglecting for many, many years. I’d love to see a Léa Roback statue in the business district for one – they already named a street after her in a new development in Saint-Henri.

    • Ephraim 00:13 on 2017-11-18 Permalink

      @Ian – Well Sherbrooke isn’t much help as a name… longest street in the city… should have named the station Cherrier or Square St-Louis or even Prince Arthur.

    • ant6n 13:52 on 2017-11-18 Permalink

      I really think it should be neighborhoods rather than streets (and both are better than names of people).

      Stations don’t serve streets, they serve the area around that station. That’s a neighborhood.

      Sherbrooke is a good example – it’s a very long street, Sherbrooke metro station doesn’t serve any significant percentage of it.

      Lucien L’Allier is an example where the metro is named the same as some tiny street, but it’s still meaningless – the metro doesn’t serve that street in any meaningful way, only a tiny fraction of people will go to a building on that street as their destination.

      There’s no reason to elevate small, unimportant streets into the city’s collective consciousness. But but neighborhoods, often elusive in people’s minds, should definitely be more known.

    • Bernard DeKoninck 17:38 on 2017-11-18 Permalink

      if they are going to name Metro stations after women they should have a Celine Dion Staion, so the metro will go on..and on

    • mare 19:00 on 2017-11-18 Permalink

      @ant6n I agree that streets names, certainly in a grid based city with very long streets, are not ideal for naming metro stations. However neighbourhoods are often much too big. Laurier, Mont-Royal and Sherbrooke are all in the Plateau. You could rename Laurier into Mile-End, and Mont-Royal into Plateau but what about Sherbrooke? Beaubien could be Petite-Patrie, but Rosemont would be much better for one of the new stations of the Pink line that will be actually IN Rosemont.

      (IMO, renaming metro stations or streets is not a good plan, it leads to confusion, although I’d make an exception for Lionel-Groulx.)

      The further away you get from the city centre the bigger the (original) neighbourhoods are/were. Often those neighbourhoods were named after the parish, and if we use those names we’ll end up with lots and lots of Saint names again, just with our ‘secular’ primary schools.

    • ant6n 23:36 on 2017-11-18 Permalink

      I guess part of the “issue” is that our metro stations are very close together; another that we lost that sort of micro-toponymy of our city, in the rush to combine neighborhoods into ever bigger arrondissements.

  • Kate 03:17 on 2017-11-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Small businesses in a market facing Ste-Catherine on Phillips Square were told recently they would be effaced by a new plan to remove market stalls from the square.

     
    • dhomas 04:25 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      What are they going to do with the space the markets were in? I don’t think they would want to destroy the building, as I’m quite certain it has heritage value. If I remember correctly, those markets are in what was previously a “camillienne”, a public bathroom built in the 30’s. So, if not shops, what would go in there?

    • Dominic 10:31 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      I always thought those shops were great little tourist stops. Where else can you get overpriced maple syrup products, besides Old Montreal? Sad.

    • Kate 12:41 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      dhomas, the camilliennes were below street level, at least on Phillips Square and Place d’Armes. I don’t think any building actually on Phillips Square has been there more than a decade or so.

    • dhomas 14:40 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      You are absolutely correct, Kate. I did a little research this morning and found the one I was thinking of: Cabot Square. The old camilienne is now home to Café Roundhouse. My bad!

  • Kate 02:26 on 2017-11-17 Permalink | Reply  

    At her swearing-in Thursday, Valérie Plante promised to be a guerrière joyeuse for Montrealers.

    I’m trying to be my more normal cynical self here, but I like this. I wish Plante all the best in her time as mayor.

     
  • Kate 12:57 on 2017-11-16 Permalink | Reply  

    There are three million parking spaces on the island of Montreal, taking up as much as 10% of its total area. Mind-boggling.

     
    • Kevin 14:41 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      That appears to include curbside parking and driveways, so it’s not really exceptional given our population.

      The standard urban (Visamipex, CDN-NDG) driveway has room for two cars. Many suburban driveways can hold four or more.

    • Bert 15:40 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      I would venture to say that it may also include underground and multi-level parking, perhaps even personal garages. 50sq km is a large space. Go see for yourself what the area looks like on the island: https://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-area-calculator-tool.htm

      The point that there are 3 parking spaces for every car is probably true, but I am sure that the same analysis can be made for how much living space each person has (home, work, leisure, etc.)

