Updates from May, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:20 on 2019-05-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Good critical Jonathan Montpetit piece on CAQ denial of a link between racism and Bill 21. Here’s also the Concordia University statement on the bill.

    Update: Toula Drimonis also dissects the CAQ’s obstinacy on Cultmtl.

    • Kate 21:11 on 2019-05-27 Permalink | Reply  

      Mayor Plante announced the Réseau express vélo Monday – eventually to be a total of 184 km of separate bike lanes on major streets. Only 26 km will be built within the next two years. QMI immediately threw cold water on the plan with a headline saying some merchants expect to lose clientele.

      • Faiz Imam 23:20 on 2019-05-27 Permalink

        A lot of pretty huge changes planned here. I’m excited to see it done.

        The biggest one has to be St Denis going from 2 lanes each way to 1 lane each way.

        Seems like they are taking the pragmatic path and going with simple concrete blocks to start, and more permanent construction over the years as convenient.

        Great, the evidence is clear: painted lanes are much less effective at protecting riders, and even the simplest physical barrier does a dramatically better job.

        26km does not seem like a lot, but these are the key 26km that have been among the more politically radioactive and difficult, as well as being the needed backbone of the system.


      • walkerp 07:59 on 2019-05-28 Permalink

        Will it be a bike lane on each side or a two-way bike lane on one side?

      • Blork 08:45 on 2019-05-28 Permalink

        Great news for cyclists! But I doubt it will take much pressure off the Orange line, as Plante asserts. Certainly not on rainy days or in winter. But that shouldn’t distract from an otherwise good idea. (I just hate it when people set themselves up to be easily disputed.)

        Faiz Imam, where did you read that they will use concrete blocks? I’d like more details on that; sounds like it could be dangerous if not done right.

      • Kate 08:58 on 2019-05-28 Permalink

        Blork, I didn’t comment here because I’d already responded to one journalist’s tweet: “Nice, but… winter. Sardine class is worst on orange line in winter months. Majority of folks are not going to adopt winter cycling. Some can’t – age, disability – many won’t.”

      • jeather 09:11 on 2019-05-28 Permalink

        I’m sure they could have shared a less useful map for this. It would have been work but I think they could have done it.

      • Alex L 11:26 on 2019-05-28 Permalink

        Good, good news!

      • Kevin 13:36 on 2019-05-28 Permalink

        All the sketches show two lanes for cycling on one side of the street.

      • Faiz Imam 21:53 on 2019-05-28 Permalink

        Blork. I got it from Bartek. He works for Velo quebec and is one of the best people to follow on Twitter on the issues of mobility in Montreal, and in General.

        Specifically this:


        Looks like hes just summarizing the report, so it should all be in there.

      • Alex 09:34 on 2019-05-29 Permalink

        Two lanes for cycling on one side of the road is a real shame and doesn’t seem well thought out, if you look at the panic on drivers faces before they turn into the path of a cyclist in their blind spot on de Maisonneuve and Rachel, drivers having to pay attention to cyclists coming in both directions before turning as well as oncoming traffic is not going to make for a fun time for anyone on that road

      • Kate 12:16 on 2019-05-29 Permalink

        Alex, Marianne Giguère from city council is on CBC radio this noontime making exactly your point – the difficulty of streaming 2-way bike traffic across intersections.

      • Faiz Imam 16:33 on 2019-05-29 Permalink

        Alex, Kate. According to the tweet I linked to above, the St Denis plan is two massive (2.5m each) uni-directional paths on either side of the road. So that’s doing it the right way.

        I’m skimming their website and I can’t find the detailed designs, but I’m hoping they’ll make as many of them unidirectional as possible, though sometimes it gets complicated. Bi-directional paths are just much easier to integrate with the existing streets. But definitely less safe.

      • Blork 17:38 on 2019-05-29 Permalink

        I don’t have a solution to offer, but I just want to also state that bike paths like de Maisonneuve (two opposing lanes running together on one side of the road) really are very tricky.

        From the point of view of car drivers, there has always been the convention that when you are turning you only need to watch for on-coming traffic and crossing traffic. That’s already a lot to keep track of in some intersections. But with these bi-directional/one side bike lanes, the drivers also have to worry about traffic coming up alongside, going the same direction as they are.

