Updates from May, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 12:00 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Police are seeking witnesses of an incident in which two men beat up a bus driver in Ville St‑Laurent. But this happened back in mid-February, which makes me wonder why they’ve waited till now to scout for evidence.

    • Ephraim 13:21 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      The police never like competition. 🙂

    • Ian 14:20 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Probably because in that neighbourhood people know not to talk to cops.

  • Kate 08:49 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s an interesting trio of stories: The working economy here is booming so “experts” are calling on the city to encourage downtown construction, especially high-rises. But this is already happening, with three promoters vying to build the highest residential building in the city. Meantime, on the Main, merchants are hanging out signs saying they’re hiring but nobody’s biting.

    But let’s not kid ourselves. Nobody is buying a downtown condo with the proceeds of a job in a storefront on the Main. That’s why nobody wants that work unless they can’t find anything else.

    • Chris 09:35 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      If those merchants aren’t getting any bites, then maybe the wage they are offering is too low.

    • walkerp 10:08 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Very worrying. Kate, you are pointing to the beginnings of the socio-economic trend that is ruining San Francisco. Service job salaries are too low for the cost of living, driven up by the internet economy and thus services start to go away and working people have to live farther and farther away, thus destroying diversity and culture.

    • CE 10:13 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Last year, my girlfriend worked for a small grocery store on St-Laurent while she was looking for work in her field. When she left, her manager kept calling her to come in for shifts because because she couldn’t find anyone to take her place. They paid minimum wage and both stores on either side had help wanted signs in their window. My girlfriend told her that she needed to raise wages if she wanted to get employees but she absolutely refused. This was for a job where the first requirement was trilingualism!

    • Ephraim 10:49 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      I’ve seen this elsewhere and we are seeing signs of it here… automation of certain service jobs. Today, almost everyone at McDonald’s works in the kitchen, there is usually just one person assigned to the cash as we put in our own orders on our phone or at a terminal. This has become necessity and in fact, McDonald’s has actually closed at least 2 branches for their inability to fill jobs even at minimum wage plus $1.75. PFK has also closed at least one branch.

      We see people at supermarkets who are balking at using the self-service machines for check-out. But they are going to become a fact of life as it’s impossible to fill the cashier jobs. No one wants those jobs. We are going to see things like supermarkets where you can scan your items with your phone and just walk out with your items. And the grocery pick-up thing is in it’s infancy….it will be faster and cheaper for a supermarket to not have a front-facing store, and to just fulfill the order and deliver it.

      And those food delivery services… we are already seeing ghost restaurants appear…. I first saw them talking about them in London, but I know they already have them in Calgary and in Montreal I’m seeing some restaurants that don’t do take-out actually using another name to sell items on some of the services.

      Times are changing. Also, we already know that many older people are moving into town from the suburbs because it’s walkable and services are close. They don’t need a car. Which gets more problematic as you get older… they aren’t looking for work, either.

    • Raymond Lutz 13:06 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      This January, we visited NYC (for the low hotel fares). On the ferry between Staten Island and Manhattan at rush hour (we made the round trip just for the pleasure of a it) I said to my three kids: “Look, those are tired working people, mostly of noticeable ethnicity. They have to endure long travel hours each day because they can’t afford to stay where they work, because the rent is too damn high…”. They were listening but none asked questions (they’re preteens).

      For some analysis: Class-Divided Cities – New York Edition.

    • Ian 14:31 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Anyone who has ever worked retail can tell you that it sucks. If you have no personal stake in the business, why bother? If they can get high-turnover students to work for them, that’s the best they can expect – especially since the neighbourhood has gentrified so far that working class people who might otherwise have seen working for a self-important grocer as a decent job had to leave the neighbourhood probably 25 years ago, or can just work at the Provigo closer to home for the same wages. It’s been a long time since you could rent a 3 and a half for $350 a month. Minimum wage if you are full time gets you $450 a week before taxes, and all these guys try to keep you just below full time so they don’t have to give you full time benefits. Try living around Charcuterie Hongroise on minimum wages, what a joke.

  • Kate 08:22 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    We’re running out of landfill sites near the city, so could Montreal go zéro déchet like the town described in Sweden? Are we ready to sort waste into seven different bags?

    • walkerp 10:08 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Hell yes! I will help my entire block do it. Time to grow up, east coasters.

    • Ephraim 10:50 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Well, the city will need to start installing collective bins.

    • Faiz Imam 14:49 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      A bunch of cities are starting up composting pickups, which if well done can make a huge difference. Most garbage most households produce is organic waste. 2nd most is recyclables.

      I have a compost bin in the yard and we recycle as much as possible, so we throw out one small grocery bag of garbage a week, sometimes not even one.

      Family of 3. our garbage mainly consists of meat products, styrofoam, coffee cups.

