Updates from June, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:40 on 2019-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Disabled users are protesting that the water taxi between Pointe-aux-Trembles and the Old Port is not accessible to them.

    • Sprocket 20:50 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

      The water taxi? Really?

    • Kate 20:59 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

      Evidently. The little ferry they’re doing between RDP and the Old Port. If they can’t fix up a ramp or the like they’d be wise to shut it down.

    • Sammy 17:09 on 2019-06-23 Permalink

      Metro was inaccessible for most of its existence. Glad they didn’t think it was wise to shut down.

    • Michael Black 17:35 on 2019-06-23 Permalink

      And yet, disaffection in recent years have made the point about the Metro. They aren’t happy and think things should change faster.

      They may making a point with the water taxi, objecting because they can’t use it rather than because they want to. Activism copies in many ways, there is always a hardcore.


    • Uatu 18:57 on 2019-06-23 Permalink

      I think they’re really annoyed that they had requested accessibility a long time ago, but were repeatedly brushed off with “we’re working on it” and nothing was ultimately done. It’ll have to be addressed eventually as Quebec will be a demographic of old, immobile cranks in the next 10-20 yrs.

    • jeather 21:00 on 2019-06-23 Permalink

      So the argument with the metro was it was made during a different time, retrofitting is difficult and expensive, etc etc etc. And then — in a huge shock to presumably no one — NEW construction completely ignores accessibility concerns, when they could and should have been built in from the beginning (surely cheaper than retrofitting). Things aren’t going to be made accessible in our lifetime if people just ask nicely and keep waiting — you need to make a fuss and make it more expensive NOT to take it into account. Accessible design helps everyone.

    • mare 23:04 on 2019-06-23 Permalink

      I had a American friend visiting who has cerebral palsy. She still walks on crutches for short distances and inside, but had rented a mobility scooter to get around town. I walked with her a lot and was appalled how inaccessible Montreal is. Almost all cafes and shops have at least one step, and sometimes many. Some have installed a little ramp but they’re often too steep to be safely passed by a mobility scooter because they don’t do slow speeds very precise. For her to find a wheelchair accessible toilet was extremely hard, only some hotels had one. Even some Starbucks locations, according to her a beacon of accessibility in other Canadian cities, had toilets that where too small to reach with a wheelchair.

      Once we really wanted to have lunch somewhere, but couldn’t find any spot so she parked the scooter and climbed the stairs on crutches. It takes her two minutes per stair step so there was an angry line up inside the restaurant of people wanting to leave and outside of people wanted to go inside. People wanted to ‘help’ her to make her go faster but she shouted them down because it is really dangerous if she loses her balance. “You can wait a few minutes, I sometimes have to wait a lifetime before I can get in somewhere.”

      Shops are also often not accessible. Coming from a country where shops can’t even open when they’re not ADA compliant she felt very unwelcome. Canada needs a law like that.

      When returning from abroad, but even coming from a visit of Ottawa, it always surprises my how few people in wheelchairs I see on the streets of Montreal, but now I understand a bit better why. It’s not only the metro that’s only partly accessible, getting an adapted taxi is also very hard since they’re all busy with pre-booked trips. I guess disabled people all live in the burbs and shop at malls. Booking transport via paratransit is a joke. You have to book a few days in advance and often can’t get the timeslot you want because the vans are busy shuttling daily clients to and from their work. Having supper with friends? Forget it.

    • Kate 00:00 on 2019-06-24 Permalink

      In North American terms it’s an old city, and it’s never had the “benefit” of being partly bombed flat and having to rebuild. You’d close down most of the independent stores and corner deps if you enforced the kind of law you describe – only the wealthy chain stores could afford to make the required renovations and stay open.

      Some would say this is a reasonable tradeoff, I guess.

    • jeather 09:25 on 2019-06-24 Permalink

      Argue all you like about whether old stores and restaurants should be grandfathered in, perhaps until they renovate, but this is not a story about an old building being inaccessible, it’s about a new thing being built inaccessibly.

      And yes, Montreal is not good for accessibility. (Though people have noted that not making individual owners/tenants clean sidewalks but having it done by the city IS a big boon for accessibility.)

    • Kate 14:47 on 2019-06-24 Permalink

      Not really arguing, jeather. You’re quite right.

    • Ant6n 05:54 on 2019-06-25 Permalink

      BTW, Montreal built inaccessible metro stations as late as the eighties. That’s inexcusable.

  • Kate 19:20 on 2019-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Walking around today I noticed a 14 bus at a stop, and I guess the bus route too will be renamed 14 Atateken.

    • Kate 19:18 on 2019-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

      As mentioned previously, a driverless shuttle bus is now plying through streets between Maisonneuve market and the Olympic Park. And it’s free!

      • Blork 21:41 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

        No mention of whether or not it’s wheelchair accessible.

      • Kate 22:18 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

        Blork, the article didn’t say, but here’s a page from Transdev on their vehicles, which says “The shuttle is accessible to passengers with reduced mobility thanks to its low floor and access ramp.”

    • Kate 19:14 on 2019-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

      Centaur Theatre has sold its Griffintown set workshop to developers and the theatre company isn’t sure where it will go next.

