Updates from March, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:58 on 2020-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

    A crowd of young people, some armed with sticks, caused alarm at Longueuil metro on Friday afternoon. Nobody was hurt and even police admit there’s no apparent reason to arrest anyone.

    Update: Not much of an update Saturday morning except an additional detail that some of the crowd also wore masks. CBC rather clickbaitingly headlines the story 30 masked youth with weapons but there’s no clarification the weapons were only sticks – just “at least one was also carrying a knife” although nobody got stabbed, and – as we’ve established on the blog previously – lots of people carry knives for practical, nonviolent reasons.

    There have still been no arrests.

    • Ian 20:37 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

      heavens, was it an old-fashioned rumble?

    • Kate 10:19 on 2020-03-07 Permalink

      I half wonder if somebody said “Come on, I bet we can do something that will get us reported in the media…”

    • JP 00:51 on 2020-03-08 Permalink

      I wonder what kind of masks they were wearing? Ski masks or the type of mask that people are wearing because of worry about viruses? My friend was on a metro today with a woman wearing a mask (the kind some people are wearing because of viruses) who would keep taking it off to scream out racist stuff.

    • Kate 10:54 on 2020-03-08 Permalink

      I saw that happening once, JP, on the metro eastbound in the east end, and the woman was screaming in English. People were trying hard to ignore her – she was older, she was obviously somewhat crazy, but she wasn’t posing a physical threat so nobody seemed to think it worth signalling the driver about. Was a really poisonous atmosphere, though.

    • Ian 17:23 on 2020-03-08 Permalink

      “the youths were all from Montreal and aged between 15- and 17-years old”

      As FNoMTL pointed out, somebody just needs to check TikTok to see what they were up to.

  • Kate 13:42 on 2020-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

    A journalist reports on a group that does “eco-jogging” – picking up trash as they run.

    • Kate 12:15 on 2020-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

      Henri Richard has died. He was 84. CTV has a selection of photos of a player who knew nobody else was ever likely to equal his 11 Stanley Cups.

      • Kate 09:02 on 2020-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

        Here are your weekend road closures.

        • Kate 09:00 on 2020-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

          Even though the Kahnawake Mohawks lifted their barricade Thursday, the Exo Candiac line is not running Friday because CP has not given permission yet.

          Update: The line is now running again.

          • Francesco 20:15 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            We really need a system of suburban trains that aren’t at the mercy of the freight railways.

          • Kate 21:15 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            Isn’t that more or less what the REM is supposed to be?

          • Francesco 03:53 on 2020-03-07 Permalink

            No, not at all. In effect, REM is a hybrid between a light metro and a RER; it doesn’t quite hit on either target.

            The exo6 Deux-Montagnes it will replace was already a decent suburban rail line that needed some (fairly major) upgrades (but not $7Bn worth) to be something like a French RER or German S-Bahn line, or really more like an Australian CityTrain line. Alas, the New Champlain Bridge was built with a transit deck that can’t support heavy rail, and Quebec mandated CDPQ to come up with a plan to create rail transit links from the airport and from Brossard to downtown. In the process, they proposed the REM and managed to snag the exo6 line at the same time — the busiest suburban line in the province, and as it worked out, eventually a very profitable one for CDPQ.

            Cities like Boston and Toronto are coming around to the idea of modernizing suburban or city railways, which is certainly no small project. Essentially, the goal is to provide 15-minute, all-day service in both directions on all major lines, and electrifying the busiest lines. To get those frequencies, double- and triple-tracking is necessary on many lines, and gaining traffic priority for the city trains is paramount. In most cases that involves buying under-used freight lines and spurs from CN and CP, while in some areas new rights-of-way must be built for the exclusive use of the city trains. The GO On-Corridor Expansion is a HUGE project that will quadruple the number of trains operating in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region.

            @ant6n has a library of essays on the subjects of REM, rail and RER and it’s worth a read at cat-bus.com (along with an interesting essay about RER dreams for Montreal at http://cartoview.blogspot.com/2017/07/an-rer-fantasy-for-montreal.html?m=1 ).

        • Kate 08:58 on 2020-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

          Anjou borough is not pleased about a 1200-place parking lot for the new terminus of the blue line. They’d prefer to see some of the space used for residential buildings.

