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  • Kate 20:30 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM’s three-year dig on Bishop Street to put in a ventilation shaft for the metro is drawing to an end, but now the suffering merchants on the street are facing more construction because a developer is putting in a condo building on top of the site.

    • Kate 19:37 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

      Although opposition councillors are calling for Benoit Dorais to be sacked, Mayor Plante has the good sense to know this whole speeding ticket thing will blow over, and she’s sticking up for him. Allison Hanes also writes in Dorais’ defence, although the suburbanite bias of the paper shows in her coda: “Let he or she who has never exceeded 100 km/h on a highway cast the first stone.” Well, I never have, nor have several of my friends who haven’t driven either. But we’ll save the stones for other public figures.

      • Ant6n 10:06 on 2019-07-17 Permalink

        As for stones, remember that Prime Minister that promised electoral reform once a elected, but then after a year or two of commissions and hearings and having whittled the problem to a choice between two candidate electoral systems, decided, for the good of the country, in heavy personal responsibility, that it’s better for Canada if the chances of his own re-election are maximized, and thus scuttled the process and the promise (which is actually still up on the liberal website).

      • Blork 11:20 on 2019-07-17 Permalink

        I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. Highway 35 (where he was caught going 171) is not a regular highway. It is utterly hill-less, divided, and is ramrod straight for 10km, then does a wide 45-degree turn and runs ramrod straight for another hill-less, divided 8 km.

        I’m just saying this for context. He deserves the fine and the demerit points, and driving at such speeds is dangerous anywhere. But if you ARE going to drive 171, that is the highway where you are least likely to cause a problem.

        The only real risks are (a) if you encounter another vehicle going the same way as you and you pass them going 60 or 70 kph faster (dangerous AF); (b) if a deer or other animal bounds onto the highway causing you to lose control and go across the division and into the oncoming lanes; (c) a tire blowout or other mechanical problem that causes you to lose control and go across the divide and into the oncoming lanes.

        So yes there is risk, but it’s not QUITE the same as barreling along at 171 on highway 132 through Brossard or up the 15 to Saint-Sauveur.

      • Blork 11:21 on 2019-07-17 Permalink

      • Kate 11:22 on 2019-07-17 Permalink

        Indeed, Ant6n. But my fear for October is that by declining to vote Liberal because they are not perfect, we’ll bring in another gloomy Conservative era under Scheer, much like the Americans did by not voting for Hillary because she was flawed, and look what happened there.

        Blork, I did not know we had roads like that in Quebec.

      • ant6n 19:07 on 2019-07-17 Permalink

        @Kate I hope you note the irony in your strategic voting thoughts.

      • Kate 08:05 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        Explain the irony, ant6n?

      • Chris 09:01 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        “declining to vote Liberal” what a strange notion. Why should one default to voting for crap just because there is worse crap on offer?

      • ant6n 09:21 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        For example, say you actually want to vote Green. After electoral reform that wouldn’t be a problem, no vote is wasted! Now Trudeau broke the promise of electoral reform, and in order to avoid a conservative government, we may actually have to strategically vote Liberal, since a vote for green is a wasted vote and strengthens the populists.

        The Liberals are viewed as the lesser evil, and have to be voted for strategically in order to avoid the greater evil – this is a direct result of the Liberals not enacting electoral reform that would obviate the need for strategic voting.

        I for one wouldn’t reward the Liberals for disenfranchising progressives yet again.

      • Kate 09:39 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        Chris, for the reasons ant6n lays out. Who would you rather for PM, Trudeau or Scheer? Because no other choice has a hope in hell. Fracturing the anti-conservative vote simply gives more power to the Tories.

        Yes, in an ideal world with electoral reform this wouldn’t matter, or not as much, but let’s remember we don’t have it yet so it doesn’t make any sense to vote as if we do.

      • Ian 10:34 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        TBH I always vote NDP but given the fact that Singh wouldn’t be allowed to hold office in Quebec because of his religious practise, I’m pretty sure the NDP vote will be the lowest in QC that it has been in decades, pretty much guaranteeing a majority government for the Liberals or Conservatives based o riding distribution and the Liberals cancelling vote reform. While I dislike and distrust Trudeau and his disingenuous campaign-left-govern-right tactics, the spectre of Scheer running Canada for 5 days let alone an entire term is enough to make me choke back the bile that rises in my throat over the insincere cynicism of strategic voting, and vote for Trudeau. Frankly I think I’d be an idiot not to, especially since a majority government is almost certain.