      • Kate 19:11 on 2019-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

        The new big concrete plaza called Espace 67 will be inaugurated with a fête nationale show Sunday evening.

        • Kate 19:10 on 2019-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

          The new Verdun beach opened Saturday and proved quite popular under a sunny sky and warm but not scorching weather. There’s still work to be done to complete the site.

          • DeWolf 11:57 on 2019-06-23 Permalink

            I went by out of curiosity and it was indeed packed. People seemed to be having a great time, despite the occasional cloud of dust that blew over from the unfinished construction. The beach itself is very small but there’s a lot of nicely terraced lawns with views of the water, and it’s nice to have access to the river – although the water was very, very cold yesterday.

          • JaneyB 22:04 on 2019-06-23 Permalink

            I also dropped by. Totally packed with happy kids and people tanning and hanging out with friends. There’s a gentle ramp right to the shore for all the folks with wheels/strollers etc. It’s a great new addition to the neighbourhood esp since lots of Verduners are single parents, sans car or don’t have a ton of money to take the kids to Parc Jean-Drapeau. There really should be beaches in every borough with water access but this is a great start!

        • Kate 12:08 on 2019-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

          Firefighters used their pet assistance kit to revive a cat knocked out by smoke from a relatively minor fire on Beaubien this week. All their trucks have animal revival kits now.

          • Kate 10:56 on 2019-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

            Electric scooters will be turning up in town in a pilot project. Users will have to wear a helmet, though, which I suspect will limit their popularity.

            An important thing that may be overlooked: these things do not belong on bike paths, including ones like the Lachine Canal-side paths and the Olmsted Trail on Mount Royal. Police seem to be tolerant of folks on vehicles like these, which I spotted not long ago on the mountain. These paths and trails are really not for powered vehicles, though.

            The distinction is not “fossil fuel powered vehicles vs. others” it’s “humans and human-powered vehicles vs. powered vehicles”.

            • Blork 11:40 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

              Oh, but those scooters will be all over the bike paths, just like every other electric vehicle that has shown up in the past few years. The problem is they don’t belong on sidewalks, nor do they belong on the streets, so the bike path is the logical place from the POV of the rider.

              Scooter primer:

              The scooters like the one you photographed are “electric scooters” and they’re basically an electrified version of the standard 50cc gas-powered scooter. The only real difference is the power train (gas vs. electric) but the gas ones require a license plate and AFAIK a driver’s license (but not a motorcycle license). There is probably some designation WRT power levels and speed and whatnot that differentiates low powered ones from higher-powered “street” scooters.

              The slower sit-down scooters that you see seniors and handicapped people riding (3 or 4 wheels, with no need to balance them when stopped) are called “mobility scooters.” No license is required and they are definitely built for comfort, not speed.

              The small ones that look like a skateboard with a single pole and handlebar at the front are called kick scooters (even when they’re electric). Officially, in Quebec, they are called “low speed electric scooters” and there are definitely rules around their use. In English: https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/saaq/documents/pilot-projects/low-speed-electric-scooters/

              The ones that are a single wheel the size of a pizza with a pedal on either side are called “Airwheels” but that’s a brand name. Also sometimes called “self balancing unicycle.” I’ve been seeing a lot of those around, and they go quite fast. People often use them on the sidewalk, which seems dangerous AF as I don’t know how fast they can stop or deke around pedestrians. (https://airwheelunicycle.com/Airwheel-X3)

              There are also self-balancing one-wheeled skateboards showing up. Those also seem dangerous AF.

              I will admit that if I were 20 years old I’d be losing my mind wanting to try all these crazy electric vehicles, so I can’t really blame people for liking them. It’s too bad that a lot of riders are careless, irresponsible, and self-entitled, and they’ll ruin it for everyone. (That seems to be the theme of the 21st century so far, BTW.) Bones will be broken.

            • Chris 15:10 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

              The solution is simple: reallocate public roadway space away from cars towards active transportation. But there’s no will.

            • John B 17:08 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

              On Scooters vs. Bikes vs. other things, I used to be pretty hard in the “bike paths are for human-powered things” camp, but have softened. Most e-things that people are using to get around are alternatives to cars, so we need to find a way to welcome them into the city. For most of these scooters, e-bikes, air wheels, hover boards, etc, they go about the same speed as a bike, and take up about the same space as a bike, so we might as well all share bike paths.

              The “vehicles like these” Kate linked to are, I believe, classed as e-bikes, because the electric drive won’t go over 35km/h and there are pedals in there somewhere, (I think folded underneath). This is also an e-Bike, but the people using it are more likely to be professionals commuting to work than old dudes with keg bellies & no shirt, and for some reason we tolerate them more, (if we even notice them). I do think the people on the “vehicles like these” seem to be more oblivious to their surroundings, (I just passed one stopped in the middle of the bike path talking to his friends at the Verdun beach), but all of us on 2, (or 1), wheel can share the space.

