Updates from August, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:45 on 2019-08-07 Permalink | Reply  

    L’actualité has a list of various points of interest in Montreal.

    • Kate 18:45 on 2019-08-07 Permalink | Reply  

      City council’s about to vote a little money to do studies on how to go about fixing up Place des Nations.

      (And then hand it over to Evenko?)

      • Kate 18:38 on 2019-08-07 Permalink | Reply  

        Urbania talks to two young women who work among the intravenous drug users of Centre-Sud.

        • Kate 18:30 on 2019-08-07 Permalink | Reply  

          Work will start this September to add elevators to Villa-Maria and Préfontaine stations.

          • Kate 12:11 on 2019-08-07 Permalink | Reply  

            The transport ministry is promising to fix road markings around the A‑440 exit where four people died in a fiery crash on Monday. TVA talks about whether the driver of the rig that triggered the incident was tired or distracted, and suggests psychological help for witnesses and survivors.

            Update: CTV says truckers have been calling attention to the danger for years, and that Monday’s was not the first fatal accident near that spot.

            • Bert 12:44 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              I live within 5km of where the accident happened, I am familiar with that interchange.

              The issue there is that the traffic often backs up from people trying to exit the 4440 to take the 15 N/S. For those going to 15S (the longest route getting off the 440W) there is often heavy traffic due to a bottleneck created by the cloverleaf interchange (440W-15S / 15S-4440). In the northerly direction, the service road entrance to the 15N is often blocked to well below the actual 440 and the access from the 440W service road to the 15N service road is backed up. It all backs up on to the 440W service road and the 440W itself. It is not uncommon to see the line back up to Industrielle or further.

              Trucks are banned from the left lane, so one car that abruptly slows / stops and a truck has little chance to react, particularly if there are cars in left lane. (train switch dilemma). Of course, with a car sandwiched between 2 trucks it’s possible if not plausible that the second truck was just not paying attention.

              What then happens i that by error or by malice people miss the tail-end of the line and try to cut in. So now we have a 2 lane off-ramp, on a lane highway. People in the left lane don’t slow or are not vigilant and may even try to cut in from the left lane. It’s a recipe for disaster, and that is what we got.

              The access from 15N to the service road, above Saint-Martin and below the 440 has a similar problem, but at that point the highway is 4 lanes wide (plus the off-ramp branch).

            • dwgs 20:28 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              Bert, I drove the 640 and took the ramp for the 15N less than half an hour before the accident on the 440 and it was very similar to what you described. It was my first time taking that route and I was shaking my head at the bad design. I had to cut in to the line but only because by the time my GPS told me to move over for the off ramp I was already more than halfway along the backup.

          • Kate 08:11 on 2019-08-07 Permalink | Reply  

            I can hear the editor behind this story and headline in the Journal: “Go find out something bad about the new Réseau Express Vélo thing, OK?” So building the REV in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve meant removing three places where disabled people could get out of vehicles. I’m not trying to minimize the impact of that and I hope the city will find a way to mitigate it, but the Journal will never find a good thing to say about a Projet initiative or about cycling infrastructure.

            • Bill Binns 10:01 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              I find it very interesting to see who wins when protected classes go up against each other. In this case the undefeated bicyclist faction wins against the disabled. If only we could engineer a conflict between the bicyclists and one of the equally undefeated religious accommodation groups. It would be the fight of the century but my money would be on Team Hat.

            • DeWolf 10:02 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              Is that really the “first section” of the REV? To my understanding none of the REV has been implemented yet. It looks more like a regular old cycle track, like the kind Montreal has been building for 30 years.

            • walkerp 10:08 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              It’s hilarious. Montreal is the worst city for accessibility. Adding bike paths is an opportunity to improve that and even if they do sacrifice some accessibility that is not the prime area where it needs to be improved. Every fricking hotel, restaurant and most metro stations and many places of business need major accessibility overhauls and these assholes go after the bike lanes. Classic.

            • CE 10:27 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              I rode this lane (after taking the ferry from the old port) the other day and it was quite nice. Interestingly, they focus on a tiny piece of the path built next to the sidewalk so it can connect to an existing bike path next to the highway. The rest of the new path goes along the old railroad ROW and does a pretty good job of not disrupting car traffic at all.

            • Ephraim 10:35 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              Every extra step a handicapped person has to take might mean excruciating pain… we keep on removing more and more of the handicapped spots without thought of adding others back.

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

            The detour offered to cyclists on a 1.5-km segment of the Lachine Canal is nine times longer than the regular route, involving a 13.5-km ride.