        But back to Hanes’ apologia for Dorais, there’s a BIG difference between going with the flow of traffic at 110-130 like most people do on a 100kmh highway depending on weather and road conditions, and doing 170. I don’t care how good your vehicle or how straight the road is, that’s just dangerously cocky. I was in an accident with a friend who was so certain of her driving skill she thought it was no big deal to go 140 on a straight stretch just outside Ottawa, then we hit black ice, bounced back and forth across the highway a few times, and came to rest facing the wrong way in the fast lane. Thankfully she reversed onto the shoulder quickly & got the 4-ways on before anyone plowed into us. The only damage was to the car, and nobody got hurt. That’s at 140. At 170 you’d be lucky not to flip over the median and go airborne, quite likely seriously injuring yourself, your passengers, and any other drivers with the misfortune of being anywhere near your stupid self. 170 km/h is about 47 metres a second, or a bit over 200 metres stopping distance. Think about that.

      • thomas 11:39 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        Isn’t the problem with electoral reform that no one can agree on what should replace it? The Liberals proposed a ranked ballot which was rejected by the NDP and Conservatives as this would be too favourable to the Liberals. The NDP propose proportional rep. which was rejected by the Liberals and the Conservatives and the Conservatives prefer the present system. Further the consensus seems to be the electoral reform cannot happen without a referendum, but such a referendum is likely to fail. See the experience in B.C.

      • Ian 12:03 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        So if nobody can agree, we choose nothing? That’s not what government does.
        We got the GST and NAFTA without a referendum – granted, from the Conservatives – but all the Liberal governments that came after didn’t repeal them, including Chretien who had scrapping the GST as one of his electoral platforms, and if you recall he later claimed that he actually said he would “scrape” the GST. This is a classic Liberal move.

        If one of your core campaign platforms is electoral reform you sure as hell had better come through or expect to have your feet held to the fire over it. The ONLY reason the Liberals decided not to go through with it is that they had such a powerful majority against what looked like a very weak Conservative leadership campaign they figured it was worth the gamble to maintain the status quo for another electoral cycle, which has come back to haunt them.

      • thomas 12:21 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        During the election campaign Trudeau clearly expressed a preference for a ranked ballot system. So if the Liberals implemented a ranked ballot system as electoral reform, which would be very much to their advantage, you would be satisfied?

      • ant6n 13:10 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        The issue isn’t lack of consensus, it’s that politicians are deciding policy based on what’s best for them personally rather than best for the country (Liberals support instant run off voting, Conservatives support FPTP, both systems objectively fail in fair representation). Trudeau may have had a personal preference, but it’s pretty cynical that he shut down the promised _process_ once the outcome wasn’t going to be to his personal advantage.

        Actually, let me rephrase that — the problem really is that people accept that politicians decide policy based on what’s best for them personally. There’s a shitload of cynicism all around, and getting fucked over again and again is somehow normal to people here. Even further, every time it’s pointed out, a bunch of people come up and say stuff like “Oh come on Ant6n, it’s just naive to think that politicians should keep their promise, of course they’re selfish.” There’s so many apologists for the corruption and deepening rot of our democracy and institutions, I have no idea how Canada (and Quebec) are ever going to drag itself out of that muck (I guess as long as it’s not as bad as in the US, people will just sit and slowly boil).

        So yeah, I can’t really get myself worked up about a politician’s speeding ticket, as irresponsible as it may be on a personal level.

      • thomas 16:33 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        So when the NDP or Green argue for proportional representation they are also guilty of promoting policy that is biased to own personal interest?

      • Chris 17:28 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        Kate, I understand all that. But first, you don’t even get to vote for PM, only your MP. Second, any candidate *does* have a chance, as the orange wave showed, as long as people like you and Ian stop cynically voting for people that bring bile up your throats.

      • Ian 19:20 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        Do I need to be blunt? The difference between Jack Layton’s national support and Jagmeet Singh’s is that Quebec is racist and will not vote for him because he is not only not white, but a turban wearing Hindu. Quebec voted In CAQ on a majority, if you think Singh will gain seats outside of Montreal you are dreaming in technicolour. Leaving out the fact that even with the orange wave the NDP did not win, let us remember that if Quebec’s vote is split Liberal/ Conservative, that will determine the majority the rest of the country faces, depending on how the 905 region of Ontario votes. It’s been this way for many decades.

        Trudeau could have stopped this infernal Liberal/Conservative ping pong game but he got cocky, and is about to be hoisted on his own petard at the expense of all of us.

      • thomas 20:20 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

        Jagmeet Singh is Sikh not Hindu. Regardless, he is having trouble everywhere not just in Quebec. For example, the latest polling in Toronto has the Federal NDP at 12%. At those numbers they would be shut out.

      • Chris 14:46 on 2019-07-19 Permalink

        Ian, the NDP has historically not done well in Quebec. Singh is a return to normally low support, Layton and the orange wave was the anomoly. Singh’s funny hat is irrelevant.

