Updates from July, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:30 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Got to read this Twitter thread by Jonathan Montpetit on the recurring announcement of the blue line extension.

    Then there’s my timeline on the same topic.

    • david100 22:56 on 2019-07-04 Permalink

      I’m still just amazed that they’ve managed to get the cost up to 4.5 billion clams. That’s $775 million per km, which puts it among the most expensive on earth – and we’re not talking about digging under London or Paris. We’re talking the eastern Montreal badlands – ultra wide streets, super low property acquisition costs – and a government regulatory regime completely controlled by the province, that is, they can exempt the project from everything they want, including environmental review, lawsuits, the works.

      Quebec labor costs aren’t particularly high, materials aren’t any more expensive than in Europe, there’s no great difference in compliance costs.

      Does anyone know why this short extension should cost what it does?

    • Faiz Imam 23:24 on 2019-07-04 Permalink

      Early 2018 the STM publshed a detailed breakdown of their costs, and why various aspects are more expensive than the Laval extension.

      It actually has a lot of info, but it the end does not answer the question who costs are higher than elsewhere in the world.

      Still worth a read though: http://www.stm.info/sites/default/files/affairespubliques/Communiques/ap_ligne_bleue_briefing_23_avril_final.pdf

    • david 01:20 on 2019-07-05 Permalink

      Mm. That’s pretty unsatisfying.

  • Kate 21:19 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

    When the Turcot project was first floated, one of the few features people liked was a cycle and pedestrian bridge to link NDG and St-Henri. This disappeared from later recensions of the site, deleted as too expensive. The sketch is shown here a year ago when news came that the city was doing a feasibility study and the bridge idea seemed to be reviving. But now, community groups are afraid Quebec is letting the project drop again.

    • PO 11:14 on 2019-07-04 Permalink

      I don’t know much about anything like this, but I’m confident this won’t happen, even if the right authorities go as far as funding it, because the rail company that owns the tracks beneath it will never agree to whatever inconvenience its construction might introduce. Any request will be tossed in the shredder the moment it reaches their office.

      The only chance to make it happen was when the whole project was still being built, and the new rail lines weren’t being used yet. The equipment and construction infrastructure were there. Compared to whatever it would have cost to build it at the time, the cost will by necessity double or triple easily.

      Or maybe that was part of the plan. It’s easier to hand out bigger and pricier contracts when you have big public support and PM fighting for it. Could be they killed it at the time because they knew the brown envelopes would be heftier if they saved the project for later.

    • ant6n 14:40 on 2019-07-05 Permalink

      Bridges have been built over rail lines, it’s not impossible. I understand the issue near Dorval circle was that the province wanted to build pillars on railway land.

  • Kate 20:52 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Montreal East will be getting a new airplane fuel terminal, the first new thing in that part of town in awhile.

    • Kate 20:40 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

      The city’s going to demolish two burned-out buildings on St-Denis near Carré St-Louis because they’re dangerous yet the landlords have not responded to demands to act.

      • Ephraim 12:02 on 2019-07-04 Permalink

        The city takes too long with these things. Set it up that if it isn’t done, the step in, with a 20% management fee and then add it to the property tax. If it’s unpaid, auction off the property tax with a minimum bid of the property tax plus the work.

      • Ian 10:34 on 2019-07-05 Permalink

        This is actually pretty fast for them, these fires were just in the winter – remember how long it took to force the owners to do anything about the place right on the corner of Pins and St. Larry? YEARS. That was an Alex Norris project, he was putting pressure on the owners the whole time with little recourse – that the city is able to act as quickly as it has now is in no small part because of that particular struggle.

      • Ephraim 11:28 on 2019-07-05 Permalink

        The fires were March of 2018.

    • Kate 20:36 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

      Giuliana Fumagalli, elected first time as mayor of VSMPE in November 2017, was kicked out of the Projet Montréal caucus last summer. Now QMI claims they’ve seen the complaints made last year by eight borough workers, but this is not a new story and there’s enough noise from the opposition party in this article that it makes me wonder who provided the documents to QMI.

      I don’t know Ms. Fumagalli, and – as I said last year – my only response to her election was to be glad my borough was no longer under the unimaginative direction of Anie Samson. But this strikes me as shit-stirring for no very good reason.

      • Kate 20:27 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

        Nine pedestrians have been killed crossing the street on the island of Montreal in the first half of 2019.

        And we’ve only had six homicides.