            • Joey 09:48 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              If only we had a municipal government that saw value in encouraging cycling as an alternative to car- and transit-based commuting, we wouldn’t have to rely on Parks Canada to design our bike paths.

            • Blork 16:13 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              The real story here is the stupidity of bureaucracy. Zero people will take that 13.5km detour. Instead, people will go down rue Senkus (as per the detour) then turn on to rue Cordner (which has a bike path) all the way to Dollard Ave, where the bike path runs out. From there they will either run the 880 meters back to the canal on Dollard — which is trafficky and maybe intimidating to some — or will cross Dollard to Bédard then take rue Clément back to the canal. (Clément does not have a bike path, but it’s a much calmer street.) That detour adds a bit less than 3 km to your ride, which is still a lot, but much better than 13!

              So yeah, the bureaucracy. Obviously someone was told to create a detour that must be 100% bike path. If that had sent people via Vermont, then that’s the detour that would be published, because the bureaucrat making the call has to fit within the requirements.

              Side note: the first 500 meters of the detour on Senkus (assuming you’re going from east to west) is not marked as bike path on Google Maps, but that street has recently been resurfaced and Google does show a bike path on Senkus starting at Cordner. I suspect the whole thing is bike pathed but Google hasn’t gotten the memo yet. Can anyone here confirm (or deny)?

            • qatzelok 18:18 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              The sidewalk on St Patrick works, though it’s not as safe at intersections as the bike path. Not appropriate for the thousands of young kids that bike the Lachine Canal, but okay for adult commuters and forewarned families with adult surveillance.

            • qatzelok 18:20 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              (The idiotic detour makes it look like Parks Canada is run out of a Mister Muffler in Moncton)

            • Kate 19:20 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              Blork, that reminds me of earlier this summer, the night of the Tour la nuit. It was past 11 and I was simply going home – not by bike – and went to get the 55 bus north at Sherbrooke. A detour notice on the bus stop told me the stop was cancelled for the whole evening and that the closest stop was at de Castelnau station.

              Which is 5 km away, a considerable hike at the end of a long day.

              The obvious thing would have been to direct northbound transit users to Sherbrooke metro, so it made me wonder, as in the case of this bike detour, whether the people administering it ever use the routes involved or know how they actually work, on the ground.

            • Chris 19:27 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              Kate, the difference with your analogy is that Tour la Nuit is a detour that lasts 12 hours or so, while this Lachine Canal one lasts a year. You expect less effort for the former, and for them to try harder for the latter. (Both suck of course.)

            • Kate 19:36 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              Yes, Chris, it’s not a perfect analogy, I never implied the difficulties were on the same scale. It’s that there’s a similar literal bone-headed bureaucratic thinking behind both.

            • Chris 22:11 on 2019-08-07 Permalink


            • Mitchell 07:17 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              I’ve done that detour twice now (fortunately, I’m on vacation, so I have time). On the one hand, it’s a pretty ride along the canal, then through the park. On the other hand, the path isn’t in great shape. I was afraid something was going to be jiggled loose on my bike. And it’s not a route I’d want to take as a daily commuter.

            • Kate 07:41 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              Mitchell, you make a good point. The detour tends to imply cyclists are just goofing around, but I know a lot of people use the canal path to commute downtown, normally. But nobody wants to add an additional 13 km to their commute – not at both ends of their working day, every day.

            • Blork 09:53 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              No kidding. 13km is my whole commute (13.5, actually) and that’s enough. A 13km detour would double my cycling commute and probably put me on a bus or some other means.

          • Kate 08:01 on 2019-08-07 Permalink | Reply  

            Public electric scooters will be arriving in town between now and the weekend.

            • Joey 08:08 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              I rode one earlier this summer in the U.S. It was kind of thrilling, possibly because I felt so unsteady. It did, however, reduce a 12-minute walk by about 70%.

              I am not sure this blog’s comment section is ready for the arrival of these things 😉

            • Chris 08:25 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              There’s starting to be more data coming out of the US and it seems most trips are indeed replacing walking, not driving. That’s disappointing, but it’s early still.

            • Michael Black 08:52 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              Again, the primary point of public transit should be for people who need it, getting rid of cars is only secondary.

              I don’t drive, I don’t take taxis, I don’t ask people for rides.

              If we get a little boost, that’s a good thing. Maybe it helps people going without cars.

              I would point out that I do take the bus every so often, figure that will become more common since I turn 60 in October. You can’t say “it doesn’t count”. I won’t drive, for whatever reasons, so my world is about making do with the other options.

