Updates from November, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 08:28 on 2019-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Your weekend road closures from CTV and also from TVA. I’m noticing these days that there are often second road closure items put up for Sundays specifically, so I guess I will blog those too when I see them.

     
  • Kate 08:23 on 2019-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

    With the Deux-Montagnes line about to be shut down, employers in the couronne nord have been on a hiring blitz on the suburban train platform, enticing people with the appeal of working closer to home with little or no commute.

     
  • Kate 21:46 on 2019-11-28 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM has launched a new Twitter feed called stm_Bus in response to a hail of criticism recently.

     
  • Kate 21:28 on 2019-11-28 Permalink | Reply  

    After recent news that the city budget is up because of climbing costs and demands and the cost of building the new blue line stations will be higher than estimated, now the new Radio‑Canada building will take longer and cost more than initially intended, and there’s a backbeat of a Quebec initiative called Lab-École that was supposed to do innovative things for education, in Montreal and elsewhere in Quebec, which is costing rather more millions than planned.

     
  • Kate 13:36 on 2019-11-28 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s a new service – what’s the English for halte-chaleur? – to give homeless folks a place to warm up near the Quartier des spectacles.

    TVA also has a bit about students inventing a portable shelter for homeless folks. Thing is, they have reinvented the bivy sack. Mind you, theirs is cheaper than even the cheapest MEC model, but it’s a very old idea.

     
    • Myles 15:34 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      I’ve heard people say ‘warming station,’ which doesn’t have much of a ring to it.

    • Filp 17:38 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      The idea of those students is commendable, but I fear that the mass proliferation of those will just encourage tent cities to form. Is this really a good idea? When someone is encouraged to spend the night in a shelter, it offers them access to support services, which would otherwise not be visited voluntarily. Once tent cities form, that contact isn’t as frequent or easy, and they basically become a hot potato issue for the city, and the area is avoided by basically everyone. Sure, you can convince some residents to move over to a shelter. But what I’ve seen in Vancouver is that, once they form there is almost no housing acceptable for some of the residents, who want the freedom to do things on their own terms. Which, can’t really blame them. Shelters can be pretty rough places. But those residents are now out of the loop of social services. Where do you go from there?

    • Kate 17:49 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      Flip, you make the same argument I’ve seen against the idea of handing out sleeping bags and other means to make street life more tolerable. Here, all-weather tent cities have not been a thing (except for a few exceptionally hardy and antisocial folks who have camped in Viger Square) – it’s more that such things put people at risk of exposure on our coldest days and nights. It really is much safer to bring them inside than to equip them to stay out.

  • Kate 13:31 on 2019-11-28 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s having a public consultation about going zero-waste by 2030, with a stop at making sure 70% is recycled by 2025. A bylaw banning single-use plastic is coming next year.

    Montreal should be able to do it, but only if the rest of the world is on track with products redesigned to work this way. No city is an island – wait a sec… Even when a city is an island, it still imports food and other goods from everywhere else on the planet, and people can’t stop buying things they need (and largely won’t stop buying things they want) because they come in bottles, jars or plastic packaging.

     
    • Meezly 16:47 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      It seems at least parts of the world are on track. A number of countries have banned plastic bags, with the next step including other single use plastics. The EU recently approved a law to ban single-use items like straws, cotton balls, and cutlery which will go into effect in 2021. You’re right in that it’s a systemic problem where society has grown used to a disposable culture. But we have to start somewhere, even if it’s gradual steps towards a more zero waste society and a more circular economy. Local businesses should prepare themselves for the new bylaw, so hopefully it will have a ripple effect. A pet peeve of mine is the packaging of produces. My hope is that supermarkets will ban plastic wrap, then local producers will have to stop wrapping with plastic and/or use compostable options.

  • Kate 08:54 on 2019-11-28 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is hiring 45 more crossing guards to make more intersections safe for kids.

     
  • Kate 08:52 on 2019-11-28 Permalink | Reply  

    Continuing with his technique of getting into the media by carping at Projet, Lionel Perez now says he “fears” that the new city budget means neglect of the city streets. Does he suggest how the matter could be better managed? No, he never does, because he knows perfectly well that in the same situation he’d be constrained to do much the same, but he knows that if he keeps throwing mud, some will stick.

    I’ll say it again, I don’t envy the person who steps into those shoes and actually tries to lead Ensemble into the next election, because it has no positive program at all and doesn’t seem interested in building one. The only thing on their whiteboard is “Watch what Val Plante does and try to knock it down.”

