Updates from December, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:59 on 2019-12-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Verdun has plans to convert parking lots to social housing. 83 parking spots will disappear, but as many as 300 living units will be built in the area.

    • Chris 08:55 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

      A much better use of land!

    • MarcG 09:58 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

      Excellent news, CACV have been pushing for this for years. #13 and #15 and #18 are the places I pick up Communauto, I wonder how the company will deal with this. Also these lots are not near Verdun metro – why say something unimportant that isn’t true?

    • Mr.Chinaski 11:08 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

      It’s a shame if they demolish the Ethel parking, because it had become these past years an incubator for arts and design, and a community place for gatherings. http://www.promenadewellington.com/fr/quartier/ethel2022/

    • nau 11:50 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

      They’re referring to a surface parking lot on Ethel between Regina and Strathmore, not the parking structure.

  • Kate 20:57 on 2019-12-19 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has some notes on its opening and closing hours over the holidays.

    • Kate 10:59 on 2019-12-19 Permalink | Reply  

      Mayor Plante has tweeted to call attention to a new three-digit service: call 211 if you are aware of a homeless person needing help. It’s especially important during a cold snap.

      • Blork 12:01 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        Interesting initiative. I wonder how many people will use the 211 number. It’s not for emergencies (that would be 911) and it’s not for intoxicated people. So how many people will see someone shivering in a doorway and will then initiate contact with the person (which seems like the right thing to do — you don’t just call 211 to hunt down a shelter for the person without asking them about it first), then go through the possibly long and arduous process of mediating a shelter arrangement between the person on the phone and the person in the doorway.

        It would be nice if we were all so generous, but I have my doubts…

      • dhomas 12:07 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        Some people don’t act on things that they feel they have no power to change. “The poor fellow is freezing! But what can I do?”. This 211 initiative empowers people to make a difference.

      • Joey 14:34 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        @Blork I would have thought the opposite – calling 211 allows you to “do something” without engaging with the homeless person…

      • Jonathan 14:40 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        This discussion is weird. Homeless people or people who are on the brink of homelessness are also able to call this number… I think it is meant as a resource for these folks to reach out more than bystanders.

        Many of my friends (and even my partner) work with support services, so this is a great resource for them to call in to get info for and refer their clients who may be on the verge of losing their housing or threatened with being kicked out of their housing.

      • Hamza 16:37 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        Just wanted to say that website is really , really bad. Like frustrating to navigate.

      • Blork 20:13 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        Agree that the website is not great.

        Joey, homeless people, even when cold, are people. You don’t just phone up and book them a room at a shelter without asking them first if they even want to go to a shelter or if they have a way to get there. What are you going to do, find them a room and then just announce “I found you a room at ZZZ shelter, 20 blocks from here. Bye!” and then walk away?

      • Blork 20:14 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        @dhomas, I have no doubt there are some people who will do that, but unfortunately they’re a minority. 🙁

      • Mitch 21:54 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

        I think it’s a very commendable initiative. Meanwhile, someone should inform our Mayer that this is how the STM treats homeless people in -20 conditions – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10221719386236367&set=a.2265020347451&type=3&theater

    • Kate 09:12 on 2019-12-19 Permalink | Reply  

      This Gazette guest opinion piece is typical of that paper. While it discusses a legitimate problem, it’s written in a would-be comic and exaggerated style, on purpose, and brings in at least one irrelevance. Yes, buses go by with En Transit signs up front. No, they can’t pick you up, nor should they. They’re not on a route and they’re scheduled to go out of service, or go into service somewhere else. It’s like explaining things to a child.

      • EmilyG 09:19 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        I thought at first that the opinion piece looked like it was written by Josh Freed, but considering how often he complains about driving being hard, I don’t know if he’s ever been on a bus.

        And that piece complains about mothers with strollers, and old ladies with shopping carts. Like really, what are mothers and older people supposed to do? Buses even have designated areas for strollers.

        And no mention of my pet peeve: people talking on their phones on the bus all the time (also phone notification sounds.)

        As an aside, I’m over 30 and still have a backpack as it’s the most convenient way for me to carry my stuff, but as I usually sit down, it isn’t usually in anyone else’s way.

      • Kate 10:07 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        I have to admit I sometimes wish strollers and carts were not allowed on buses during rush hour, just as bicycles can’t be brought on the metro at those times. Having someone force a stroller onto a bus that’s already full of bodies is never pleasant. But I realize people don’t always have a choice over when they travel.

