Updates from July, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 08:48 on 2019-07-06 Permalink | Reply  

    The question of Quebec’s new flood maps goes well beyond Montreal but laps up at its western shores. Many people are not happy with the possible consequences of having their homes and property placed in the conceptual grey zone of a flooding area. Whether the province is being realistic in the face of climate change hardly seems to be mentioned. Here’s the full official map.

    The St Lawrence has been unusually high since the spring, and the situation continues downriver.

    Update: Beaconsfield has asked to be taken off the map. If the mapping is done correctly, you can no more ask to be removed from a flood map than to be excused winter. A flood map should not be tweaked for political reasons, it should be simple fact that can’t be reasoned with. As the old commercial had it, you can’t fool Mother Nature.

    Another update: residents of Pierrefonds-Roxboro talk about how they worry about flooding every spring. I have one piece of advice for them: move to a less worrying location. Putting down roots next to the river – what a nice view! – is foolish, and you can’t expect the government to literally bail you out if experience shows that you’re now living with your feet in the water. Cut your losses and go.

    As this CBC piece on climate catastrophe says, “Dikes and levees that protect from flooding can encourage development in flood-prone areas by providing a false sense of security.”

    • John B 10:50 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

      From the CTV: “They could not say if people in zones now considered to be flood-prone would be able to lobby to change the new map zoning.” I hope not! A flood map should be science-based, not lobbying-based.

      That said, if the official map is to be believed, the “scientific” method for creating the map may have been to use the spray-paint tool in MS Paint to highlight water. The entire north end of Ile-des-Soeurs is shown as “at risk” even though eyeballing it when I’m there tells me it’s at an elevation of 30 – 50 feet above the river. The tops of the dikes of Verdun, (15-20 feet above the water), are all marked as “at risk” but the rest of Verdun isn’t. If water hits the top of the dikes I think pretty much all of Verdun will be under water.

    • Kate 12:20 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

      Don’t we have topo maps of the whole area, which could be cross-referenced with historical knowledge of water levels to generate a map with pretty solid predictive indicators?

    • John B 13:11 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

      I would expect so, but the maps may not be granular enough to capture features like the height of dikes. I bet Roberto Rocha or Ant6n could put together something pretty accurate over the weekend.

      Another interesting fact: according to the Radio-Canada article Sainte-Marthe, which just made it extremely clear to most of Canada why we should not be relying on dikes – has an exemption to allow them to build on flood plains.

    • Kate 13:15 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

      CBC says the mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion claims that areas obscured by cloud on aerial shots have led to inaccurate maps.

      Jesus, people, data! It can’t be that hard to generate maps in a more scientific way than letting some stagiaire play around in MS Paint.

    • Faiz Imam 15:51 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

      I have some experience with flood maps, and I have no idea what these are. Thats not at all how maps used for official public use are designed.

      Is this a map of a 20 years flood? a 50 year flood? a 200 year flood?

      For insurance purposes(which is the most important thing here) these are crap.

      Now, these are rendered in ArcGIS, so obviously they are built on some actual data, but I have no idea what.

    • Kate 08:19 on 2019-07-07 Permalink

      I looked back in the blog archives and found a link to this piece from last fall about plans to remap the flood zones, properly.

  • Kate 08:05 on 2019-07-06 Permalink | Reply  

    Variety interviews the jazz festival’s André Ménard as the 40th annual fest draws to a close.

    • Kate 08:00 on 2019-07-06 Permalink | Reply  

      There were complaints last year that road markings had been worn away in a lot of spots and not renewed after winter, so the city has promised to work faster this season and has acquired a pricey new truck to speed up the process.

      • Roman 09:23 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

        That is such bullshit. St. Henri has virtually no markings. Lots of dangerous areas. Lots of honking.

        What they need isn’t “faster” marking, but rather ones that stay longer. It’s completely unacceptable that these markings need to be re-applied every year. Not for a second I’ll believe that it’s weather or some other bullshit excuse. Markings on the highway stay way longer with way more traffic. It’s pure corruption. But what’s new?

      • mare 10:04 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

        @roman the road markings are ground off by the snow scrapers. A layer of crushed ice pushed over paint is a pretty good abrasive. This year it was even worse because we had so many freeze-thaw cycles. In my neighbourhood there are even many spots that have teeth marks in the concrete from snow removal trucks that took a bite.

        They should just stop removing snow from the roads in the winter. You still want to drive? Shovel it yourself. Or use skis or a sled. You live all the way in Boisbriand? Tant pis.

      • david100 13:48 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

        There were barely any street markings anywhere in the Montreal 10-15 years ago. I remember feeling somewhat bummed out when they started to come in.

      • david100 16:00 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

        Another one was overhead traffic lights. Never used to have those either, at least in most of the city, until ~10 years ago.

      • Roman 09:37 on 2019-07-07 Permalink


        Are you telling me there’s no snow or ice on the highways?

        Also US across the border somehow has magically better weather?

        It’s the story that these corrupt organizations want you to believe. That it’s weather related.

        Cmon we’ve been to space. Are you telling me there’s no paint that can withstand weather and snow removal?

        I just don’t buy it.

        Have you seen the testing paint strips on highways? Those last years and they are in direct contact with tires all day long, because they are perpendicular to traffic direction.