      What was that saying about lies, damned lies and statistics?

  • Kate 12:10 on 2017-11-16 Permalink | Reply  

    Voted out by Villeray-St-Michel-Park-Ex, ex-mayor Anie Samson is cashing in with a payout of $280,000, more than Denis Coderre will get. Why does one of the city’s poorest boroughs pay its mayor so much?

     
    • Blork 12:43 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      To compensate for fewer “brown envelope” opportunities?

    • Blork 12:44 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      AKA, “fringe benefits.”

    • Ephraim 20:42 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      She earned as much as Denis Coderre. How many jobs are there where the only qualifications don’t exist, it’s guaranteed for 4 years and when you are turfed out, you still get another cheque.

      Doesn’t make sense at all.

    • Ian 23:29 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      …and you should see their pensions!

  • Kate 11:42 on 2017-11-16 Permalink | Reply  

    Valérie Plante will be sworn in as mayor of Montreal Thursday afternoon. La Presse looks at the promises she’s made and whether they think she’ll be able to keep them.

     
    • Raymond Lutz 12:27 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      Il serait intéressant de vérifier si La Presse a fait le même exercice tout juste après les élections de Trudeau (à ce jour la liste de ses promesses trahies est longue comme mon bras, la plus révoltante étant celle de la réforme du mode de scrutin).

      Les élites des média montréalais sont fâchées que le peuple ne les ait pas écoutées. Elles feront tout pour qu’elle se plante, cette Valérie (bad pun).

  • Kate 02:05 on 2017-11-16 Permalink | Reply  

    The average speed of an STM bus calculated in 2016 was 17.7 km/h. But comparing this to other cities seems kind of pointless to me. Maybe their buses spend more time ferrying people along highways with no stops.

     
    • mare 03:45 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      Montreal bus lines have *a lot* of stops. And a lot of drivers that don’t yield when busses depart from their stops or have to change lanes. Fortunately we don’t have a lot of people in wheelchairs that dare to take the bus, otherwise the average would be even lower.

      (The people I know in motorized wheelchairs don’t even bother to try busses anymore, having been too often left waiting in the cold by bus drivers that deemed the bus to be full. In all my years of bussing I’ve never seen any wheelchair in the bus, and very few in the metro. In Ottawa I see them very often.)

    • Kate 12:03 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      mare, I see wheelchair users on the bus now and then, and have not seen a driver deny access to any. And passengers mostly understand that when a wheelchair user comes aboard they need to vacate that area in front of the rear door. But, not surprisingly, you don’t see wheelchair users in wintertime.

    • Ephraim 20:45 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      They are better served by transport adapte. Anywhere you want to go, for a bus ticket. But you have to arrange days in advance, expect more time to do it and schedule long pauses for doctors, because it’s not like you can call and tell them you are done… it’s scheduled. So in the case of a doctor visit, you may need to schedule the return for 3 or 4 hours later and hope you are are done in time… or sit around and wait a long time for the driver.

    • Alison Cummins 15:02 on 2017-11-19 Permalink

      Ephraim,

      In what way is that ‘better served’?

      My understanding (as of a few years ago) was that Transport Adapté is strictly for jobs, school and medical appointments. If you want to visit a friend or go to a movie they won’t take you — or rather, as they are full up with regular commuters, if you want to go somewhere that isn’t on a regular hospital circuit they’re going to offer you something completely impractical. (Movie at 15h00? Okay, how about we pick you up to go there at 10h00 and then pick you up to go home at 16h00? Does that work for you? Remember to be ready 15 minutes in advance!) (And that’s what they offer you after you’ve spent two hours on the phone, first repeatedly dialing from 6h30 to try to get in the phone queue, then waiting for someone to pick up.)

      There was an attempt to address this by incorporating adapted taxis into the Transport Adapté system but I’m not sure how that has worked out.

      People who have mobility issues should not have to overcome more obstacles to get around than people without mobility issues.

