Updates from July, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 09:50 on 2019-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Tuesday we saw a report on how unhealthy it is for workers in the city’s recycling facility, where bacteria breed in the organic remnants in the materials they are sorting.

    Wednesday, Frantz Benjamin, MNA for the district, says he’s concerned the facility may be unhealthy for people nearby as well, and he wants tests made of the air quality around the place.

    There’s a certain irony here, because the facility is located at Papineau and the Met, where the air quality is never going to be exactly stellar. But if you add bacterial contamination on top of car exhaust, you might well end up with a nasty soup. Tests should be made.

    And if it’s bad? Maybe it’s time we separated our recycling, as people do in Europe. No reason paper, glass and metal should all be put out together. Maybe there should also be a campaign to get people to wash and rinse jars, bottles and cans before putting them out.

    • Ian 10:14 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

      Even in Ontario you are expected to separate your recycling, and wash it out. In Toronto you face fines if you don’t.

      Thing is, I see the recycling trucks on my street every week and they are just dumping the bags together in a regular compactor style garbage truck. I am pretty sure almost none of that is being recycled. When I worked on a recycling truck in Hamilton, Ontario, our trucks had separate compartments – only paper waste had a compactor.

      I called 311 last week because on my street the truck went over a speed bump too fast and spilled an insane amount of broken glass, enough to go from one edge of the street to the other – my street has 2 bike paths, parking, and a single lane for driving – that’s a lot of glass. If the glass is that crushed up, nobody is going to be sorting through it just wearing latex gloves as in the photo accompanying the first story there. Worker’s comp wouldn’t allow it even in a non-union facility.

    • Ian 10:22 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

      …also worth noting, when I worked on a recycling truck, we had a broom, dustpan, and pail on each truck – if you spilled anything you were expected to stop and go clean it up, unlike garbage and recycling workers here who are total cowboys and leave garbage everywhere in their wake.

    • EmilyG 10:27 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

      I seem to remember that recycling used to be required to be separated here in Montreal (or at least the Pierrefonds area?) This would’ve been around 1993 or so when the program was implemented and we had the little blue boxes.

    • Kate 10:44 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

      When the green plastic boxes first came in, in the Plateau, they had a divider. Paper went in one side, metal and glass on the other. But that was phased out ages ago. I still have the box and the loose divider somewhere.

    • Michael Black 10:58 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

      Outremont had door to door newspaper collection about 1978, and Westmount followed shortly after. As I recall someone like Tooker Gomberg took the initiative, so there was some distance from municipal services, but I can’t remember how much. Both initiatives counted on selling the newspapers to pay for truck rental and gas, and likely paying people to ride the trucks.

      I can’t remember when Westmount morphed into collecting more than newspapers,but likely when Montreal did, providing the infrastructure to deal with the other items.

      As I’ve said, Montreal started with those green bells in neighborhoods, you were expected to carry your recyc!ing to those, with sparate bells for newspapers, cans and bottles.

      Then door to door recycling began, I can’t remember if the bells showed that people were ready for recycling, or people demanded a simpler process.

      Certainly in Westmount you were supposed to separate things, and you were xpected to tie newspapers in bundles. That was the case when just newspaper was collected, and even after cans and bottles were added.

      At some point, you could recycle glossy paper, and they announced you didn’t need to separate things, but I can’t remember exact timeline.


    • walkerp 09:46 on 2019-08-01 Permalink

      Don’t even get me started. I suspect a big part of it is organized crime, but garbage collection here (and in the east coast in general) is just barbaric. The way it should work is that each household or buliding gets a single bin for each type of waste product (paper, plastic, glass, organics and landfill, etc.) and the size of those bins depend on the size of the building. If you go over, the amount in the bin, you have to buy special bags at a significant cost. The exception here is organics, where the bags would be free.