    • Kate 19:33 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

      Tenants in Hampstead have been fighting the owner’s intention to demolish the two buildings they live in, and there was even a council vote against approving it Monday night, but it was instantly dismissed by the veto of mayor Bill Steinberg. Has anyone looked into whether he or any of his connections stand to profit from the new condos planned on the site? But he talks about tax revenue.

      • Kate 08:03 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

        Bixi’s experiment with electrically aided bikes seems to be over, as it’s leaving that category to Uber’s Jump. One Journal writer writes how he loves the red bikes.

        • Mr.Chinaski 09:37 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          There are some times where it is actually cheaper to rent a Car-2-go than a Uber Jump. Those prices are crazy high, you can ride a Bixi for a year compared to taking a Jump twice a day in a single week.

        • walkerp 10:36 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          How can you find out how much it costs?

        • Blork 10:50 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          The article say it’s 30 cents per minute.

        • walkerp 11:41 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          So 2 rides at 20 minutes each = $12.00 a day x 5 = $60 a week.

          Yes, that adds up. Mr. Chinaski does not exaggerate. I will continue to use pedal power to get up the hill.

        • DeWolf 12:04 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          I would love to see some information on who is using these bikes. My own completely unscientific observations suggest that there isn’t as much overlap between Jump and Bixi users as you might expect. I was in a restaurant the other day when a woman came in and told her friend, “I wanted to get an Uber bike to come here but there weren’t any around, so I had to drive.”

        • Blork 12:52 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          @DeWolf: I can tell you this much: AFAIK anyone who already uses the Uber app (and that’s just about everone under 40) is already signed up for Jump. And you only pay when you ride.

          Contrast that with Bixi, where you either need to go through a Byzantine sign-up process and pay an annual fee, or you go through a Byzantine pay-as-you-go process.

          So Jump is essentially instantly available to just about everyone, whereas Bixi is only available to those who have sat down and contemplated the blah blah blah of Bixi and have gone through the signup process (i.e., the “true believers” and whatnot).

          The key factor is ease of use for casual users. Jump nails it. Bixi does not.

          (BTW, I stand to be corrected on Bixi; this is based on me trying to use a Bixi once several years ago and giving up because it was too complicated, and then looking into a Bixi membership and giving up because I had to pay whether I was using it or not plus the variety of options and integrations left me with a massive WTF headache.)

        • Blork 13:04 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          A bit more on that: With Jump, your options are basically “do you want to ride this Jump bike? Yes or No.”

          With Bixi your options are along the lines of “Do you want a Bixi membership? Do you qualify for one of the group memberships on this long list? Do you want it for 30 days or a year? Do you want it integrated with your Opus card? (Opening a can of worms regarding how TF this might affect your Opus card…) Do you want it integrated with Communauto? If so, which flavour of Communauto? (Opening a can of worms regarding how this might affect your Communauto membership.) Do you want it integrated with both your Opus card and your Communauto membership? OK, here are a whole lot of fields to fill out, including your phone number (spam calls?) and your gender (why?). Oh wait, you just want to do this one-off trip without a membership? Here is an incomprehensible list of signup options and a whole lot of seemingly arbitrary rules about when it is and isn’t valid…”

          I don’t mean to knock Bixi, but the difference is pretty clear in terms of usability for casual users.

        • dwgs 13:11 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          Further to Blork’s questions, my son and a friend used Bixis to get home last month when they missed the last metro. He doesn’t have a credit card so he put them on his debit card. Bixi took $200 from his account (100 for each bike) which they held for 10 business days as security even though the bikes were placed properly in a station near us after a 25 minute ride.

        • Chris 13:30 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          Blork, presumably there was lots of blah blah to sign up for uber tho.

        • Ant6n 13:41 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          You can rent bixis using transit app, including sign up and paying for everything from single to annual pass.

        • walkerp 14:04 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          The annual Bixi account is pretty easy and the most economical and efficient option if you use it regularly. $94 bucks for the year, get a key add it to your keychain and you are good to go.

          Hardly byzantine.

          I’ve done 130 trips so far at an average of 14 minutes per trip (and that includes a month out of town). So that would have cost me $364 with Jump.

        • Blork 14:33 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          Chris: probably less, and with fewer options, and the main thing is that once you’re signed up that’s it, you’re done. And Uber sign-up already has “deep penetration” to use the marketing term, meaning there are already thousands of people signed up in Montreal. So for them, it’s a no-brainer to use Jump.

        • Blork 14:35 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          Ant6n, I knew you could find Bixis with the Transit app, but I didn’t know you could do the sign-up or pay-per-ride with it. Thanks for the tip; maybe I’ll finally ride a Bixi soon!

        • Blork 14:39 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          walkerp: yes, exactly: if you use it regularly. For people who just want to try it, or might use it for ten minutes a month, or don’t want to commit to a membership, it’s not so easy.

