Updates from November, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:40 on 2019-11-16 Permalink | Reply  

    A statue of Jesus Christ as a homeless man on a bench has been unveiled on the forecourt of St James United, a duplicate of a piece by an Ontario artist which is also installed, or to be installed, in other cities.

    • Kate 12:33 on 2019-11-16 Permalink | Reply  

      The Gazette says the STM has a current usable bus shortage because of a new software package on the maintenance side. I use the bus and haven’t noticed any issues except the inevitable sluggishness that comes with the start of snow season: my main issues with buses this year have been detours.

      This year, I haven’t even tried to keep track of the times I’ve found the bus stop I needed was cancelled (in one case, to a location at least 5 km from where I was standing, at 11 p.m.), or the times I was taken on a lengthy and unexpected detour (I’m looking at you, 55 south of de Castelnau).

      Drivers used to be adaptable and, on a detour, would let passengers off where they requested. Some literal-minded bureaucrat at the STM must have given orders that once a bus leaves its usual route, no stops are to be made at all until it rejoins the route. At least twice over the summer I felt like a captive in a bus that was dragging me to a location I didn’t want to go to, with the driver stubbornly refusing to stop even when there were perfectly safe bus stops along the detour. This doesn’t help anybody, and if it’s a policy – and from the mutterings of the drivers I gathered it is a policy – it’s not a useful one.

      And that has nothing to do with software. It has to do with human beings being boneheads.

      In extension to this, I would add: if the STM wanted to mitigate some of this problem, they could keep their website (and info available to apps) truly updated with the latest detours, whether for festivals or construction or anything else. It’s the 21st century, this should be feasible – but it isn’t, and you can’t find out in a timely way if your bus is going to pick you up and drop you off at the locations you expect. That’s got to be fixed.

      • Michael Black 12:40 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        My sister got stuck waiting for a bus on both Wednesday and Thursday evenings, close to an hour both days. Up at Marche Centrale. Some of it was too crowded buses, but this maintenance issue seems to apply.

      • Blork 13:00 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        Yeah, the re-routes. That’s part of the reason I was so pissed after that multi-line shutdown the other day. When I decided to abandon the Metro and try to catch a bus to the foot of the Jacques Cartier Bridge I was in Indigo Books. The Transit app told me there was an east-bound 15 less than a minute away, so I hustled through the store and came out on Ste-Catherine. Of course there’s no goddamn bus stop there, and I could see the bus coming just over a block away.

        So I started walking really fast to the next stop farther east. Bear in mind I have bad legs and bad knees so this was a painful operation. I quick-shuffled all way to Robert-B only to find the stop marked as not being in service and re-directing me to Robert-B and René-L, which is another 250 metres away. Of course I didn’t make it, and had that very frustrating experience of watching the bus that you’ve been half-running for 500 metres on painful neuropathic legs just drive on by because you were 30 seconds too late. The rest of the story is one of chaos and madness (the Transit app was no help at all, partly my fault for not learning its intricacies very well) and the rest is history.

      • Daniel 13:51 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        Yeah, I have a few times noticed the look of panic on visitors’ faces when the bus announces “détour en cours” and we start going off to god knows where. (And let’s leave aside for the moment the ones who don’t understand French, although in this case of course it wouldn’t help too much.)

        It’s a mess. There’s very often no way to know where the hell the bus will stop next. Couldn’t they at the very LEAST tape up signs on the bus tracing the new route? (If not on the bus stops as well). Apparently the answer is no. It’s very disappointing and very user-hostile. The less mobile you are, the more hostile it is. Although in this weather it’s hostile enough to most people…

      • John B 17:55 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        I’ve been on several busses recently, (including one today), where the fare box was out of operation. It’s happened enough that I was wondering if it is some wort of labour action by the maintenance workers.

      • Filp 18:12 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        I’ve noticed this too! On the 24 and 55 for a few days now.

      • Ant6n 18:23 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        It would also be nice if they announced at the last so stop that’s still on route and that after this one they’ll go off somewhere completely unexpected. On the 55 going to Chinatown recently, that would’ve meant a 2 min extra travel time, rather than the extra 10 minutes it ended up being.

      • Kate 10:27 on 2019-11-17 Permalink

        Ant6n: yes! Instead of going directly down to C-town the 55 has been going west for some distance and then getting stuck in traffic for five to ten minutes at least down Bleury. They really should announce, although I’ve noticed a tendency for drivers to say nothing and simply allow that mechanical voice to do the talking.