      If everyone is on the same page, and the alternatives are there, it really is not very hard.

  • Kate 08:19 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Notes on weekend traffic are dominated by the Tour de l’Île, with the evening tour taking place Friday and the daytime tour on Sunday. There are the usual other road closures around the Turcot and beyond.

    • Tim S. 08:40 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      I was a little sad to see that in my part of NDG they’re sending the tour down a side street instead of the main street. It’s always nice to have a traffic-free morning, and there’s a park that’s only really pleasant without traffic – for two years now I’ve been looking forward to hanging out there. On the other hand, they’re promising a month of construction, so I guess there’s that for traffic reduction.

    • Blork 12:00 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      JdeM article is classic; all blah blah blah without any maps nor links to maps. FFS!

    • Kate 12:10 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Rue Masson has a clear map of Tour la Nuit, which is mostly taking place in Rosemont this year. Here’s a PDF of that map.

      Here’s a PDF of Sunday’s ride.

    • Blork 12:12 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Yes, it’s not so hard to find a map if you dig around a bit. My point is just the lameness of a publication not bothering to add maps/links in their article on the topic.

  • Kate 08:00 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    I was looking at comments on my post on the Guy Street bridge incident from yesterday. The city supposedly put up a large warning sign (I don’t see it on Streetview) but every now and then a trucker still wedges a rig under there, stopping not only road traffic but also commuter trains while CP sends engineers out to inspect the bridge. So I was wondering: do truckers rely on GPS? Does GPS give out any information besides routing? Could GPSes be programmed to have the voice say “Turn down Guy Street but do not take this route if your vehicle is higher than 3.5 meters”?

    Of course, this would rely on truckers being aware of the height of their vehicles, but is this possible, or has it already been done and still falls down from time to time?

    • Chris 08:55 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      GPS only gives location and time, doesn’t give routing at all. You’re presumably referring to map apps like Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze, etc. Not sure if any of their databases have underpass height info, I’ve never noticed it.

    • Roman 09:25 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      The actual solution is so simple. Install another low hanging gate at the same height on both sides a few meters before on both sides. The trucks would hit that and stop.

    • John B 09:51 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      There are “Trucking GPSs,” (both apps and devices), where you enter the size & weight of your vehicle and it’ll find you a safe & legal route. The data required to do this, (info on low bridges, etc), is mostly controlled by one or two companies, and is generally pretty good. Also, most truck drivers, especially if they’re not renting the truck, are pretty aware of the size of their truck.

      However, some truckers also use Waze to avoid traffic, (there’s no good Waze-style nav that takes truck size/weight into account yet), and Waze isn’t aware of vehicle size & weight and the related restrictions.

    • Patrick 14:27 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      There was a story in La Presse the other day about 20-ton trucks traveling on Montreal highway connectors or other roads built for 5 tons max. Apparently there is no enforcement of the limit.

  • Kate 07:39 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Police have been offering jaywalkers a choice: pay a ticket, or go to a road safety class.

    • Etienne 08:01 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      I had to follow one of these road safety last year to avoid a bicycle ticket (breezes through empty intersection with stop)
      At the time i was happy not to have to pay, but I looking back I am annoyed that as peds and cyclists, where are ticketed for not « behaving » when our behaviour is 0.01% likely to cause any deaths.. (except maybe ours)

      Enforcement should be done ON MOTORISTS.

    • Kate 08:15 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      I know. I mean, it’s not like I don’t know I’m technically not supposed to cross on the red, but if there’s no traffic in any direction, I feel like a stooge just standing there.

    • Tim S. 08:46 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Everyone in Montreal behaves badly. For example, at intersections with pedestrian-only phases, pedestrians often cross on the car phases, which causes turning cars to be stuck in the intersection waiting for them to cross, meaning the cars are still there when the light changes and end up going through on the pedestrian phase.
      A few years ago I made of point of complaining frequently to the local police station about their lack of traffic enforcement, and realized that once they got to know me, they’d probably love nothing better than to catch me jaywalking and give me a lecture about how I’m no better myself. So ever since I have scrupulously obeyed all signals, often feeling like “a stooge” as Kate said. But be the change you want and all that.

    • Daniel 09:06 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Where to even begin with this…

      I do know I’d like to see some stats on how many motorists are sent for road safety training compared to cyclists and people on foot.

      It’s arguably commendable the authorities want to protect walkers from harm by better educating them, but really this is just a form of victim blaming.

      This approach is easier than having a greater focus on educating motorists and improving infrastructure to make crossings safer for people on foot. They’re just going for the sparse low hanging fruit here; It’s lazy.

      I could rant an essay on this topic!

    • Chris 09:16 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Tim, you’re right that everyone technically breaks many aspects of the highway code. But Etienne is also right that the consequences of these violations is vastly different.