      I’m really interested in the difference between wheelchair use of the transit systems in Ottawa and Montreal. Both have adapted transport, both have winter, both have a taxi chit system, both have kneeling buses. But in Ottawa wheelchairs on buses are far more common than they are here.

      Is it just that Montreal is so inaccessible generally that there’s not a lot of point in leaving the house?

    • Michael Black 16:26 on 2017-11-19 Permalink

      But since the taxis are part of it, it does work out. My mother used it a lot, and generally it was taxis. The buses were only when the trip coincided with others going the same way. The more regular trips tended to be to by the small buses, but that makes sense since they could plan it and others were going the same way.

      But I don’t know how well it works for constant use, like if someone is going to work or school. You do end up waiting, I would think that’s bother. It’s not flexible, you can’t decide to go somewhere at the last minute, or go somewhere other than the planned location on the return.

      One thing I think is that the people campaigning for better access on the metro and busses a younger, and probably more mobile (ie they have motorized wheelchairs or are able to walk but not long distances). Not having the freedom to go somewhere without preplanning may be more important to them. That contrasts with being much older and everything slowing down. My mother lost her independence when she stopped using the regular bus, but other things started sliding too, so it wasn’t just that getting to the bus stop and getting on and off the bus was too much effort.

      On the other hand, I don’t remember seeing her parents out of the house. Maybe when I was small, but never in their last six years knew of them going out. I’m sure some of that was because there was no easy way to get around.

      Michael

  • Kate 02:02 on 2017-11-16 Permalink | Reply  

    The World Anti-Doping Agency has resolved to keep its headquarters in Montreal until at least 2031.

     
  • Kate 17:46 on 2017-11-15 Permalink | Reply  

    A supervised injection site has opened too close to a school for parent comfort. They’re protesting.

     
    • Taylor 18:19 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      What’s remarkable here is the tacit admission of gentrification in the CTV article:

      “But parents at the nearby Marguerite Bourgeoys School said the area has become much more residential in recent years and believe Spectre would better serve its clients elsewhere.”

      Also demonstrates how out of touch the CTV people can be. The area hasn’t become more residential in the past ten years… it was always residential. It just now has more people living in it from a middle-class background.

      I suppose this means lower-income people don’t count as being residents.

      It’s revolting that these supposedly concerned parents would rather have addicts shooting up in alleyways, sharing needles and risking overdoses. The supervised injection site needs to be located close to where the addicts live, otherwise they won’t use it.

      Here’s another example of ‘head firmly up one’s own ass’:

      “We’d like to discuss with them the way to provide this new service but in safety conditions for everybody, for the users of drugs but also the residential people and the kids.”

      That’s what the supervised injection site is for; no kids allowed.

    • Douglas 18:23 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      I wouldn’t want my kids near people shooting up either. I once went to a McDonalds on a Sunday morning on the corner of Papineau and Ste Catherine. Drug addicts with needle holes in their arms were everywhere and a drug addict that just shot up was drooling over people waiting in line. THAT was a revolting thing to see.

    • Taylor 18:29 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      Douglas –

      Strike 1 – You went ot the McDonald’s on Saint Catherine and Papineau. Up your game man, you’re an adult. McDonald’s is for children with underdeveloped palates and low IQs.

      Strike 2 – Did you not read the article? The injection site isn’t inside the school FFS. It’s inside a separate building that isn’t even near the school. Also, buildings have these neat things called walls which are super difficult to see through. Supervised injection sites don’t advertise and the trained nurses and social workers who’ll be working there know enough to keep kids away.

      Have people in this city somehow confused a supervised injection site to treat drug addicts with a daycare that specializes in injecting children with heroin?

      Just because the president’s an idiot doesn’t mean the rest of us can just chuck common sense out the window.

    • Kate 18:39 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      Taylor: Yes, yes, yes!

    • Blork 19:08 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      I have no skin in this game, but I suspect the issue is that people are worried that the injection site will attract addicts to the area around the school. The issue isn’t the moment in which the injection takes place; it’s the addicts congregating in the neighbourhood and then stumbling around afterwards.

      I have no idea if the concern is valid. But I think it’s worth listening to people’s concerns even if you disagree with them.