      • Meezly 15:53 on 2019-11-18 Permalink

        Early this week, two mornings in a row no show for the 35 Griffintown West at Place des Arts at 8:47am during critical morning rush hour time. So this article helps explain why.

    • Kate 11:27 on 2019-11-16 Permalink | Reply  

      If you’d asked me, I would’ve assumed Central Station was public property. Not so. A company owns it, can sell it off, and people can come up with schemes to profit by it as if it was just so much random square footage.

      • Jonathan 11:56 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        Imagine if the city was ambitious enough to use the droit de préemption to acquire this expensive piece of land and hand it over the the SHDM… Imagine a huge project with affordable, social and inclusive housing in the very heart of downtown. That would be an amazing thing for inclusive city planning.

      • Chris 12:17 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        I assumed CN owned it.

      • Ephraim 13:43 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        TSE: CUF.UN owns it, they own 334 buildings in total. Dividend is about 5%, with a price target of $15. That would bring the dividend down a bit. But REITs like this are pretty effecient at keeping value on commercial property and keeping it in good condition. They actually own Alexis Nihon Plaza and a few buildings in the area. They also own Rockland, Mail Champlain, Place Longueuil… well run. Makes me wonder why they haven’t been bought by an even bigger REIT, like RioCan or Smartcentres, both of which are at least double if not triple their size with higher yields… which suggests the exact problem with why they are seeking to maximize value on the space…. they aren’t making enough money from it.

      • Max 14:55 on 2019-11-17 Permalink

        Homburg owner the station for a while, per the wiki page:


        Those three blocks were envisaged as a real-estate development right from the beginning, so this latest scheme is just keeping up the tradition. Hopefully Cominar will find a way to do away with that horrid parking structure in the process.

    • Kate 11:21 on 2019-11-16 Permalink | Reply  

      I was trying to keep count, in the right column of this blog, of pedestrians killed in traffic this year, and had counted 15 incidents, but the mayor says 19 pedestrians have died, mostly older folks.

      She, or anyone, can vow to do better, but so long as one of the things our society values most is the right to be in a car and going as fast as we like without hindrance – there’s a reason for all those car commercials showing people driving fast on remote highways while a sexy male voice promises us freedom – it’s all for nothing.

      • Ephraim 13:52 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        One of the fastest ways to make this change is likely to sue on the liability insurance of the passenger car. Get a few judgement against the car insurance companies and they will pressure the government to make it safer or spend money on advertising to make it safer.

        The traditional car companies are all built on obsolescence. They don’t update the car’s computers, they don’t want to make them impossible to steal, they don’t want to make them easier to maintain… the whole chain of industry is built in. There is technology to make this safer… warning systems that can see people even when wearing black, blind spot detectors, radar, lidar, etc. But the traditional car manufacturers are entirely set in helping you get your car into the dump rather than making it safer to drive, harder to steal and extend it’s life. Insurance companies are in the same game… more expensive to insure a car that can be stolen… than a car that can’t be stolen, because it has 256-bit encryption on the “key” so it’s impossible to just jump star. And with all the mobile/cellular technology today… it’s pretty hard to hide a car… except of course, if you don’t put anything in to tell you where the car actually is and you sell it as an “add-on”.

      • qatzelok 14:31 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        Yesterday, within two hours of riding on very quiet roads, two different SUVs piloted by aggressive drivers zoomed by me on my bike within cms of my arm. I guess, because of snow-narrowed roads, their is an expectation that more peds and cyclists should simply die or stay home.

        I wonder what kind of James Bond app would help rid public spaces of that kind of murderous driving.

        Or should just all learn to live with poisoned public spaces (like most of us already have).

      • qatzelok 14:32 on 2019-11-16 Permalink


    • Kate 10:52 on 2019-11-16 Permalink | Reply  

      What was I saying about police being wiser not to engage in car chases?

      • Blork 12:49 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        It doesn’t sound like that was a car chase. More like “Oh hey, he’s over there. Let’s go over there too.”

      • Kate 19:34 on 2019-11-16 Permalink

        Doing a U-turn with the intention to “go over there” is the beginning of a car chase. In this case, it was stopped before it got started.

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