Updates from December, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:40 on 2019-12-16 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec is shelling out $350,000 so more Montreal taxis can have “Bonjour” written on them. This item says the word is written “en majuscules” but actually it’s in a sort of mixed unicase format, neither caps nor lower case.

    • Kate 22:38 on 2019-12-16 Permalink | Reply  

      A Dutch firm is to take over total management of the Grande roue de Montréal after the original management was implicated in shady business. The firm already owned a part of the thing.

      • Kate 22:34 on 2019-12-16 Permalink | Reply  

        City hall opposition is now kvetching that the city has paid too much for land for the big western park project.

        • Kate 22:33 on 2019-12-16 Permalink | Reply  

          The city’s inspector general says there are problems with the bidding for the new water treatment plant, a man who worked for the company that got the contract having written the specs that directed the contract toward his own employers.

          • Kate 22:27 on 2019-12-16 Permalink | Reply  

            Jean-Claude Rochefort, on record as admiring the shooter of the Polytechnique massacre, has been set free while waiting for his trial on inciting hatred of women. He’s been told to stay off the internet.

            • Kate 13:54 on 2019-12-16 Permalink | Reply  

              The Journal says it’s seen a study demonstrating it would be more beneficial to extend the orange line to Bois-Franc than to pursue the everlasting blue line extension that already has 200 people working on it.

              • Faiz imam 14:25 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                Obviously the real answer is both.

                We are in a climate emergency here, which is a statement all levels of government in theory agree with. That should mean we can engage in more than a couple transit projects simultaneously, especially given how straightforward the orange line extension is.

                Not to mention, the width of Boul Marcel Laurin and its surrounding parking lots means the project is compatible with “cut and cover” building methods, which are substantially cheaper than the cost of tunneling.

                Especially with the Royal-mount project coming online, connecting the orange line to the west island is of huge importance.

              • Myles 15:58 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                Has the CAQ ever acknowledged the climate emergency? Their actions certainly don’t suggest they have.

              • Brett 19:42 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                That’s because there is no climate emergency here. The maps from the NOAA for the past three months actually show our temperatures to be BELOW average (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/map-blended-mntp/201909-201911.png). In fact, all of NOAA’s maps from this year show a similar trend of below average (colder) temperatures in our corner of the globe. So, no climate emergency here.

              • Kate 20:33 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                Myles, François Legault talks, but like most politicians he’s putting off serious changes till 2030 or so, and in particular he’s giving an easy ride to industrial greenhouse gas giants. Of course he will say he’s acting, or going to act, but watch what he actually does.

                Brett, you’re making a funny. Think about the “hundred year” flooding we’ve seen twice this decade. And colder temperatures are an effect of the weakening polar vortex, part of the overall climate change picture. There is a climate emergency.

              • ant6n 20:36 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                Oh puleaze. Pick some random weather data subset, say there’s no problem here and done. True climate change denialism.

                But, okay let’s assume Quebec won’t have any significant impact as far as its climate is concerned, I think we all can agree that the rest of the world won’t be so lucky. And that will result in refugees. Many refugees. As in, on the order of 500 million refugees. And that is a problem that will eventually wash up ashore even here in Quebec as well, and incidentally this kind of problem is one of the primary missions of the KAK, so they should perhaps do something about that before it’s too late.

              • Brett 21:36 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                Kate, the polar vortex doesn’t exist in the summer, and if you look at our August temperatures, they were pretty much bang on normal (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201908).

                And this isn’t a random subset. Look at data for the whole year, for Quebec, since we’re talking about Legault. The data says that in Quebec, there’s no climate emergency.

                And you’re all missing the point. François Legault isn’t going to be around in 100 years, much less 10, when 500 million refugees (where did this figure come from??) will arrive. Using climate change as a reason to beef up transit in Montreal has to be the worst argument ever from a political point of view. Think of something that impacts voters now – lost productivity due to time lost in traffic jams, for instance. Or overcrowding on the orange line. Pedestrian deaths, anyone?