      When the person on CTV said that the area is “more residential” that was probably a poor choice of words, but what was likely meant is that local parents feel the area has become less grim and scary than it was in the past. I.e., less stepping over addicts, fewer assaults on the street, fewer break-ins, fewer needles found on the sidewalk and in parks. So they’re worried that the injection site will bring those troubles back to the neighbourhood.

      Again, I have no idea if it will or won’t. But it seems like a valid concern that is better met with data and real-world examples of that not happening (if such example exist) than in simply beating them down because you think they’re wrong.

      What this conversation needs is clear information on whether or not that neighbourhood really has fewer addicts than it used to, and data on whether or not bringing addicts to a safe injection site has any affect on the neighbourhood.

      In other words, I’m pretty sure that safe injection sites work best and have the most positive effect when they are located where the problem exists. Can the people who approved the safe injection site show that this problem exists in that neighbourhood? (I mean now, not 10 years ago.)

    • Blork 19:19 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      To clarify: the question isn’t whether or not a safe injection site has an effect on a neighbourhood that has an addiction problem. The question is whether or not a safe injection site has an effect on a neighbourhood that does NOT have an addiction problem.

    • Montreal-UK 19:44 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      Taylor the addicts need to buy their drugs.These injection sites will pull in drug dealers, and the violence that follows. The addicts need to pay for their drugs, so prostitution and crime will rocket around the injection sites.
      Areas should be put aside in hospitals and drugs provided as part of drug rehab, if this is a path the state wishes to take for society. Not to penalize communities who are not vocal or politically connected to avoid these injection sites.

    • Kate 20:11 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      Montreal-UK, I cannot currently quote chapter and verse, but it’s known that addicts will not readily go to hospitals and are not all interested in full rehab programs. Supervised injection sites are meant to save lives, non-judgmentally, on the streets where the addicts are, for that reason.

    • Taylor 20:30 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      @Montreal-UK There is absolutely zero evidence that safe injection sites increase drug dealing, prostitution or any other type of crime in their vicinity.

      No drug dealer is going to move in to be closer to the supervised injection sites either.

      If I’m not mistaken there are additional penalties for dealing near schools in the first place.

      The simple fact is this: AIDS, Hep-C and drug overdoses > any inconvenience to an individual or the innocence of children.

    • DavidH 20:41 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      As tone-deaf as that article was, I don’t think it’s unfair to say that part of Ville-Marie/Centre-Sud is now more residential. There are a few hundred more residential units in that area than there were a decade ago. There are clearly more residents in the streets. ‘Residential’ is not a binary. The residential function occupies more of the space (and time) of the area than it used to, so in effect it is clearly more residential.

      We never have a problem saying an area is more commercial when there are more shops and restaurants popping up. Doesn’t mean there were none before.

      It doesn’t really matter who those new residents are IMHO. If they had built social housing instead of condos, parents would have similar concerns. (Would the media care as much about relaying their voice is another question.)

    • Ephraim 21:57 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      Actually, from my understanding safe injection sites are so worried about the publicity that they try to ensure that nothing happens outside that is visible to the public. They have to teach people to go inside and trust going inside. The police can help, by telling them to go inside where it is safe and that they are subject to arrest if they do it outside.

    • Douglas 00:59 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      Taylor

      Injections sites have walls, but junkies don’t live in those sites 24/7 and will congregate around the neighbourhood / location. Go to that McDonald’s on Sunday morning on Papineau and Ste Catherine and tell me that its good for the neighborhood.

      One of the junkies had a bleeding needle hole on his arm and he was half passed out harassing customers. You want to expose children to this?

    • Kate 01:40 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      Douglas, I can only quote Taylor:

      Strike 1 – You went to the McDonald’s on Saint Catherine and Papineau. Up your game man, you’re an adult. McDonald’s is for children with underdeveloped palates and low IQs.

      I would add: why not? Kids will see all kinds of stuff. City kids in particular. Ask anyone who grew up in town what they saw and how it made them come to understand the human condition. Look what happens when you eat too many Big Macs, kid.

    • Kevin 03:08 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      This location has been a needle exchange for many years.
      The same people will be going there.

    • Douglas 13:21 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      McDonalds hashbrowns are the best.

    • Josh 18:21 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      Holy classism!