      The culture here at every level is still “the city should take it out of my sight and I shouldn’t have to do any work” and the third-world garbage operators have the same mentality “pick it up as fast as we can and get rid of it”. Things are slowly changing, but when you come back to Montreal from the west coast, frankly, it’s embarrassing to see how the city looks on garbage day (and for several days after as the detritus blows around and slowly gets cleaned up).

  • Kate 09:19 on 2019-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Greenpeace activists have installed artwork with a climate theme on the metal elements at Robert-Bourassa* and La Gauchetière.

    *I still have trouble with this one.

    • Benoit 09:45 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

      These metals elements have been abandoned for years. Originally there were colorful banners inside them, and they were illuminated at night. Good thing to see them being put to good use!

    • Ginger Baker 12:19 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

      yeah wait – what happened to them banners and what all? it was like a pastiche of elements from various world flags…

    • SMD 12:21 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

      That is some really nice artwork. A definite improvement.

    • CE 17:01 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

      I saw them this afternoon. They looked nice.

    • MarcG 07:52 on 2019-08-01 Permalink

      We’re going to have the most beautiful and aware extinction in the universe!

    • Ian 12:21 on 2019-08-02 Permalink

      Great, more manufactured crap that’s going to end up in a landfill. This is not a valuable action or PSA, everyone here is well aware of our impending death as a species. A few gaudy banners aren’t going to fix it.

  • Kate 09:16 on 2019-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

    The public health department says it hasn’t detected a bump in deaths due to the hot days we’ve had so far this summer.

    • Kate 08:57 on 2019-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

      Supporters of Jarry Park hope to stop a plan to put a roof on the park’s tennis stadium, which would make the park little more than a front lawn for a venue. Michel Lafleur, who heads Les Amis du Parc Jarry, says “We believe that the development of event facilities in a public park owned by taxpayers is a quality of life issue” and he’s right. There’s a petition against it.

      I can’t even pretend to be objective on this. That park is of inestimable value to both the Park Ex and Villeray sides of the track, where people mostly don’t have back yards of their own. The city shouldn’t be shilling out the park more than it already is.

      • JP 09:44 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

        Agreed. When we were kids, we lived in Parc Ex, and we often went over to Jarry Park in the spring and summer. It was nice to have a big park to take walks and play. I have so many memories from there. As you say, it’s important to have a park like that nearby for people who mostly live in apartments and don’t have backyards of their own. I actually do attend the tennis events at the Rogers Cup and enjoy it, but I do hope they don’t go ahead with the roof.

      • Joey 10:10 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

        I’m skeptical that the only thing keeping the tennis stadium from becoming a major event site (i.e., 10+ non-tennis events per year drawing 1000+ attendees) is the lack of a roof. Though I think I went to a show on the site about 20 years ago (it was held indoors), I can’t say I’ve seen more than a dozen ads for events not affiliated with the tennis tournament over the years. Hard to imagine Jarry Park becoming a bustling concert venue, roof or not. While it’s a huge waste of taxpayer money, I suspect the actual impact on the rest of the park will be basically nil – hardly turning it into “a front lawn for a venue.” Jarry Park might be the most vibrant space in Montreal; adding a roof to an existing adjacent tennis stadium won’t change that.

      • ProposMontreal 12:16 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

        I work in the event industry and I often have events in the insides practice portions of the stadium. So there is events and yes a roof would help. That being said I understand that a park like Jarry is more than an assets for the neighbourhood and should not be tempered with more than it is currently. I didn’t see sketches or plans yet for the roof so I’m wondering how a roof over an existing building will affect the park itself?

        I’m a bit bias since I would welcome a roof, but I’m open to change my mind.

      • Mr.Chinaski 22:40 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

        I went to see Bob Dylan there in 1997! Back then it was called Stade DuMaurier, and it was the live debut of Blind Willie McTell. My weirdest Dylan show.