                I’m all for fewer cars on the road, but just like the “starving children in Ethiopia” argument didn’t do anything to eliminate food wastage, so will the “forest fires in Australia” argument unfortunately be equally as ineffective at demanding change in the way we get around on the island.

              • Kate 22:24 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                Brett, what a fool I’ve been! Of course there’s no emergency here. I was blandished by the left-wing doomsayers, obviously. The weather’s chilly – we’re not in any danger, and we never will be!!

              • Hamza 00:18 on 2019-12-17 Permalink

                certainly the atmosphere and levels of CO2 being emitted in Alberta , China and the States will obey international law and not cross the border to affect Quebec.

              • Kevin 00:35 on 2019-12-17 Permalink

                It’s not unusual for parts Quebec to be colder than the rest of the planet: that is projected as part of several climate change scenarios.

                And of course that has a huge impact; less time to harvest crops and more energy burned drying them, just to pick one local major climate story from the past three months.

              • MarcG 10:44 on 2019-12-17 Permalink

                Farmers will tell you all about how the weird weather is messing with them (gets warm early in the spring and then frosts once everything is sprouted, long dry spells in the summer and then too much rain, etc), which causes the prices of basic foods to go up, not a good scenario.

              • Meezly 13:46 on 2019-12-17 Permalink

                Brett has a point – the article was simply looking at the practicality of extending the orange line instead of the blue line, but somehow the topic got derailed with whether or not Qc has a climate emergency. Nevertheless, I do think that reducing carbon emissions/air pollution should be one factor of many for improving transit, and Quebec has certainly been impacted by climate change with the recent extreme spring/autumn floods.

              • qatzelok 14:20 on 2019-12-17 Permalink

                Like Faiz imam said, we need both. And many more metro lines and REM lines.
                But notice how Car company media suggests that we must choose one or the other?

                It’s similar to how Car company media pits plowed bike paths against plowed sidewalks. The idea is to have all non-car transporation at war with one another while giant SUVS glide on by with their passengers smiling at all the manufactured discord.

            • Kate 13:39 on 2019-12-16 Permalink | Reply  

              Calèche operators are asking for an injunction to hold off the city’s intention to end their operations this year.

              • Kate 13:37 on 2019-12-16 Permalink | Reply  

                A plan hatched during the Coderre era to install refrigerated rinks in various parks and locations around town has never materialized, because the blithe assumption they’d cost roughly a million bucks apiece was way off the $9 million or so that each one would cost now. Plans for a rink at Clark and Ste-Catherine will go forward because that’s a different budget.

                • Faiz imam 14:27 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  We are heading for a future where these refrigerated rinks are the only outdoor ones we are capable of building. Even if it takes more time we need to keep building them. They are a huge component of our outdoor winter culture, and its a major reason people spend extended periods of time outdoors.

              • Kate 13:31 on 2019-12-16 Permalink | Reply  

                Cyclists held a protest Sunday to keep the Jacques-Cartier bridge open all winter for everyone. There’s a pilot project operating allowing only 25 cyclists to use it this season, and they have to cross the bridge every day. Seems to me if you’re plowing for 25 riders you might as well allow everyone aboard.

                • Blork 14:44 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  No way. Don’t assume “plowing” means the paths will be nice and clean all the time. Consider how difficult it is to clean the bridge bike path, and consider that the platform will ice up very easily (“bridge freezes before road”) and consider that for most of that 3km ride you are either going up a steep hill or down a steep hill. Result: it will be very hard to NOT wipe out.

                  AFAIK the trial-use people are required to use winterized bicycles (big tires, possibly studded).

                  If they opened it for everyone there would be significant risk to life and limb because those wipe-outs would be happening with lots of people around instead of in isolation where they won’t take other people down with them.

                  Also, if it were open to everyone you’d have idiots with skinny summer tires going across, plus old people on their electric Vespa-like scooters. It would be chaos.

                  My prediction is that the bridge path will NOT open to the public in winter anytime soon. All the winter cyclists are all ra-ra-ra wanting it open but zero people seem to acknowledge that going 25kph downhill on ice on a bicycle is freaking dangerous.