        The lane separation lines and much less in contact as you aren’t driving on them most of the time. And they last less than a year.

      • CE 11:10 on 2019-07-07 Permalink

        The way the city paints the lines is also very inefficient. They come one night and paint one side of a bike lane then a couple weeks later do the cross walk, then the stop lines, then the yellow line down the middle and maybe later this summer they’ll get around to the other side of the bike lane and the chevrons. Speaking of the bike chevrons, the fact that a lot aren’t painted on the lanes that go against traffic is very dangerous. Without those markings, many drivers think cyclists are riding against traffic and get aggressive. Some cyclists also don’t know that these are contra flow and ride the wrong way down them which causes issues when other cyclists are using them the right way. It’s a mess!

      • Kevin 15:28 on 2019-07-07 Permalink

        The paint sucks because it’s water-based. Everywhere across Canada that has stopped using oil based paint has discovered this problem.

        It’s even a problem in parts of British Columbia where it never snows and they never plow.

        Governments were trying to do the right thing by listening to lobby groups and using paint that supposedly had less environmental impact but they ended up causing more environmental damage because the paint has to be reapplied multiple times a year.

      • Roman 19:34 on 2019-07-08 Permalink

        That’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard. There’s so much data on paint strips. Every highway department in North America has this data. Why not just ask them. I’m sure they’ve tested every paint formula in existence.

        I’m sure they “listened” to lobby very carefully when they heard the bills crunch.

    • Kate 07:46 on 2019-07-06 Permalink | Reply  

      A city blue-collar worker died of a heart attack while making repairs at a municipal pool in Verdun. Nice detail, the city and borough lowered their flags in respect.

      • Kate 07:43 on 2019-07-06 Permalink | Reply  

        The city is planning four new pedestrian streets for next year. Although they’re none of them a bad idea, they’re all pretty minimal. The city’s no longer taking chances with whole passages of streets like La Gauchetière in Chinatown (an undeniable success) or Prince Arthur (a success for many years but in decline now for at least a decade).

        Rosemont borough unveiled the new Place Shamrock this week beside Jean-Talon market, although the Gazette needs to note that Lino Berri is still fighting the loss of a few parking spaces.

        • dwgs 08:24 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

          I walked through Prince Arthur with my 13 year old on Thursday late afternoon and it was actually pretty busy and pleasant, much better than I expected. He had never been there but he was impressed and was asking me about the street. Maybe there’s hope.

        • Kate 08:26 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

          Glad to hear it.

        • DeWolf 11:47 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

          I had the same impression as dwgs – now that the renovations have been completed for a year, the street really does seem livelier than before. A number of new businesses have opened over the past year including a nice coffee shop and a brewery.

        • Kate 12:20 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

          I must go have a look soon.

        • Jack 20:57 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

          Can people please ask Lino Berri why he is still at the market. He has been threatening to leave since 2006. Any time automobiles access to the market has been challenged he threatens to move….go. Blainville, Mascouche,Terrebonne….they need you…go!

        • ant6n 21:13 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

          I was originally pretty critical of Prince Arthur as well, but at least now during the summer it seems rather pleasant overall.

        • Kate 19:14 on 2019-07-07 Permalink

          I walked around there Sunday and although I didn’t take pictures, I made some observations. The two blocks closest to St-Laurent are still a bit bleak. Lots of concrete, no trees. But if you walk eastward it gets better, although there are still too many dead businesses to be ideal. The Caverne Grecque has been gone a long time but is still just locked up, and next door, which I seem to recall used to be Pizza Mella, is the same. Across from them, Sena, one of the few shoe shops I’ve actually liked, has also been gone a long time but there’s still a sign out and it’s empty and locked up.

          As you move towards Carré St-Louis there are fewer dead storefronts and there are trees as you get close to the square. The Casa Grecque, the last of the old Prince Arthur Greek restos, is still in operation there just before you get to Laval Street.

          Needs: More trees (will take time), something done about the empty storefronts close to St‑Laurent.

      • Kate 07:24 on 2019-07-06 Permalink | Reply  

        A man carried out a bomb threat near a small airline’s facilities at Trudeau Friday night, causing the evacuation of a couple of hangars but not the airport itself. The suspect was caught and will face charges.

        • Vazken 15:29 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

          I work around there, it was pretty wild, a bunch of cops showed up at 8pm, they blocked off the area until midnight and stayed until 5am. Around midnight, they finally started letting people pass from the businesses past air inuit but only through the Bombardier parking lot and only with a police escort.

      • Kate 07:19 on 2019-07-06 Permalink | Reply  

        Lots more Saturday about careless Jump bike users including the mayor saying she’ll withdraw Uber’s permit if the rules continue to be broken.

        • Ephraim 13:11 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

          Uber should warn people that if they need to intervene to move the bike to a legal spot, they will be charged $250. It’s amazing how big numbers seem to get people’s attention.

          Long term, I don’t think they are going to last. Especially if the police start handing out tickets for not wearing a helmet, recklessness and driving on sidewalks.

        • steph 13:43 on 2019-07-06 Permalink

          Even with all the potential revenue just waiting to be collected, they’ll going to enforce this as effectively as Uber and AirBnb.

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