    • Ephraim 20:58 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      Any restaurant in an area where drugs are used generally have blue lights in the bathroom, so the bathrooms can’t be used for injections anyway.

      As for McDonalds, it is one of the saddest places on earth. People with no place to go and parents plying children so they can go out for a good meal. I’ve never been to a happy McDonalds yet. And if you think that’s the seediest of them… you are WRONG… there are actually at least one or two that are worse. Don’t even go into the bathroom at the one on Ontario/Papineau and I once went into the Shell bathroom on Masson/Molson only to wonder about my last tetanus shot. Any place like that should actually have a blacklight in the bathroom to prevent it’s use for drugs.

      The difference between a needle exchange and a safe injection site are infinite. The problem with needle exchanges is that people then run to any damn corner to shoot up. Don’t want to be in any of the alleyways near duBullion and St-Catherine… night or day. The safe injection site provides a place to shoot up and keeps it away from the children.

      Now, if you want to get into the nitty gritty of this, the injection sites are just the tip of the iceberg. To clean out this mess we need actual clinics dispensing heroin. Not only is dispensing clean heroin actually work and helps some of them get off of it, it kills the illicit drug market (because free is so much cheaper), it provides clean drugs, counselling, etc. But it also stops the Fentanyl problem. Because who wants to worry about dying for that stuff when you can get pain killer for free. Read “Chasing the Scream” for more insight. Britain and Switzerland have both dispensed heroin with good results.

    • dhomas 23:36 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      It seems to me that safe injection sites won’t actually attract drug addicts, but service the ones that are already there. Better have them off the streets then in the alleyways shooting up, near children and schools, etc.

      Also, to Douglas’ point, if there were more safe infection sites, the would probably be less addicts in the streets and McDonald’s.

      These injection site only serve to prevent the loss of life. If I were more cynical, I would think that those protesting want to leave these addicts to their own devices and have the problem “sort itself out”. I.e. let those addicts die of overdose.

    • dhomas 18:18 on 2017-11-17 Permalink

      Ugh, just saw the typos in my post: infection = injection; the would probably = there would probably. That’s what I get for posting while on the bus!

  • Kate 17:41 on 2017-11-15 Permalink | Reply  

    Wednesday is the final day of the Bixi season. And it was a record season too.

     
  • Kate 11:57 on 2017-11-15 Permalink | Reply  

    Juste pour rire will continue next summer but with fewer gala shows while an alternative festival called the Festival du rire is already getting government support although, as CBC points out, it’s not too interested in the anglo side so far.

     
    • Ephraim 21:59 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      And the French part wasn’t nearly as big.

  • Kate 02:43 on 2017-11-15 Permalink | Reply  

    In the new year it will be illegal for stores to provide plastic shopping bags. Useful move, or is this just rearranging the deck chairs?

     
    • steph 03:25 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      I can’t be the only person who reuses them for cat litter. Guess we’ll have to buy them instead.

    • Kate 12:03 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      Me too. Pet stores sell rolls of bags for dog scooping but they’re not as convenient as I’d hoped: you need something big enough for the scooping tool.

    • ant6n 12:37 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      link doesn’t work for me…

    • Kate 12:54 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      Hit it again, ant6n. It’s the city’s own website and always a bit wonky.

    • Tim 15:33 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      I will be using the same number of plastic bags as the garbage chute in my building will not accommodate large garbage bags. Can anyone suggest where to buy grocery store style plastic bags?

    • Blork 15:37 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      Surely any store that sells garbage bags will sell the small “kitchen catcher” size bags.

    • Daisy 17:13 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      I think it’s perfectly fair that people buy bags when they need them. Hopefully this will reduce the number of bags littering our streets, stuck in trees, in the water, etc.

    • DavidH 20:47 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      Strange that the city is taking these actions concerning shopping bags but seems unconcerned about the publi-sac. Publi-sac bags constitute at least half of the bags I see littering every day.

    • ant6n 23:06 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      worked now

    • DeWolf 00:27 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      I’m in Hong Kong where there has been a levy on plastic bags since 2009 (roughly 10 Canadian cents). The difference is huge. This is not a crunchy granola kind of city, but now almost everyone brings their own bags, there is no more double-bagging waste and even if you do buy a plastic bag (which I do occasionally when my tote bags are full), they’re bigger and sturdier than the old free ones, which means they can be reused several times before heading into the recycling.