                • Kate 15:11 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  True enough. I’ve only crossed the bridge once but I remember it felt a bit hairy on that narrow path going downhill toward town. I also recall a report of a cyclist having a fatal crash there on his own when he lost control of his bike there – and I don’t think that was even winter.

                • qatzelok 18:07 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  If the idea that “someone might get killed” is a reason not to open bridges to bikes in winter, then we should stop all car driving since “someone might get killed” happens to cars (and their drivers) every day on every surface in every season.

                • Raymond Lutz 19:44 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  During the last year of my Bac. at UdM and the 3 years of my M.Sc., I biked that bridge twice a day, year round, summer AND winter. That was before the rebuild: the pedestrian alley was even narrower! (yes, I had to jump the locked fenced gate) and yet, here am I, bien vivant… c’est une anecdote, je le concède.

                • Blork 13:23 on 2019-12-17 Permalink

                  When I was in university in small town Nova Scotia I used to do some winter biking on my mountain bike. I fell several times, always on icy hills, and occasionally in the presence of cars which fortunately did not run me over. The most dramatic was when the wheels just whipped out from under me at the top of a hill that was really icy, and I slid at least 30 metres down to the bottom, in the middle of the road, with the bike sliding along about ten feet away from me. Fortunately no cars that time.

              • Kate 09:11 on 2019-12-16 Permalink | Reply  

                A small protest Sunday made a demand for better respect for pedestrian crossings by motorists.

                • Tim S. 09:39 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  Good for them!

                • Tim S. 09:43 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  From the CBC version: Alex “Norris said he’s for stiffer fines, but wouldn’t go so far as to issue a directive to police to step up enforcement.”
                  Sigh. It doesn’t matter what the fine is if nobody ever receives it.

                • Max 10:10 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  Exactly, Tim. All the terrible driving in this town can be attributed directly to those lazy white fucks who would rather sit in the their cars and play with their phones than actually enforce the traffic laws. Walking downtown pretty much daily I see 20 or 30 traffic violations an hour. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone getting a ticket. I despise the police.

                • thomas 10:18 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  Why not set up camera systems at all pedestrian crossings?

                • qatzelok 10:28 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  Street design has to change because there aren’t enough police to enforce traffic laws. When drivers complain about “losing a lane” when a street is redesigned (to become a “complete street” for all, this is because they know this will slow them down (to a much safer speed).

                • mare 10:34 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  Even if they are given fines, nothing will happen. The driving exams never thought that the roads are shared with bikes and pedestrians because in most of Quebec they simply weren’t there. Being a courteous and defensive driver doesn’t seem to be part of the curriculum either.

                  Re-education of people is very hard however many PSAs you trow at it, and motorists are a self-entitled bunch. The evolution of cars doesn’t help; they insulate you completely from the outside world with their excellent soundproofing, stereo systems and distractions like navigation screens and (even hands free) calls.

                  I read somewhere that traffic camera systems need to be granted a special exception of the law, that’s why there are so few and they’re announced ahead. More signs in our streets in front of pedestrian crossings will cause even more distractions. It doesn’t help that equipment is complicated because our license plates are only on the rear of cars so law enforcement need two photos taken at once. One for the registration and one with a picture of the driver for identification and the demerit points. Otherwise the cases get contested and thrown out in court. This also means police officers need to stop cars to write a ticket, just an observation from the back of the offending car is not enough. That takes a lot of time, you create pursuit-like situations, and isn’t possible on every street without disrupting the traffic flow a lot.

                • Spi 11:27 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  I agree with qatzelok, the street design is fundamentally flawed, painted crosswalks that fade within days of being put down and then aren’t repainted until fall the following year just to be scraped away by snowplows come winter. Intersections that still offer nearly no visibility of the sidewalk until you’re pretty much blocking the crosswalk (especially the case if there’s an SUV or work truck parked at the corner)

                  Also in an effort to make sidewalks more pleasant, we’ve accidentally introduced more complications. As a driver, you’re taught to use your peripheral vision to scan for pedestrians, but all you see is a wall of parked cars and when there aren’t parked cars it’s parking meters, trees, flower pots, bicycle racks or street terraces (all of which are great) but they create a tunnel effect which makes you focus even more on the bumper to bumper traffic you’re most likely in rather than the surroundings.