      • CE 08:24 on 2019-08-01 Permalink

        Tennis Canada is saying they need the roof to make the tournament more profitable. If it’s such a good investment, why do they need the government to pay for it? I’m sure a bank or a wealthy tennis loving investor would love to put some money into a roof that’s so certain to provide a good return.

      • EmilyG 21:17 on 2019-08-01 Permalink

        Yeah. When I lived in Villeray, I’d call the park my backyard.

    • Kate 00:07 on 2019-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

      The first tracks for the REM were laid this week recently and it seems inevitable they’re near the Dix30.

      • MarcG 07:51 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

        In the video they say “a month and a half ago workers installed these rails, the first ones on the new REM electric train system” – I am confused.

      • Kate 08:40 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

        Item just says “recently” so it’s not clear.

    • Kate 00:05 on 2019-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

      Work on the heralded Place des Montréalaises is to begin next year.

      • Kate 00:03 on 2019-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

        The SPVM say they have written 75 tickets to people riding ebikes, including Jump bikes.

        • dwgs 07:03 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          Yesterday morning on the de Maisonneuve bike path I was about to pull out to pass someone (I had checked behind me a few seconds earlier, no other riders close) when a woman on a Jump bike (no helmet) passed me at top speed, no sound, no warning. I called out to her and told her that she should let people know when she was overtaking and she flashed me a peace sign. A few blocks later she pulled out and passed someone in front of me but stayed in the oncoming lane. Another woman coming the other way had to lock up her brakes and go to the kerb to avoid a head on collision. Jump biker didn’t apologize, just made a lame excuse and carried on. I gave her hell for the next block and pointed out that if she had such poor basic biking skills she definitely shouldn’t be riding at top speed on a Jump bike. She again wished me peace and told me I was uptight and I should relax.

        • Kate 09:24 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          See, this is why I don’t think powered vehicles should be on bike paths at all. It disrupts the flow.

        • meezly 09:52 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          I’m ok with pedal-assist bikes as long as they stay under 25 kph – it’s just the type of riders that use Jump bikes. I’ve been seeing a big increase of electric mopeds riders using bike lanes to save time. I had thought there was a by-law about that in 2014 (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=16&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjmqIS4pN_jAhXsm-AKHTRZDcgQFjAPegQIBBAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmontrealgazette.com%2Fnews%2Flocal-news%2Fmontreal-bike-paths-whos-allowed-on-whos-not&usg=AOvVaw0tTxXGrMOsmiUNzWtVkHfi). Whatever happened to that by-law? I see Velo Quebec is still pushing the city to ban electric motorized mopeds on bike paths as they can go up to 70 kph. Some dude in a suit on his moped was going at least 35 kph to pass cyclists on a bike lane. I would really like the SPVM to fine his ass.

        • Blork 10:09 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          This is why we can’t have nice things. There are too many stupid people who end up ruining it for everyone. Personally, I’m a big fan of pedal-assist ebikes. But they do have the potential to go fast; even if the pedal assist tops out at 25kph, some idiots on pedal assist bikes will go 25kph on hills where everyone else is struggling along at 15. Or they race along at 25 through congested bike lanes, just because they can.

          Personally, I think Jump bikes and similar “shared” electric vehicles should top out at about 17, because they are used by so many casual users who don’t really know how to control them. But that’s not going to happen, and the result will inevitably be some kind of crackdown that will affect everyone, including people who use these things safely.

        • Blork 10:19 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          Another thing: the Jump rider that dwgs describes is exactly the kind of reckless idiot who should be banned from using Bixis and Jumps and all of those vehicles. Nothing burns me more than when you call someone out for being reckless and dangerous and they tell you to “relax.” (I imagine this is what, proverbially, women feel like when men tell them they’re “overreacting.”)

          The worst part is that its just a matter of time before that woman blows through a stop sign at top speed and gets hit by a car going perpendicularly. She, and everyone else, will blame the car driver.

