Updates from December, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 14:01 on 2019-12-11 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette says 22 pedestrians have died in traffic so far this year, two elderly victims having died since their news broke. But not a single charge has been laid against any of the drivers.

    • Jack 17:37 on 2019-12-11 Permalink

      Wow editor must have been on vacation. Very rarely will that perspective make a newspaper filled with SUV ads. Thanks Allison Haines.

    • qatzelok 18:20 on 2019-12-11 Permalink

      The more pedestrians that vehicles kill, the more vehicles people will buy. It’s win-win for car companies and the many wealthy regimes they sponsor.

    • Tim S. 09:38 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

      A rare follow-up article that explains what happens after journalists write “the police are investigating” and then lose interest. Good for her.

    • dwgs 10:51 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

      Ok qatz, even for you that’s a pretty strange association to make.

    • Joey 10:54 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

      Almost four years now since Concepción Cortacans was killed crossing Parc avenue. I’m surprised/disappointed that Projet Mtl has not done anything to reduce speed on that stretch, which is effectively a highway when not too congested. Traffic calming has value not just on Luc Ferrandez’s block!

    • jeather 15:46 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

      I actually agree with q. here. If you see that lots of people are killed being hit by SUVs, you’re going to be less interested in being a pedestrian inasmuch as you can choose not to be one, and if you get a car, you’re going to want to be in a nice safe (for the driver) SUV instead of something that is safer for pedestrians.

    • Tim S. 16:09 on 2019-12-12 Permalink

      Jeather: exactly. My preference is that we regulate the things (require special driving licenses, extra fees, outright bans, actually enforce existing laws, whatever) but if nothing’s done by the time I need to buy a new vehicle (hopefully a few years out) then yeah, I’d look at buying something that doesn’t make me prey, basically. This is absolutely the opposite of what Q (and I) want, but it’s the logical outcome. I guess I have to think hard in the meantime about how to push for those changes instead of just writing internet comments…

    • Chris 10:44 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      dwgs another example of how qatzelok is correct: children used to walk/bike to school, now they rarely do. Why? When asked, parents answer: safety from cars. So instead parents *drive* their kids to school in yet more cars. A classic feedback loop.

    • dwgs 11:35 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      Chris, can you cite sources for that statement?

    • Blork 12:35 on 2019-12-13 Permalink

      @dwgs, I can’t cite sources now, but I did some research into the phenomenon of parents driving their kids to school a dozen or so years ago (U.S. context) and there was data to back it up. However, it wasn’t fear of cars, it was fear of kidnapping, bullying, and other hazards that the parents didn’t want to expose their kids to. The irony (as I pointed out in the article I wrote) is that the risk of children being hurt or dying while riding in a car by far exceeded the risk of kidnapping.

  • Kate 13:48 on 2019-12-11 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s a bright noon hour as I post this, but there are snow squall warnings on the weather sites and we’re expecting winter weather to return in force by the end of the conventional workday.

    • Kate 13:45 on 2019-12-11 Permalink | Reply  

      A month ago, a woman and a child died in a fire in Lachine, and now the little girl who survived the fire has also died. The fire was investigated as a possible arson but determined not to be criminal.

      • Kate 13:43 on 2019-12-11 Permalink | Reply  

        A woman and two children were found dead in a house in Pointe-aux-Trembles on Wednesday. TVA has some more disturbing details: cops found the bodies only because they were going to the house to inform someone about the death of a man who threw himself off a hospital roof in Joliette. The item adds that he wasn’t a patient there and had no connection with the place.

        • Kate 08:59 on 2019-12-11 Permalink | Reply  

          The STM has asked its drivers to make an exception in the terms of their contract to drive the coach-style buses meant to carry train commuters on 3 routes around the Mount Royal tunnel after it closes in the new year. Drivers have said no despite being offered an hourly bonus, at least partly because the coaches have none of the security features found on city buses.

          • Kate 08:55 on 2019-12-11 Permalink | Reply  

            Vacant storefronts are a chronic blight on our commercial streets, with vacancies rising as high as 26% on St-Denis. The city is holding some public consultations about it. One unnamed official cites “rising rent, real estate speculation and a general preference to shop online”; it’s obvious that having one real estate company own and control all the commercial frontage on some streets is bad for the city, but how do you counter that?

            • DeWolf 11:43 on 2019-12-11 Permalink

              The first solution proposed (“baliser les artères commerciales”) is a classic example of good intentions that can lead to disastrous results. Too many restrictions on what can and can’t open on a commercial street simply makes it harder to those streets to thrive. There’s a reasonable amount of regulation needed, but once you use zoning to start tinkering with the commercial makeup of a street you risk killing the very things that make it a popular place to be.