      • qatzelok 10:28 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        “They want ppl to give up theyr cars so they can travel like that?I haven’t set foot in public transportation in 20 years and i don’t regret it one bit. ”

        I think maybe this “article” and the “comment” that follows it, are actually paid car company informercials.

      • MarcG 10:39 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        qatzelok: If you wanted to find out you could see if other cities have the same trend in their media and online comment sections, since they’re all “owned” by the same car companies. I suspect it’s just be a case of good citizen conditioning – no need to pay anyone to do the propaganda for you, it’s just the culture being expressed au naturel.

      • CE 11:39 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        This part struck me as weird: “it seems every bus commuter under the age of 30 now wears a huge backpack with enough water bottles and mobile devices for a two-week trek through the Himalayas.”

        How many mobile devices does the writer see people carrying? I guess I did once saw a guy get on the bus looking at a smart phone, flip phone, and iPod at the same time but his behaviour for the rest of the ride suggested he was a bit crazy. Otherwise, I can’t imagine a backpack having more than one phone in it. I guess maybe a laptop too but since they’re now usually about a cm thick, I don’t see how they would get in the way. All these mobile devices have allowed us to carry much less stuff in our backpacks than we would have in the past.

        I’m not sure I see the purpose of this article. Why bother writing something so negative when there are already so many negative things going on with public transit right now? I don’t see how it helps anything.

      • EmilyG 12:17 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        Even if someone is carrying multiple mobile devices with them, those wouldn’t take up much room in a backpack.

      • Meezly 12:21 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        I have to admit all those things that opinion piece ad griped about has passed my mind many times as I’ve been crammed sardine-style in a bus. I guess it’s nice to see that I’m not alone but did not get why the Gazette would publish such negative crap. It wasn’t even funny, esp. the backpack hyperbole.

      • jeather 12:48 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        Does no one know the rule about taking your backpack off and keeping it between your legs during rush hour? I don’t see anyone doing it, and then you take the space of 1.5 people when the metro is packed. (I have a backpack, and I usually have a phone, an old ipod which probably looks like a second phone, and an ereader, but those don’t really take any room. I usually forget to take a water bottle, which, again, does not take up much room.)

      • Blork 13:23 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        Crowding on buses is a legit problem, but this is a kvetchy opinion piece, so you don’t need to be so literal regarding the mobile devices; that’s just the writer complaining about all things contemporary.

        But the backpack problem is real. There are many backpacks out there, and many of them are very stuffed. And sadly, most people don’t seem to be aware of the rules about not wearing a backpack on your back when you’re on a bus or Metro.

      • qatzelok 13:35 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        MarcG: “If you wanted to find out you could see if other cities have the same trend in their media”
        Other North American cities have the same advertisments, and the same opinions as the Gazette. BUT….Montreal has decent mass transit unlike most North American cities, so it’s dissapointing (and maybe tragic) to read these kinds of extremely un-evolved USA-evoking “humor” pieces in what is supposed to be “local” content.

      • John B 13:43 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        About strollers: Although there are exceptions, most strollers don’t take much more space than an adult, (or maybe a large adult with a backpack). Perhaps we should give babies, who are humans too, the same right to space on public transit as any adult.

      • Blork 20:09 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        Hmmm. I’m not going to say anything about whether or not strollers should be allowed on buses/Metro at rush hour, but John B’s comparison isn’t quite right. For one thing, most strollers are actually pretty huge. Those small, portable strollers from our youth are rarely seen these days; parents all seem to opt for those gigantic SUV-of-strollers that cost a fortune and have more cargo capacity than your average hatchback.

        Also, humans can turn, wiggle, and otherwise adjust themselves to a crowded space, but a stroller is basically a huge box on wheels, with no ability to adapt.

      • Uatu 20:34 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        Re: backpacks – there are ads and signs everywhere telling people that they take up space, but no one gives a shit. Having both hands free for your phone is the priority. How else can people text ” hey what are u doing” … I’m in da metro” or watch episodes of Mr. Robot on that tiny screen. Sometimes if I’m sitting I get backpacks shoved into my face. I have actually pushed the things out of my face and gotten dirty looks from the owner. Hey if you don’t like it, take it off. I don’t want to get hit by it.

      • Tim S. 22:11 on 2019-12-19 Permalink

        I’m fine with banning strollers on public transit at rush hour, as long as we also extent parental leave to the point where the child no longer needs a stroller – say, four years.