        • Ian 10:25 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          I can’t help but wonder if the speeding on these new rental electric bikes is an emergent property of the fact that you are charged by the minute.

        • Blork 11:19 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          Interesting point, but I think the stronger influence is simply the thrillz. (Seriously, if you’ve never ridden a pedal-assist bike, the first time you get on one it is loads of fun and a bit thrilliing.)

        • js 12:12 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          Pedal-assisted e-bike use should be restricted to the elderly and the disabled with mobility issues. All others should be shamed as the lazy weak-legged menaces that they are. Montreal isn’t San Francisco – it’s mostly flat, and legit Montrealers know how to avoid or mitigate hills by being intimately familiar with the city and choosing appropriate routes.

        • meezly 13:07 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          For over 15 years, I’ve been commuting to work on my human-powered bicycle, every year from March to December. I’m an able-bodied and competent enough cyclist, but not terribly athletic. The e-bike has been a game changer for me now that I’m older (not elderly yet), a parent and a non-motorized vehicle owner. A recent example: I was able to e-bike home (Plateau) from work (Griffintown) which involved two significant hills, pick up the kid from school, greet the babysitter at home, then e-bike back to Little Burgundy for a work function within a decent time, and without being in a hot, sweaty mess which would’ve required a clothing change had I used a regular bike. Do I feel ashamed? No. I have a green option of getting across the city in an efficient manner. I read that e-bikes are becoming a more popular choice for older women to get around – should they too be shamed into being lazy, weak-legged menaces? Electric assisted wheeling has really democratized transportation, so we should be open to any new modes that do not require fossil fuels. But the road & bike lane infrastructure and by-laws does need a big overhaul to meet these demands.

        • John B 13:29 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          This guy’s Twitter has brought me around to meezly’s point of view over the past year-ish. E-bikes are a green option for getting around that make it possible to live a full, but less sweaty, life in a city.

          Maybe in addition to a speed cap, we should cap the amount of boost power. For example, if e-bikes were capped at 100 watts of assistance, or 25km/h, (whichever happens first), it would prevent, (or at least reduce the potential for), abuse, while still letting people get around easily. It’s pretty complicated and I’m not sure how enforceable it would be, though.

        • Ephraim 13:35 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          Blork…. that’s how I feel when a bicycle whizzes by me on the sidewalk. Even more so, when I used to have to walk with a cane.

        • Blork 13:58 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          “Pedal-assisted e-bike use should be restricted to the elderly and the disabled with mobility issues. All others should be shamed as the lazy weak-legged menaces that they are.”

          That is literally the stupidest comment I’ve seen on this blog in months.

        • dwgs 14:40 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          To be clear, I have nothing against e-bikes, they are a great boon to some. My beef is with self centred idiots who believe that the sun shines out of their collective ass. Ride / walk / drive with an awareness of the other people around you.

        • Blork 16:01 on 2019-07-31 Permalink


        • Chris 21:23 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          js, I couldn’t disagree more. You shouldn’t be comparing Jump riders to cyclists, but to motorists. Motorists are way lazier, right? So if we can get motorists to switch to ebikes, so much the better. A Jump bike requires *way* less energy to both make and operate. They should be encouraged. For these same reasons, we should *not* limit their speed. If it’s ok for cars to go 50 kph, then it’s ok for Jump. There’s no requirement for Jumps to be on bikeways, they can use the road too, just like cyclists. We probably should have a max speed on bikeways though, regardless of bike type. We should change the highway code to allow (at least fast) bikes to “take the lane” and to ride side-by-side.

        • Ant6n 22:07 on 2019-07-31 Permalink

          I feel like in Europe all E-bikes top out at 25kph. Everything above that is a motorbike. Those kind of E-bikes can be very effective, they double or triple most people’s effective radius for commuting, meaning many more car trips could be replaced.

          There should simply be regulation that says that an electric assist bicycle (up to 25kph) is a bicycle, everything above is a motorcycle.

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