              Someone in the past commented here, concerned that more transit users will make things unbearable. Not much worse tha a crowded bus, except it’s worse when it’s really hot. You have to consider that before you get everyone to move to public transit.


            • Bill Binns 09:40 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              This city is not even close to ready for the scooter apocalypse. What few rules exist for the bike baths are already being flaunted. I see full size electric motorcycles with registration tags on the bike paths and zooming through La Fontaine park every day. Wait until hordes of clueless tourists are trying to make their way up to Mount Royal from Old Montreal on a scooter capable of 50kmh or more. The drivers of these vehicles invade every possible space. They mix it up in traffic while completely ignoring every rule of the road, on sidewalks, through parks even indoors. I was in Portland last summer and witnessed all of the above first hand. I also rented one and they are wildly fun but even with the best intentions it was difficult to know where they were allowed and where they were not.

              I predict that if the city does nothing, electric vehicles will outnumber muscle powered bicycles on the bike paths within 2 years.

            • Joey 09:49 on 2019-08-07 Permalink


            • Mr.Chinaski 10:00 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              The more choice you have for the famous “first and last KM”, the better. I do not want to wait all the time at my bus station for the of-course-late bus line. If I can pay a buck or two so that a scooter can bring me to the nearest metro station, than the more the merrier.

              If they outnumber bikes, than so be it.

            • Bill Binns 10:06 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              @Mr. Chinaski – Well, it’s quite old fashioned but bipedal locomotion still works pretty well for that “first and last kilometer”. It’s not like you are going to carry a load of groceries on a scooter.

            • Faiz Imam 15:02 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              I see your fears Bill, but you forget that there is a salability issue here.

              These scooters don’t run off nothing. They need to be charged after every few hours of use, and the charging process is not very efficient due to the distributed nature of the service.

              It basically ends up being some people in cars that pass by, grab a bunch of scooters and take them to their house, or other private space, charge them back up and dump them outside to be used again.

              You can apparently make $5-$10 off each one, so plenty of people are ready to do it, but the logistics imposes a cap on how many scooters can be out there.

              Whatever it ends up being, its much less than Bixi can do if they electrify and add ebikes to their existing docks and network.

              Regardless, we should expect to see guys like this going around much more frequently: https://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2e190164-848a-11e8-ad57-41bbac1aa85d-1560×1164.jpg

            • Kate 19:13 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              Faiz Imam, wouldn’t doing this run up your Hydro bill? What do you really earn?

            • Chris 19:15 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              Faiz, they call those people “juicers”. Kate, yes, it costs you hydro, but you still profit, supposedly.

              Bill, your opinion reminds me of how people viewed automobiles in the early 20th century. Some reading for you: http://www.copenhagenize.com/2011/02/anti-automobile-age-and-what-we-can.html

            • mare 19:18 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              I was surprised that in the US, the average lifespan of a Lime or Bird scooter is less than a month. Of course there you don’t need a helmet or motor cycle license (who has those?) and don’t have to leave it on designated spots. No, you can just drop them anywhere you like, like a ditch, or your basement and then buy and install a hacked motherboard from China that disables the GPS so you ‘own’ it and can use it for free.


            • Faiz Imam 21:28 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              Kate, the batteries on these things are not very big. They are about 2-3 times the size of a typical laptop battery.

              I just did the math. At 300 watthours on a battery, and 6 cents to hydro Quebec per Kilowatthour each of them cost 2 cents to charge.

              And that’s not taking into account that some people have access to free power.

              “Juicers” can easily make $100 a day doing this, but since there is no barrier to entry, its apparently a very nasty, cut-throat situation with many people involved.

              Which takes us back to a previous conversation. We are already spending millions of dollars building charging stations for EV cars. Having public charging stations and vehicle storage for ebikes and scooters would be immensely helpful in keeping them from littering the street, as well as efficiently used.

              I can totally see taking up a parking spot or two to have “pens” where you can pump these vehicles, with plenty of standard power outlets to allow any brand or service to charge up.

            • Kate 21:53 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              Faiz Imam, what good is it going to do then if you have a crowd of people *in cars* constantly circulating looking to pick these things up?

            • Chris 22:24 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              What good is it going to do for who? For juicers, it’ll do the good of making a buck. For traffic, it may add more, if juicers outnumber people replacing a car trip.

              Bixi also has cars, trucks actually, that constantly move bixis around based on where there are too many bikes vs too few.