      • Chris 09:03 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

        I hardly ever take transit, especially in rush hour, but those floors are filthy, especially in winter, there’s no way I’m putting my small backpack there, especially when other people are allowed to consume all that space with their SUV stroller, my little backpack is nothing.

      • EmilyG 10:52 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

        Yes, I also don’t like putting my backpack on a dirty floor. I don’t like sitting on dirty bus or metro floors either, but sometimes there’s no choice.

      • Blork 11:10 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

        You don’t have to put your backpack on the floor; just hold it in front of you, low to the ground. Most backpacks have a carrying handle for that purpose. If not, just grasp the two shoulder straps in one hand and hold it low in front. That takes up much less room than wearing it.

      • EmilyG 12:13 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

        It’s a problem if I’m carrying more than one thing, or if my backpack is very heavy, both of which happen often to me. Sitting down is the best solution for me.

      • ant6n 13:13 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

        There’s a big difference between bringing a stroller and a bicycle. Often, these very young children come and go from daycare with their parents, so their commuting hours are basically the same as everyone else’s. And getting daycare is difficult, getting some within walking distance is more difficult. So travelling on the metro at certain times isn’t optional — unlike with a bike, which you could possible leave at home, at the station, or ride all the way. If you’re a parent of young kids, you often have much less time than virtual all other members of society. It’s not like Quebec pays for 3 years of parental leave, sooner or later you have to go back to work.

      • EmilyG 17:59 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

        There’s also a new item being brought on board buses, which I see quite a lot – scooters.
        (Not a complaint, just an observation.)

      • Chris 15:14 on 2019-12-21 Permalink

        ant6n, bikes could also be put on bike racks, if the STM would ever install enough of them. The union has (had?) been against it forever, and we seriously lag other cities in this regard.

      • Daniel 12:24 on 2019-12-22 Permalink

        It’s true that annoyances like backpacks and strollers can ruffle feathers, but I can’t help feel that these kinds of gripes are intended to take the heat of the STM and get passengers directing their ire towards each other.

        Also, stating that “people will get used to” the cuts (even if the quote is being used out of context) is a terrible look for the STM. A more reassuring message could have been provided.

      • Ian 13:33 on 2019-12-24 Permalink

        When picking up my kids I always rest their backpacks on my feet – keeps the bags off the ground and out of the way.

        That aside, wow, I can really see who has kids here and who doesn’t. Way to be sympathetic, folks – it’s hard enough to take public transit with kids especially on a crowded bus without holier than though kidless adults tsking over how big your stroller is. I bet none of you ever offer anyone help carrying them up the stairs when the escalators are inevitably out, either.

        People who give parents on transit a hard time are part of the reason many parents prefer to drive.

    • Kate 09:08 on 2019-12-19 Permalink | Reply  

      Atlas Obscura visits the café at the Jewish museum on the Main, run – as we find out – by a convert. Some interesting bits of history and cookery included.

      • Kate 08:58 on 2019-12-19 Permalink | Reply  

        The Lafontaine tunnel is meant to partly close soon for maintenance and repairs, but Mayor Plante is asking Quebec to hold off for awhile as the city’s already tied up with the REM construction and other repairs. Once the REM is running across the river, it would lighten the load on the tunnel, is the logic.

        Update: Despite the good sense of Plante’s request, transport minister François Bonnardel turned her down. This is becoming the definable theme of the Plante administration: they try to do something sensible, like pace out repairs or ticket delinquent drivers, and other politicians block them, not because they have a good argument for what they’re doing, but simply to mess up their plans. It must be infuriating.

        • Kate 08:55 on 2019-12-19 Permalink | Reply  

          The government of China has bought the old Shriners hospital for a consulate. The building itself may be demolished, but how large a structure would they put up on the flanks of Mount Royal?

          The Amis de la montagne had been hoping the building would be taken down and its area added to the park.

          • Max 10:01 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

            Gross. I don’t want the Chinese government anywhere near me.

          • Kate 12:52 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

            I wonder if their presence might attract protests to the area as well.

          • Peggy 19:10 on 2019-12-20 Permalink

            Why was this kept quiet until after the sale. I cant believe this was allowed to happen. What a disappointment to Canadians.

        • Kate 08:52 on 2019-12-19 Permalink | Reply  

          The Caisse de dépôt says the REM is still on time despite the delay in closing the tunnel; Exo has had to pivot hard to keep things running through the tunnel when it had planned around the January closure.

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