        • JP 22:38 on 2019-07-03 Permalink

          That’s incredible…
          As a person who doesn’t drive and ends up walking a lot, I’m acutely aware that I’m literally risking my life at many of Montreal’s intersections. It may not contribute to a productive discussion, but drivers are extremely aggressive; also, many of the walking-person signals don’t last long enough, and I’m an able-bodied person.

        • qatzelok 08:01 on 2019-07-04 Permalink

          To see real danger, leave the city of Montreal and go off to small towns. Kids as young as 8 are forced to cross highway-level traffic boulevards alone. This happens in Kirkland, Laval, and virtually all small towns with commercial suburban strips.

          We let car companies design child-killing public spaces. And now seniors are dying iin record numbers…. crossing the street.

        • Jack 11:10 on 2019-07-04 Permalink

          i’ve mentioned that stat before and it will get worse. I have to cross Rene Levesque a couple of times a day and it literally means taking your life into a car or truck drivers hands, well one of them because they have to text.

        • Ephraim 12:03 on 2019-07-04 Permalink

          It’s not simply those killed, it’s also the accidents that land people in hospital.

        • Faiz Imam 18:04 on 2019-07-04 Permalink

          The only way to really stop this is for the Vision zero plans to actually have bite.We know what to do, and the plans are in the hands of the people with the power to do it.

          We are starting to push though the reductions in speed limits, and that will have concrete results, but its not enough on its own, not to mention each step is like putting teeth.

          At the end of the day, this is basic door to door politics. We have an administration that’s more inclined to push this stuff through than ever before, but we need citizens to give it social acceptability.

        • dwgs 07:58 on 2019-07-05 Permalink

          I’m gonna climb back on the horse and say it again, until the cops start enforcing traffic regulations things will not change. Every neighbourhood should have a couple of cars dedicated to enforcing moving violations. Set up at a corner for a few hours every day and ticket people who run red lights, make illegal turns etc. Ding a few pedestrians and cyclists for crossing against the lights just to keep it fair.

        • Ian 10:37 on 2019-07-05 Permalink

          What dwgs said – ESPECIALLY for big trucks. There is no reason we should have as many trucks in the city as we do. I’d like to see a full ban on any truck with more than 6 wheels in the city centre, and even then anything bigger than a cube van only under heavy restrictions as to what areas they can be in, i.e.; by permit ONLY.

      • Kate 20:22 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

        Police are investigating an incident last week in which a road construction worker allegedly sprayed tar on some kids who were playing near the work site in eastern Outremont. Not written in the text here, but shown, is that they were Hasidic kids.

        (Can I also note my enjoyment of the fact that one of the people interviewed is called Goldie Lax?)

        • Kate 19:53 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

          The man who stabbed priest Claude Grou on the altar at St Joseph’s Oratory in March has been declared not criminally responsible. Vlad Cristian Eremia was recognized to have serious mental problems and will be held at Pinel as long as necessary. Grou has fully recovered from the injury.

          • Kate 17:06 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

            Now I see why the earlier news was out about car equivalence: an official announcement will be made Thursday about federal money for extension of the blue line. CBC is specifying the $1.3 billion is expected to cover a third of the cost.

            Apropos of whether displacing 5000 cars is enough, or whatever: don’t forget that adding metro service to that part of town will have lots of other benefits, like making jobs and homes in the area more attractive. Over the years I’ve occasionally had a need to go to that part of town and it’s a pain to haul out there on the bus.

            • ant6n 22:43 on 2019-07-03 Permalink

              I guess elections are coming up.

          • Kate 12:44 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

            Extending the blue line five stations east to Anjou could get 5000 cars off the road every day.

            • ant6n 13:21 on 2019-07-03 Permalink

              So that’s what, like 1/4% of the cars in the metropolitan area?

            • Faiz Imam 13:38 on 2019-07-03 Permalink

              Yeah, talking in terms of cars replaced is a problematic lens to look at transit expansion. For example its expected that wayyy more trips will come from current bus users. That’s still huge, and will have 2nd order effects as those empty buses find new users elsewhere.

              Also it’s huge for local users and of course adds to the TOD discussion of earlier. A lot of the land around these new stations is of low density and has little value.

              I’m not surprised a car lens is how people like TVA would look, but while getting some cars off the road is good, but that can’t be the key measure of success. It’s the sort of thinking that ends with giant parking lots of cars that get filled by 7am.