      I too “be the change you want to see in the world” and as such I jaywalk when there’s no one else and it’s safe, I practice Idaho Stop, etc. Because the highway code should change to allow these things!

    • DeWolf 09:32 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Chris is right that the highway code needs to change to adapt to the realities of active transportation. Only once have I ever encountered someone in Montreal who came a full and complete stop on her bicycle at every stop sign. Needless to say everyone passed her when the had the chance. Most cyclists practice an Idaho stop (slow down, make sure the coast is clear, glide through) and for good reason. There are streets like St-Viateur that have stop signs every 150 metres. If a cyclist followed the law at every one of those they’d have no energy to continue cycling.

    • John B 09:54 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      > There are streets like St-Viateur that have stop signs every 150 metres.

      And that’s where the bike paths get put. See Maisonneuve vs. Sherbrooke. Cars get lights and a through route. Bikes get stop signs every few pedal strokes.

    • walkerp 10:10 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Having a six year-old child works wonders for improving your behaviour at lights and cross walks. 🙂 Both because you want to set the right example, but also because they will start calling you out on it immediately and consistently like a little policeperson right by your side.

    • Ian 13:30 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Haha indeed! This even backfired on my wife once, who inadvertantly taught our youngest daughter that it’s ok to jaywalk of there aren’t any cops… she meant if there isn’t any traffic, but children see things differently.

      @johnB there aren’t bike paths on St. V, just on the north-south streets. Saint V is a mess of car, pedestrian, bicycle, and delivery traffic.

      @deWolf, yes, I see bicyclists blazing through the stop signs on St. V every day, it is incredibly dangerous and a bad example for everyone. Give me a break on keeping up your steam, it’s one of the flattest roads around, people are just being impatient. I’ve seen people getting into all kinds of conundrums, but bicyclists ignoring stop signs are a real danger to themselves and others in this high traffic multipurpose area – just yesterday my kid’s crossing guard had to yell at a cyclist for ignoring their instructions to stop as we were walking home from her school, and I see cyclists ignoring the stop signals on school buses every single day, especially as in my neighbourhood there are school buses 6 days a week for the Hassidic kids.

      Mile End is a real mess, and cyclists thinking stop signs of all types are optional for them because they are somehow more righteous than cars, trucks, or pedestrians doesn’t help a bit. I’ve actually had more road raging bicyclists get up in my face when I call them out than car drivers – and I call out both regularly!

    • Chris 19:57 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Ian, define “blaze through stop signs”. Cyclists are well aware that they are the dead ones if they collide with a car. (Almost) never will a cyclist fly through an intersection blind, without looking first if they’re gonna get killed. Cyclists are higher up than motorists and see things motorists can’t. It’s like a car going 40 in a 30 zone, if they think they can do it reasonably safely (road width, visibility, etc.), they’ll do it despite knowing it’s illegal.

      I’m certainly not saying that cyclists are angelic, but I am saying they are no more scofflaw than motorists.

      Everyone should follow the golden rule: if it’s not your right of way, yield! But if no one else is in the intersection, then by all means jaywalk, Idaho stop, etc.

    • Ian 22:09 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      I mean just go through stops like they aren’t there, ignoring pedestrians. And yes, they really are worse about it than cars, including passing stopped school buses, ignoring crossing guards, et cetera. I’m guessing you don’t spend much time on Saint Viateur, Bernard, or Fairmount …or are seeing the world through a very partisan lens. This is my neighbourhood, I spend most of my time here on foot. Trust me that I don’t have any special love for non-pedestrians be they cars, trucks, bikes, scooters, segways (yes segways) or whatever.

    • Ian 22:14 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      Also worth noting I’ve never seen a motorist going the wrong way down my street with no lights at night, no hands, checking their cell phone. I saw three people do that on bikes over the last summer while I was sitting on my stoop. I call bullshit on bicyclists having some inherent sense of safety based on their vulnerability.

    • qatzelok 19:14 on 2019-06-01 Permalink

      Automobile drivers kill thousands of Canadians every year. When killers start moralizing, it’s time to close your ears. Cars are not camparable to bikes. Cars are like cigarettes, and bikes are like apples.

    • Ian 22:17 on 2019-06-01 Permalink

      As a pedestrian I’d say cars are like cigars and bikes are like cigarettes but whatever. Thanks for your well-=reasoned input as always.

  • Kate 07:34 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse has a few stories of extreme bedbug infestation: read at your peril.

    • Blork 12:11 on 2019-05-31 Permalink

      “Il y en avait jusque dans le jambon dans le réfrigérateur !”


  • Kate 07:29 on 2019-05-31 Permalink | Reply  

    A group of 15 people beat up a 17-year-old in a St-Michel park Thursday night. They fled when police showed up, leaving the young man unconscious, and there was only one arrest.

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