              A common example is the mandatory 25-metre spacing between restaurants on streets like Parc, St-Laurent and Notre-Dame. Those regulations were passed to prevent a glut of restaurants and bars that caused a lot of noise and pushed out everyday businesses. But they also force business owners to play a complicated game of hopscotch in order to find a space, which has arguably perpetuated the problem of vacant retail spaces. Omnivore at St‑Laurent/Marie-Anne needs to move from their current building, which requires major renovations, and they found a suitable space just down the street, but because it’s located within 25m of an existing restaurant they aren’t allowed to move there. Now they’re stuck and meanwhile an empty space is still waiting to find tenants.

              The proposal also suggests restricting the number of commercial streets. This is an old trick that was used in the 1980s when there was a surge in commercial vacancies due to a weak economy. The municipal administration at the time wanted to rezone a bunch of neighbourhood commercial streets residential in order to concentrate activity on main arteries. That would have spelled the end of St-Viateur if it hadn’t been for neighbourhood activists who opposed the changes.

              For the record the other three proposals listed in the La Presse article sound perfectly productive and reasonable to me.

            • PO 13:15 on 2019-12-11 Permalink

              The solution is to make me king, then I create a rule saying that if a storefront on a commercial strip is vacant for more than 6 months, the owner must decrease his asking price on rent by 8.33% every month until he’s able to find tenants. If after 6 months of this, there are no new tenants, the owner must pay a fee of 16.6% of his current asking price to the lessees of the buildings immediately to his left, right, and across from the empty storefront.

              I don’t know if it would work, but it would be fun.

            • Joey 14:10 on 2019-12-11 Permalink

              There’s a story making the rounds on social media about a series of fines that have been issued to the four record stores near Bernard (three I think are on Bernard) in Mile-End (Phonopolis, etc.). Fines for things like being open past 5pm, displaying a sandwich board on the sidewalk, taking out the recycling early, etc. The owners can’t even get confirmation that they are subject to the regulations they are accused of having violated, mostly because the regs don’t necessarily apply for a variety of potential reasons, such as the store’s being located in a tourist area (hello Mile-End walking tours). The NY Times literally wrote an article about the life and death of this specific street and some over-zealous inspectors are going to see to it that local indie shops that prop up the art scene Montreal cashes in on at every turn all over the globe will have to fold – all because they sell records past 5pm. The City doesn’t need consultations, it needs a good, long look in the mirror. Isn’t Jimmy Zoubris, local merchant and Val Plante “fixer”/senior advisor, supposed to be around precisely to to avoid this kind of nonsense?

            • Douglas 14:34 on 2019-12-11 Permalink

              The commercial taxes are way too high.

              Some of these tenants have to eat $1000 a month in taxes because the commercial tax portion alone on these buildings is over $10 000 / year.

              The city loves jacking up the valuations every single year and love all that tax money (4x the residential rate) they are raking in from businesses, but the city at the same time doesn’t like the vacancies?

              Can’t have your cake and eat it too.

            • Kate 20:30 on 2019-12-11 Permalink

              So we need commercial rent controls.

          • Kate 08:47 on 2019-12-11 Permalink | Reply  

            The number of cars in the urban area is growing faster than the population with minivans and SUVs surging in particular and many of the vehicles on the road having only one occupant.

            • Uatu 11:41 on 2019-12-11 Permalink

              Yeah. This is obvious to anyone commuting. And also why I laughed when Yves Blanchet told Alberta to keep it’s oil because Quebec doesn’t need it. This guy is clearly disconnected from reality

            • Jack 11:57 on 2019-12-11 Permalink

              The question is what are we going to do about it. One 150 lb. person, surrounded by 5,000 ib. of metal powered by fossil fuels emitting carcinogens and global warming is pretty stupid. When are we collectively going to do something about it.
              The last climate demonstration we had is going to be the last “bon enfant” demonstration. The next mass movement fuelled by climate and environmental catastrophes will no longer allow comfort and indifference to be an excuse for our children’s suffering.
              If you think this is a polemic wait till 2030.

            • Meezly 13:23 on 2019-12-11 Permalink

              People still want their detached dwelling with garage, fill it with their offspring and get around in at least one large vehicle. Was it here that someone was super defensive about moving out of the city to avoid extra vehicles fees and how each family member had their own vehicle?

              The city tries to make it less convenient and affordable to drive vehicles on the island, so people move out to the burbs. Some well-meaning types take mass transit, realize it sucks and go back to commuting in their cars, and find out that being stuck in traffic is just as bad, but hey, at least they’re in the comfort of their metal box as they spew out carbon particles, and they can still enjoy their detached dwelling during the weekend when they’re not spending 2+ hours shopping at Costco where goods made of illegally sourced palm oil and wrapped In petroleum by-products have been delivered daily by transport trucks.

              A paradigm shift in mentality and education is critical along with ever stricter regulations, but that is probably only to come when some economic/environmental disaster is inevitably hits home. Meanwhile, people are just gonna keep on truckin’ until things get real bad.

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