            • Blork 13:46 on 2019-07-03 Permalink

              That would be nice but it sounds like the data is very iffy and raw and doesn’t account for the very real problem of saturation on the Orange line. So it will be great for people who live in RPP, St-Leonard, Anjou, etc. and who work in Park Ex, Outremont, Côte-des-neiges, etc., but it probably won’t help them if they work downtown or in Old Montreal.

              It’s not so useful to compare that 5000 cars with total car presence in the metropolitan area. What’s useful is to see what effect it will have on the roads between Anjou and Villeray. So that’s the 40, Jean-Talon, Bélanger, and Beaubien primarily, and to a lesser extent the south-bound streets like Pie-IX, St-Michel, Papineau, etc. Will removing 5000 cars a day from those roads have a noticeable effect? Probably a bit, but not huge. (Better than adding 5000 cars though…)

            • ant6n 14:27 on 2019-07-03 Permalink

              Everything that the province, city, or developers are doing is huuge and awesome and OMG!

            • Chris 08:41 on 2019-07-04 Permalink

              The 5000 cars removed will be replaced by 5000 other cars from farther afield. Network utilization doesn’t tend to go down. As roads empty, people from even farther suburbs will have a reasonable travel time and start driving. Road lanes should be simultaneously removed/repurposed as the blue line is extended.

            • Faiz Imam 18:13 on 2019-07-04 Permalink

              Blork, good point.

              More specifically, what I would hope for is that this line would make more reserved bus lanes politically palatable in that area. We know there is huge resistance to removing parking or driving lanes, but having metro stations acting as anchors for high performance bus lines tends to make disrupting driving less politically painful.

              And as I said above, there will be a LOT of empty bus seats that are currently used to get to St-Michel. Redistributing those to the new stations(or elsewhere) could be a really big deal.

              Chris, true to a point, but that is something that can be controlled by reducing driving lanes and parking. Also by the time the blue line actually happens, we might have a congestion pricing system.

              Induced demand is a strong argument, but I woudn’t want to use it to say we shouldn’t build more transit. It just means we need to make sure we are doing something about those secondary effects.

          • Kate 12:41 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

            We’re having the summer’s first heat wave till the weekend, with predicted temperatures soaring as high as 34° by Friday. Various public health warnings have been made. The city is poised to open swimming pools for extended hours and hand out water bottles to itinerants, among other efforts to cool people off, but it’s not clear whether those measures are in effect yet.

            • Kate 07:26 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

              The captain of that U.S. Navy warship has lost his job after the brand new USS Billings grazed a moored cargo ship, the Rosaire Desgagnés, on an attempt to leave the Port of Montreal. Now the American ship is stuck here for repairs. This account of the story says it’s mandatory for any ship leaving our port to take a river pilot aboard, but doesn’t say whether the Americans had complied.

              • Kate 07:22 on 2019-07-03 Permalink | Reply  

                TVA says that the promise of 175 social housing units at the Children’s Hospital redevelopment site may be about to go up in smoke. Quebec sold the site at a bargain price to a consortium of developers and the city changed the zoning to residential after a promise to include a community centre and social housing, but now the developer wants to pay the city off not to have to include them.

                • Chris 08:38 on 2019-07-03 Permalink


                • DeWolf 10:53 on 2019-07-03 Permalink

                  Another example of the Coderre administration relying on handshake deals rather than legal contracts. Coderre’s back-slapping mononcle schtick may have been charming to a lot of people but it was no way to run a city.

                • Ephraim 19:52 on 2019-07-03 Permalink

                  If it’s enough money, it can be used to better efficiency in other parts of the city than in the downtown core, when land is expensive.

                • qatzelok 19:59 on 2019-07-03 Permalink

                  Expensive land just mean higher density. Kicking normal people out of the central city (and moving them to Laval???) creates forms of poverty created by social isolation and transportation woes. Poor people need to be able to walk, and need to live commuting distance from their jobs.

                • qatzelok 20:00 on 2019-07-03 Permalink

                  I don’t know why some people think that being a selfish greedbag is “wise” or “efficient” in some way. Mass media damage, maybe?

                • Ephraim 20:10 on 2019-07-03 Permalink

                  How did other parts of the city end up being another city?

                  When 1500 sq feet of land goes for over $1 million dollars in the downtown core and 2200 sq feet in Rosemont goes for $400K, you can certainly see that you can provide more housing (therefore efficiency) in Rosemont. Do you want more social housing or less?

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