          I’m not saying Jump is better than Bixi. I’m only saying that there are no barriers to entry with Jump and there are with Bixi. I’m only talking about getting to that first ride.

          If I lived in a Bixi zone and didn’t have my own bike I would definitely be a Bixi user. But as it stands there are maybe two or three times a year where I think it would be handy. If I were already an Uber user, then I’d jump on a Jump because I’m already signed up.

        • Mr.Chinaski 15:07 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          Bixi isn’t byzantine anymore, it’s been like that for at least 2-3 years now. For a single ride, it takes about 5 seconds in the app to get a bike. You then get a 5-digit code, with a 30 seconds timer to input on any bike lock. It’s really as easy as 1-2-3

        • Blork 17:22 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          OK, that does make it simpler. But you need to have the app, which means you need to have thought about it and downloaded the app and have intentions to be a Bixi user. My WHOLE POINT is that the Uber app is practically a DEFAULT app for anybody under 40 — they all have it already — so there is no extra effort or even thought that needs to go into using a Jump.

        • Max 18:34 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          Blork: The Transit app also supports Bixi, and from what I’ve seen a *lot* of people use that app. Most STM users, I’d reckon. The integration is really smooth too. Of course you have to log in with your Bixi account credentials, but it’s one time only. When you want a bike it’s simply a matter of tapping on the station, tap ‘Get ride code’, beep-beep-beep-beep-boop on the bike stand, and off you go. You don’t even need to tote the key around anymore.

          For sure the UI at the ‘borne’ for occasional users could stand some improvement. I see a lot of tourists scratching their heads around those things. But if you have a Bixi account, they’ve made it a real breeze to use.

        • ant6n 20:43 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

          Transit App is the largest third party transit app in North America (i.e. only Google/Apple Maps are bigger). And u don’t need to sign in, just pay for whatever pass/ticket in the app.

        • Meezly 09:52 on 2019-07-18 Permalink

          I agree with Blork. BIXI is not user friendly for the occasional user. 2 years ago, if you were a Mtl resident, you could use your BIXI key for 24 hr membership for $5. But they removed that option and the BIXI key is only good for 30-day or more membership. I tried using my OPUS card but for whatever reason, you must de-activate your key in order to use your credit card. So annoying. This year, I sucked it up and got an annual membership, which is what BIXI is trying to encourage, but I feel like I’ve forced into it. Really, what’s missing for me the ability to use my BIXI key in a pay as you go manner.

      • Kate 07:26 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

        Some young guy who apparently didn’t know how to swim went for a dip in the river off Pointe‑aux‑Trembles on Monday. Onlookers saw him slip under the water and one even tried to help him, but eventually his body was fished out by firefighters.

        • Kate 07:23 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

          Quebec has hastily shuffled 30 towns off its latest flood maps and the mayor of Beaconsfield calls the CAQ incompetent.

          • Chris 13:37 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

            That CTV article is pretty devoid of information to decide if it’s the mayor or province that’s incompetent. ex: what does the science say?

          • Kate 12:50 on 2019-07-17 Permalink

            I don’t think there’s much science in it at all.

        • Kate 07:13 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

          La Presse alleges the city doesn’t know how many roads are blocked off at any given moment, because while it does know about its own roadwork sites, it doesn’t try to keep track of private construction sites affecting road access.

          • Alex 08:47 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

            Which is weird as you have to pay for an obstruction permit if you want to block a road with a construction vehicle..

          • Blork 09:17 on 2019-07-16 Permalink

            Probably not so weird considering the information likely isn’t centralized. You go pay for your permit and the info is written on a file somewhere and shoved into a file cabinet. If it even is computerized, it’s probably just shoved into a local file folder or maybe even a local database, but the data is probably not centralized.

          • Ian 11:17 on 2019-07-17 Permalink

            Also worth noting while even a city site may take up, for example, Hutchison between Laurier and Van Horne for a few months as we witnessed earlier this year, the entire street and intersections aren’t blocked up the entire time as the work shifts slowly down the street. That said it was changing so fast hour to hour google maps couldn’t keep up with it. There are other examples of sprawling construction Google maps can’t keep track of in town but as that is the one closest to where I live it is the first to spring to mind.

            If Google Maps, specializing in real time traffic directions doesn’t know what streets are blocked off I can 100% guarantee the city has no f’ing clue.

        • Kate 07:02 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

          An abandoned industrial building was consumed by fire Monday evening on Notre-Dame East

          • Ian 11:19 on 2019-07-17 Permalink

            How terrible, if only there was some kind of condo developer who could conveniently step in.

        • Kate 07:01 on 2019-07-16 Permalink | Reply  

          A cyclist was arrested Monday evening after apparently going berserk and breaking the windshield and several other windows on an STM bus near Place d’Armes. He’s facing charges, probably mischief and uttering threats.

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