            • Blork 19:12 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

              John B, the “vehicles like these” might be classified as an e-bike (personally I don’t think so) but nobody calls that an e-bike. E-bikes are exactly like your “this is also an e-bike” bike. The main difference is that absolutely nobody will go around pedaling that first type, but the second type is designed for pedalling — if you don’t pedal you don’t move; the motor provides “electric assist” not full-on drive.*

              The two vehicles have very different user types. E-bikes are rapidly growing in popularity; I see a bunch of them every day. They look like regular bikes, so it’s hard to tell if you’re not looking. My e-bike in particular looks like a regular bike; even the battery just looks like a water bottle if you don’t look closely.

              There are a number of different designs of e-scooters going around. There are the ones like “vehicles like these” that look like 50cc gas scooters, and there are smaller ones that look like a cross between a 1970s banana bike and a trail bike. I see a lot of Uber Eats delivery people using those downtown, and I see clusters of tourists riding them around on “electric scooter tours.”

              Note: a few e-bikes come with a “throttle mode” that lets you ride without pedaling but most do not; in fact, throttle mode is not legal in most of Europe and other places so most e-bike manufacturers don’t bother providing it.

            • Kevin 19:38 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

              If it goes more than 32 km an hour, you need a license plate and a driver’s license. That’s the law

            • Blork 21:50 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

              That’s correct. The vast majority of e-bikes (the type you pedal; actual “electric bicycles”) have an upper speed limit of around 28-29 km/hr after which the pedal assist conks out. You can go faster, but only under your own power, or gravity (I hit 37 going downhill on the Jacques-Cartier bridge the other day). They build this in because most places have such regulations, although the speed limit changes from place to place.

              Wikipedia article:

            • Chris 10:40 on 2019-06-23 Permalink

              I’ve always known these things as ‘mopeds’ not ‘scooters’.

            • Ephraim 18:15 on 2019-06-23 Permalink

              Interestingly enough… Minimum age for electric bike is 14. For those 14 to 17 driving an electric bike… You must have at least a driver’s licence bearing Class 6D authorizing you to operate a moped or scooter. Once you are 18, you don’t need a licence. And BIKE helmet is mandatory. Scooters also have mandatory BIKE helmets, not motorcycle helmets, but you have to be over 18.

              If you can do over 32km/h or over 500W, a MOTORCYCLE helmet is mandatory.

          • Kate 09:35 on 2019-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

            A writer for Forbes lays out the obstacles to the Tampa baseball team being shared with Montreal. A Radio-Canada writer is also dubious about the plan.

            • Kate 09:32 on 2019-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

              Noted environmentalist Steven Guilbeault will be running for the federal Liberals this fall in Laurier-Sainte-Marie. Presumably the party thinks this is candidate to wrest the riding back from the NDP‘s Hélène Laverdière, who displaced Gilles Duceppe in 2011 and hung on in 2015 despite a new challenge from Duceppe.

              • thomas 09:54 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

                Hélène Laverdière already announced she will not be a candidate in the next election.

              • Kate 10:54 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

                Thanks for the update, thomas. I’m planning to gather together a file on Montreal federal ridings, so that’s useful to know. Not too many new candidates have been named yet, though.

              • thomas 16:43 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

                FYI the NDP candidate in Laurier-Sainte-Marie is Nima Machouf (wife of Amir Khadir)

              • JaneyB 22:17 on 2019-06-23 Permalink

                That’s good news. Maybe he’ll be able to get some real fire into the Liberals’ environmental policy, provided they get in. I think their heart is in the right place but the pipeline problem and Harper’s petro-state economic legacy have us in quite a tight and tricky place.

            • Kate 09:21 on 2019-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

              Vice, which some may recall got its start as a free weekly paper in Montreal, has closed its Quebec office to focus more on Toronto. Global calls the initial Vice paper a Canadian magazine but originally it was a rag.

              • Marc 12:31 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

                Originally called the Voice of Montreal (until the Village Voice complained?) The first issue had NDG rap group Shades of Culture on the cover and was a newspaper style like the Mirror, Hour, Cult, etc. Vice was really ahead of it’s time, I see their influence, for better or for worse, everywhere in journalism now.

              • Kate 14:15 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

                Right, I had a faint memory of the Voice/Vice affair too.

              • Rafael 18:59 on 2019-06-22 Permalink

                Village Voice never complained about this paper’s name. That’s a known fabrication. The style was a direct copy of The Mirror, which was a direct copy of other “irreverent” publications before it. It’s now Rupert Murdoch’s toy to attempt to gain a foothold to a youth demographic.

              • Kate 09:25 on 2019-06-23 Permalink

                So why did the name get changed, Rafael?

              • Michael Black 09:36 on 2019-06-23 Permalink

                Maybe they just wanted to appear controversial, hence an imaginary spat with the Village Voice, which was underground to begin with but long a more mainstream compared to more recent “underground”.

                My real memory of Vice is they had a lot of near named photos and adds. A pure when I don’t remember contents being too interesting. All those American Apparel ads seem connected to the paper’s early days.


            • Kate 09:18 on 2019-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

              More on the terrible driving problems to be expected as the inbound Champlain lanes close forever, and what’s open and closed for the long weekend.

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