    • denpanosekai 02:29 on 2017-11-16 Permalink

      Wait, TVA has an article saying the ban may be repealed by Valerie Plante: http://www.tvanouvelles.ca/2017/11/15/le-bannissement-des-sacs-de-plastique-nest-plus-assure

  • Kate 02:25 on 2017-11-15 Permalink | Reply  

    A group of powerful unions wants a moratorium on the REM to allow for more public consultation and studies.

     
    • Faiz Imam 05:38 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      These are a significant subset of, (if not exactly the same as) the Trainsparence folks who have been strongly against the REM from day 1. Some of their points have some merit, and those overlap with what Ant6n’s focused on in the last 18 months, but a lot of it is pretty nonsensical.

      They want more research on the projects affects on wetlands, though this element has been analyzed pretty well. Some aspects have been changed to lessen it’s impacts, while others have been deemed worth the cost. I’m fine with re-fighting those debates, but I’m not clear on what additional research is needed, other than serving as a delaying tactic.

      They claim the project requires a lot of cement, which produces greenhouse gasses. which to me seems preposterous. Yes, it uses elevated structures to have an exclusive right of way. That’s what gives it high speed and performance. Getting rid of level crossings is something any project looking to improve transit would do. Not to mention, the level of concrete used is not significant compared to all the road projects we do, but in contrast to those comes with so many positives to make up for it.

      They claim the real cost of the project is not $6 billion, but $12 billion.

      They don’t lay out the math behind that in this article, but give as an example the fact that the Champlain bridge(paid for by the feds) was designed with 2 reserved lanes, which should be costed separately.

      If you want to talk about how the fees paid to CDPQ will impact future operating costs of the RTM, i’d love to have that discussion, but saying the construction cost of the system is double what they claim is disingenuous.

      They also fear that after the duration of the CDPQ contract, the Caisse could sell the system off to “private interests” which would lead to a privatization of public transit.

      As far as i’m aware, there is a clause in their contract that says that the government has a right of first refusal if the CDPQ ever wants to sell. They must first offer the system to the government, before any other parties can bid.

      My memory is a bit hazy on that one, I’d like to be shown wrong on that.

      But these guys have been using a mix of some good arguments, as well as some really boneheaded ones, for a year and a half now, and I really dislike them. They in particular seem to be tailoring their arguments to fight in favour of a mixed traffic Tram system called “Le Grand Virage” which has a host of issues of its own and really isn’t comparable to this.

    • ant6n 11:50 on 2017-11-15 Permalink

      One point regarding the Champlain bridge: the proportional cost of the transit corridor on the bridge should definitely be counted as a ‘cost’ of the REM. This is relevant because the REM will be privatized transit, where CDPQInfra will have 51% ownership of the line, and because they claim they will receive no subsidies. But they do receive a bunch of subsidies, meaning they’re paying much less than half of a project, with lots of creative accounting to somehow make them majority share holder forever.

      If you add up the cost of all the subsidies, like the Champlain bridge, and the value of existing infrastructure that will be given to CDPQInfra (we still don’t know how much they’ll pay), and further add in the transit investments made over the last ten years that will be undone by the REM, and further add all the direct/indirect financing CDPQInfra receives for the project that aren’t part of the 6billion equity investment (like the 512M$ gift from the ARTM, or unspecified land value capture amounts), then we’ll find all of these will add up to much more than the 6billion the Caisse is claiming for cost.

      One point regarding privatization: CDPQInfra is effectively a private entity, and the REM is already private. But it’s definitely not difficult to move the REM completely out of Quebec ownership, even if there is a right of first refusal. All they need to do is wait until some conservative/austerity government is in power, who won’t see the difference between privatized transit owned by one or another Quebec entity, and who won’t have 5B$ in change laying around. Once it’s sold once, the right of first refusal is gone, and it can be sold to anybody.

  • Kate 01:44 on 2017-11-15 Permalink | Reply  

    I don’t often link to a single tweeted photo, but I was struck by this one Peggy Curran posted yesterday showing the start of the demolition of the old Children’s Hospital.

     
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