     
    • Faiz Imam 09:20 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      At this point she seems like she’s doing alright. I was paying particular attention to the response to the recent budget, and there really was not any particular negative response or narrative. That bodes well.

      Hope the rest of her term goes as smooth.

    • Chris 11:08 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      Kate, not like it’s limited to Montreal. Federally, the liberals say “omg the cons will ban abortion”. In Ontario, they say “omg Ford will destroy everything”. It’s par for the course that they shit on their enemies with lies. All of them. Sadly.

    • Faiz Imam 11:47 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      um. an increasing number of Cons *are* pushing to ban abortion, by all reports more than there have been in decades.

      And doug ford is a disaster who has indeed destroyed many projects, programs and institutions.

      What are you even talking about Chris?

    • Kevin 11:49 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      We all know that Perez pissed in your cornflakes somehow, but to be fair, he was part of an administration that did have a plan to do a lot more roadwork, and he’s only pointing out what Projet acknowledged last year it was going to do: scale back https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/montreal-plans-to-scale-back-road-repairs-1.4178816

  • Kate 08:25 on 2019-11-28 Permalink | Reply  

    A man of 93 is in critical condition after getting hit by a car* Wednesday evening at Park and Prince Arthur. No indication here of rights or wrongs in the matter – police simply blame the weather conditions.

    Toula Drimonis has some cromulent remarks on this topic this week.

    Update: This Thursday evening article about pedestrian safety implies the man has died, although I don’t see any mention of his decease elsewhere.

    * For “hit by a car” please see this recent comment.

     
    • Michael 10:58 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      I was driving home in the bad weather last night and I have to say that the visibility was awful.

      A few things struck me:
      Some city lights (possibly new LED?) may reduce light pollution, which is great, but they don’t seem to light up the road at all. It looks like they create more light around the bulb itself rather than the ground. Then I realized that the newer car lights give off massive glares and don’t help either.
      Last, I had to honk like a madman at 2 different cars turning left while pedestrians were crossing. The first time the van did not see the ped and the poor woman ran for her life (this was on de Lorimier and Belanger) The second time the SUV stopped in the middle of the intersection when they finally saw the woman and stroller. Pure stress to be honest.

    • Chris 11:18 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      If the weather conditions are poor, it is the responsibility of the driver to adjust his behaviour to be even more careful: reduce speed, etc. Re: some of Michael’s examples: If you can’t see, don’t turn!!! Wait until you can see. Crawl through the intersection. Cars are deadly, and drivers need to start behaving as if they are operating a deadly tool (because they are) and not on some joyride like in a car commercial.

    • Tim S. 13:11 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      Does anybody know who is responsible for regulating car headlights? Is it a federal transport issue, or a SAAQ responsibility? Because like Michael I’ve noticed in the past couple of years that they’ve become really strong. For example, when I’m driving and facing an SUV or whatever at an intersection, I can’t see anything except the glare. Even if the SUV can see the pedestrian crossing in front of it, I can’t. That said, Chris is correct that it’s still the drivers’ responsibility to not charge into the unknown.

    • Kevin 15:17 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      @Tim S.
      It’s both.
      Transport Canada allowed brighter lights a few years ago, so cars designed for them are fine. The problem is people who just put in new bulbs without realizing the housing is not designed for the brighter bulb, and so everyone in front of them is blinded.

      Or they may just be a jerk with their high beams on.

    • Blork 15:44 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      I’m not so sure about that (people putting new bulbs in old housings). I think the problem is more wide-spread, which implies that a lot of cars are coming out of the factory like that. It’s particularly bad with taller vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks, where the vehicles headlights are as high or even higher than the eyeballs of drivers in a sedan or compact car.

      I get blinded by tall vehicles with super-bright lights on a regular basis, and I don’t think it’s just jerks with their high beams on.

    • jeather 15:57 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      Yeah, I get blinded by new cars which are, theoretically, designed for these brighter lights (also by being stuck at a weird angle in front of them at a red light). And SUVs and trucks are just disastrous, their lights are exactly at my eyeline in a small car. Trucks were always an issue, but there weren’t and aren’t so many of them, it’s the proliferation of SUVs that is the worst.

    • qatzelok 20:03 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      @Chris: “If the weather conditions are poor, it is the responsibility of the driver to adjust his behaviour to be even more careful: reduce speed, etc.”