            • Faiz Imam 23:11 on 2019-08-07 Permalink

              From what i’ve read in other cities, the juicers don’t really add a traffic burden, many of them use other scooters or bikes to get around, and in most cities its not like there are hundreds of these people… yet.

              Should be pointed out that the smartphone app provides the exact location of all low battery scooters, so they tend to not drive randomly like taxis/ubers. So that’s a huge benefit. The job is basically a never ending geocaching treasure hunt.

              The real issue is that once they’ve charged up, they tend to dump all of the scooters on a convenient street corner where they get in everyone’s way.

              Only one way to find out I guess. But if we as a society come up with some basic rules to not store them in too stupid a fashion, it’ll probably be a net positive. Lets see how this goes.

            • Blork 10:02 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              This is a good reminder that many (most?) Silicon Valley “disruption” startups are NOT about making the world a better place, or all the rainbows and feels that they present publicly. No, they’re about getting people’s attention, selling snake oil in order to get lots of VC funding, and then maybe (*maybe*) pivoting towards something useful or revenue positive but only after they’ve left a trail of destruction. Actually, the pivot is “Plan B.” Plan A is to get acquired by a larger company, then run off with the money and start all over again.

            • Raymond Lutz 11:49 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              Blork, historiquement le capitalisme a traversé diverses phases (que je ne tenterai pas ici de définir, encore moins expliquer) mais ce que vous décrivez comme attitude (it’s not about making the world a better place… ie, fuck them, they’re loosers and *I* am super smart) n’est pas exclusif à notre époque ni aux seules startups… see movies like “The Big Short” or “Margin Call”.

            • Blork 12:50 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              Raymond Lutz; you are correct. But the Silicon Valley startups have a particular habit of targeting milennials, half-informed self-appointed new urbanists, and similar people who are gullible to any pitches that make it sound like buying in means you are part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

            • Blork 12:52 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              And FFS, any new urbanists who were offended by what I just posted, please read again. I didn’t say new urbanists are half-informed and self appointed. I said those who are half-informed about new urbanism and self-appoint themselves new urbanists beause they read two articles on BuzzFeed.

            • CE 12:54 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              Getting a little ahead of yourself there aren’t you Blork?

            • Blork 13:00 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              Yeah, it’s nipping it in the bud. A few recent dumbass scrapes on FB has me a bit jumpy about that.

              Dumbass things like:

              OP: Blah blah blah and the guy had a semi-automatic revolver!
              Me: It’s either a semi-automatic or a revolver. They’re two different things.
              OP: Typical NRA supporter response!

              Oh FFS!

            • Daniel 13:42 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              Hopefully not too off topic, a little video about the current status of e-scooters in London to provide a view from another city struggling with similar issues: https://youtu.be/y6EnrqvsyEs

            • js 14:16 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              Why don’t they just put electric wheelchairs out there for these people to zoom around in? In keeping with the targeted demographic they could make it even more attractive by attaching little televisions, microwave ovens, and mini-bars.

            • Raymond Lutz 14:46 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              Repo men vs Juicers! Let the fight begin!

            • Faiz Imam 15:49 on 2019-08-08 Permalink

              Great article Raymond, not sure where I stand in that fight.

              But it’s clear that the conflict here is not directly with the scooters themselves, but how they share space with other vehicles and bodies on the streets.

              It’s very similar to how cars were introduced a century ago. People just left them all over the place, and it created a lot of confusion until the auto supporters were able to take over.

              The key thing the scooters have going for them is that they are incredibly space efficient.

              If we can find a way to fit them on the streetscape they can only be a positive influence in transforming the city.

              One idea that comes to mind is that we should be able to report misplaced scooters. Take a picture, send in a report with a serial number, and the key is that whoever previously rented that scooter should be fined.

              It doesn’t have to be a big fine to change the behaviour of irresponsible users.

            • Kate 07:37 on 2019-08-09 Permalink

              CE, people are weird right now. A couple of days ago, on Twitter, and not connected with this blog, I corrected someone who said a man attacked a kid for not standing up for the American anthem. The story, as I pointed out, was that he had attacked the kid for not removing his hat. The person then verbally attacked me for defending the guy!

              I responded there was no reason to attack me, it was just a matter of factual detail, and the person actually apologized – twice. But people’s nerves are on edge. I can see why Blork pre-emptively defended himself.

            • CE 08:19 on 2019-08-09 Permalink

              This is why I’ve extracted myself from social media. I didn’t even engage that much but I could feel my stress levels go up for hours after using Facebook or Instagram. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be a regular Twitter user!

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