                  All the fatal pedestrian/cyclist with car collisions that come to mind were at intersections and poor visibility had a major role in it, you can reduce the speed limit to 40-30km/h all you want but no one was turning at that speed anyways but I guess replacing speed-limit signs is a cheap way of pretending to be doing something instead of actually changing the design.

                  I think SUV’s parked near intersections (by reducing visibility for drivers and pedestrians) are more dangerous than when they are rolling on the streets, I’d ban SUV (or any car over x height) parking within 10-15 meters of an intersection.

                • Joey 11:42 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  Too bad CBC didn’t push Norris a bit more. I can’t believe he really thinks the problem is entirely low fines and not at all weak enforcement. I can only assume he is unwilling to push the cops to do more because they won’t, and he’ll look toothless.

                • Clément 13:24 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  @Joey: I remember reaching out to Peter McQueen (also PM) a few years ago about having the police simply enforcing existing fines.

                  I felt, from his lukewarm response, that Projet Montreal wasn’t too keen on forcing the SPVM to do anything. The SPVM seems to do its own thing (like ticketing cyclists for not having pedal reflectors) regardless of the policies and positions of whoever is in charge at city hall.

                • Alex Norris 19:51 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  The CBC report paraphrases my answer in a way that doesn’t really reflect my position on this issue. While it’s true that I’m not in the habit of ”issuing directives” to the SPVM, our administration did discuss the issue the police force today and the SPVM has assured us that they intend to step up enforcement of the rules and that they will make respect for pedestrian crosswalks a law-enforcement priority next year as well. That having been said, better enforcement – while essential – is only part of the solution. We need meaningful fines as well – and demerit points – for motorists who ignore pedestrians’ right-of-way at crosswalks. And we need to make physical changes (with better signage, for example, and changes to the layout of intersections). The former issue requires changes to the Code de la sécurité routière; the mayor today expressed her support for these demands. The latter (physical changes to intersections) is our responsibility at the borough and central-city level. We’ve been working hard to change the layout of intersections throughout our borough ever since we took power on the Plateau but there obviously remains a great deal more to be done.

                • Kate 20:57 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  Thank you, Alex Norris.

                • Tim S. 22:33 on 2019-12-16 Permalink

                  I appreciate the clarification and attention to the issue.

                • Joey 09:19 on 2019-12-17 Permalink

                  I appreciate the clarification. I note that, with regard to the “physical changes,” the city *just* completely redesigned the intersection and surrounding area where the three-year-old was hit (and where the protest was located). Presumably the city’s urbanist experts did the best they could…

                  Anyone else think more law enforcement of the rules will translate to more tickets for jaywalkers?

                • Chris 10:58 on 2019-12-17 Permalink

                  Max, so the motorist-pedestrian conflict is now a racial thing? What’s up with the “white fucks” slur?

                • MarcG 12:14 on 2019-12-17 Permalink

                  He was referring to the police and although it’s probably a typo I don’t think it’s all that far off base.

                • Chris 12:22 on 2019-12-17 Permalink

                  A typo?! What is it you think he meant to type instead of ‘white fucks’? But we can let him speak for himself.

                • Blork 12:44 on 2019-12-17 Permalink

                  Yeah, I did a double-take on the “white fucks” thing too but then I realized he was referring to the cops, who are overwhelmingly white so that can be seen as a commentary on policing, not traffic, but I still think it was uncalled for.

              • Kate 08:53 on 2019-12-16 Permalink | Reply  

                Although the number of motor vehicles continues to swell throughout the urban area, numbers show that the cars registered on the island of Montreal fell very slightly between 2017 and 2018, historic as the only fall from year to year since World War II.

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