        It’s not just a matter of “getting used to it.” The convention I describe above is an international standard that has been in place for a century, and it’s not just based on tradition, it’s based on logic. There are no places on earth * where cars need to think about alongside car traffic when they are turning. So this style not only breaks with tradition, universal driving training, and logic; it does all that with soft-bodied cyclists.

        There is no perfect solution, because the same problem exists if you put a cycle lane on either side of the road.

        ( * except maybe for some remote places where there are no road rules.)

      • Chris 08:47 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        Blork, I don’t see how anything you said means “It’s not just a matter of “getting used to it.””. Before automobiles existed, some could have said “there’s no roads on earth where buggy drivers need to look out for these motorcars blah blah blah”. So what? Things change, sometimes drastically. ‘tradition’ and ‘universal driving training’ can change too.

        That said, cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians all hate those Rachel/Maisonneuve style bike paths, so hopefully PM won’t be dumb enough to add more.

      • Joey 08:50 on 2019-05-30 Permalink

        Alex Norris was pretty defensive on FB when the re-designed bike path on Clark was criticized for being bi-directional. He basically hand-waved the (IMO valid) concerns by saying, IIRC, that the four-way stops at each intersections would sort things out (if someone has a better recollection of his defence, please feel free). Obviously this won’t cut it on a “bike autoroute” – some intersections, like Rache/St-Laurent, have dedicated lights for pedestrians, cyclists and cars, but we all know that Montrealers aren’t amazing at waiting their turn. If you’re going to build a bike highway, do it properly!

    • Kate 11:20 on 2019-05-27 Permalink | Reply  

      Aaron Derfel is doing a two-parter in the Gazette this week about the growing toleration of private clinics in an MUHC-owned building.

      • jeather 11:26 on 2019-05-27 Permalink

        I am not pro-private clinics but these are doctors who bill medicare (not patients directly) and give you the option to have blood tests done in a for-pay private clinic in the same building or on medicare in the hospital, which doesn’t feel like the end of medicare as we know it.

      • Su 08:41 on 2019-05-28 Permalink

      • jeather 09:15 on 2019-05-28 Permalink

        Aha, here’s the relevant issue:

        Dr. Estelle Ouellet, vice-president of the Médecins québécois pour le régime public, pointed out that the physicians who work at 5100 de Maisonneuve bill the provincial medicare board an average of 30 per cent more than they would in a hospital to cover their office and administrative expenses.

      • SMD 12:09 on 2019-05-28 Permalink

        Yup. Also:

        “The multiplication of these clinics is worrisome because the complaints commissioner and the users’ committee do not have jurisdiction over them,” said Pierre Hurteau, a longtime MUHC patient-rights advocate. Previously, Hurteau explained, if patients had issues with the quality of care or access to it, they could complain to the MUHC ombudsperson. Under the new arrangement, they no longer have that recourse.

      • jeather 12:54 on 2019-05-28 Permalink

        I guess but aren’t most people’s doctors lacking a dedicated ombudsperson? I’ve never looked into the complaints process.

      • Uatu 16:21 on 2019-05-28 Permalink

        Also note the sneaky, weaslly way they opened those clinics, especially the children’s one where parents were unaware that it was private and were charged for stuff that should’ve been free. I don’t know why there’s a new hospital when everything is moving into a new building. The MUHC management are a bunch of corrupt weasels who’ll violate the Canadian health act just to bail themselves out of their inept financial mismanagement. And we all pay for it in the end.

    • Kate 09:18 on 2019-05-27 Permalink | Reply  

      Weather prediction for the whole summer: rainy and cool. Those of us with northern European genes will feel right at home; everyone else, not so much.

      • Kate 08:50 on 2019-05-27 Permalink | Reply  

        Several tenants’ groups have written an open letter to Quebec about the damage being done to neighbourhoods and to the stock of rental housing by Airbnb.

        • Kate 08:20 on 2019-05-27 Permalink | Reply  

          The Journal is alleging that the city is fudging over a promise to give a minimum $15/hour wage to all its employees. Fact seems to be that most city workers make more than this anyway, except for seasonal workers in parks.

          • Kate 07:48 on 2019-05-27 Permalink | Reply  

            A man who was trying to stop a holdup in St-Michel was shot near bar-closing time and was taken to hospital. Sounds like the perpetrators got away but it’s not made clear whether they were successful in carrying out the intended restaurant robbery.

            The only other police blotter item I find Monday is tha shots were fired in Anjou Sunday evening, but nobody’s turned up as either victim or shooter.

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