      Unless he’s in a hurry, having a bad day. Today, I saw two drivers taking turns beeping horns and then passing one another in tight traffic on St. Patrick. I guess he didn’t get your memo.

      Perhaps being a good driver yourself simply isn’t enough, and we all need fewer drivers overall, and less space for them to drive in.

    • Spi 21:37 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      Sure it’s the drivers responsibility to adapt their driving when the conditions are poor, but there is a limit to what can be done. When it’s raining or the road is wet it creates this effect where you lose the “texture” and the sense of distance and contrast with the surroundings, “modern” headlights do nothing to help because all it does it create glare which makes things worse. In cities that don’t paint the roads with f@cking crayons, the dashed lines are reflective and help create a sense of depth.

  • Kate 23:07 on 2019-11-27 Permalink | Reply  

    REM excavation near the Black Rock, where the inscription clearly states that the remains of 6000 immigrants had been buried there, has found – whaddya know – some bodies. Note that the rock’s inscription also says “preserve from desecration” – which doesn’t include sending bones for analysis or grubbing up more in hopes of verifying what we already knew: a lot of people died and were buried in that area.

    I’m also curious who died and made this guy Fergus Keyes the point man for all the Irish in Montreal. “The REM informed him of the discovery on Monday morning… On Tuesday, he got a second call … [Keyes] heaped praise on REM officials for being sensitive to the community’s concerns about the sanctity of the site…” What? I mean, what? They just punched a hole through a burial ground and grubbed up some bodies but, oh, it’s OK, they called up Fergus Keyes and he gave them his blessing!

    I have relatives under that rock. Leave them the fuck alone.

     
    • Tim F 23:34 on 2019-11-27 Permalink

      Is this the same guy who was kvetching about naming the REM station for Bernard Landry? Because I was asking myself the same question.

    • Kevin 23:58 on 2019-11-27 Permalink

      For years, Fergus has led a group that has been pushing to create a park around the Black Rock. That’s why he gets called

  • Kate 21:58 on 2019-11-27 Permalink | Reply  

    The long legal saga of the would-be developer of Meadowbrook ended this week as the appeals court upheld a 2017 ruling that rejected a $44M lawsuit against Montreal.

     
  • Kate 13:59 on 2019-11-27 Permalink | Reply  

    The city still wants the $268,000 that Michael Applebaum received on his abrupt departure from his position as interim mayor in 2013. He maintains he has a right to it.

     
    • dwgs 17:18 on 2019-11-27 Permalink

      Grifters gonna grift.

  • Kate 13:43 on 2019-11-27 Permalink | Reply  

    This fall, archaeologists have been investigating a pipe kiln found under the Jacques-Cartier bridge. But its existence can’t have been a surprise. A couple of summers back I took an tour of the city’s archaeological storehouse, and one of the things we were shown was clay pipes similar to the ones shown. We were told how the eastern part of Old Montreal (as it’s called now) had several pipe producers. Clay pipes were cheap, so men would smoke them till they broke, then throw them away – often down latrines, where they’ve been found in considerable numbers during excavations.

     
  • Kate 13:35 on 2019-11-27 Permalink | Reply  

    The Anjou cult that’s in the government’s eye these days has refused to give up a list of its kids, demanded by the education ministry, basing this on freedom of religion and privacy laws.

     
    • Meezly 12:31 on 2019-11-28 Permalink

      Interesting. Was trying to read up on Mission L’Esprit-Saint and saw they had a measles outbreak a few years ago. You’d think that a health risk would be enough for the government to step in. I guess no one died. Perhaps the holy spirit is protecting them after all 😉

  • Kate 13:32 on 2019-11-27 Permalink | Reply  

    It seems almost inevitable that contracts being written for station designs along the blue line extension are coming in higher than originally expected.

     
    • Bill Binns 14:51 on 2019-11-27 Permalink

      And so it begins. The Laval stations set the bar pretty high for fantasy budgets and schedules but they are getting an early start on the bloat with this one. Really have to wonder where all these surprises are coming from since the Blue line extension was studied to death for over a decade.

      If I remember correctly, the Lavel extension more than tripled it’s budget and went three years over schedule. If that happens again, this may be the last extension to the metro ever.

    • Kate 21:59 on 2019-11-27 Permalink

      It’s bound to be so. Standards are so much higher now even than when this saga began. Safety standards, environmental standards, accessibility standards, it’s a different world even from when the initial blue line opened, let alone 1966.

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