          • Francesco 10:26 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            Park-&-ride is unacceptable at the West Island’s new REM stations set in the middle of nowhere, but it’ll be necessary for a metro in a dense neighbourhood.

            Bienvenue au Québec.

          • Faiz imam 14:36 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            Luckily this is an ongoing fight. We can push them indefinitely to develop that land, and I have to imagine eventually the parking will dissapear.

            All of Quebec’s development rules encourage TODs. This is explicitly against that.

            We see already that all the stations along the line are going to get density around them. Now its up to the community to show that a new neighborhood is more important than more parking.

          • Ian 20:48 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            Faiz, please. Do you really think discouraging park & ride is going to increase suburban ridership? Think as a user of the system instead of ideologically.

            Assuming there is no Park & Ride, let’s say you want to go from Sainte-Anne to downtown, for work. The REM station is north of the 40. You will have to figure out how to get to Sainte Anne by public transit and catch a shuttle bus to the REM station with enough time to spare to get to work. This will add about 50 minutes to your morning commute, which also includes taking public transit for another half hour or so from Bonaventure or Vendome to get to your actual work.

            Your other option is to drive the whole way, parking in a spot paid for by your company. Your total drive takes about an hour.

            Guess what most people will choose, given the option.

          • Francesco 04:23 on 2020-03-07 Permalink

            Agree with Ian: ideologically, sure, we have to stop using cars; pragmatically, it doesn’t work currently. I see both points, but in our current paradigm doesn’t it make more sense to make some accommodations to get *more* people onto transit instead of discouraging them with restrictions? I don’t live in a TOD; when it opens, I’ll be about 3km by suburban, residential streets to the nearest REM station, streets that are hardly safe for walking along under the best conditions. Very few residential streets near me have sidewalks, but almost all appear to be superhighways to soccer mommies in SUVs and teenagers in Subarus. So when it opens, I’ll try to ride to the station (which will have all of 20 bike rack spaces), or maybe I’ll get an electric Bird-type scooter and bring it with me. In winter? Forget about it. With my current off-peak commute schedule, it takes me around 20 minutes both ways to cover the 13 km to and from work; by walk-bus-walk, it’s something like 95 minutes; by bike-REM-walk, I’m estimating around 40 minutes. The simple math suggests I should just drive. Ideologically, I’m ok with doubling my commute time. But make it easier for me in the winter.

          • Spi 10:59 on 2020-03-07 Permalink

            @Ian, the problem with encouraging park & ride/investing in parking infrastructure is that you are shooting yourself in the foot down the line. Yes it’s ultimately better to complete some of the journey by public transit than none of it.

            The ultimate goal is to have people to complete as much of it as possible in public transit. By investing in parking you make it very difficult to convert those people from Walk + Drive + REM to Walk + Bus + REM. Let’s not even pretend that we would be able to remove those parking spots in the future.

          • Francesco 15:43 on 2020-03-07 Permalink

            Yes yes, we get that, Spi. But again, not everything has to be a battle of absolutes based on ideology only. Step back from the pulpit and have a look at what the suburbs are really like. I’m not saying that the Anjou metro needs incentive parking, quite the opposite — it’s in a dense, built up area with sidewalks on both sides of every street. Well-designed transit goes where the people need it, not the other way around. The problem arises when poorly-conceived, mid-century suburbs sprawl outwards; even if transit is built for the thousands in the suburbs, very few are actually within a safe and reasonable walking distance of the stations. Few are even within safe walking range of bus stops on routes that meander through the neighbourhoods and eventually find their way to transit stations. Forcing restrictions on people in the sprawled suburbs, even those who *want* to adopt transit as a primary means of getting about, will only encourage them to hop back in their cars.

          • Uatu 23:52 on 2020-03-07 Permalink

            Yes safety is an overlooked issue especially with irregular hours. My female co-workers either drive themselves home or are picked up by family members from the park and ride if they work past rush hour. I know of a young woman who barely escaped being assaulted while waiting at a bus stop for an early morning shift. The idea of only using public transport sounds great, but the reality is different when the sun sets and you have to walk home alone even in the burbs.

          • Kevin 12:06 on 2020-03-08 Permalink

            Public transit advocates keep thinking of planning for the hypothetical future and neglecting the actual reality that exists.
            Which is why we have Azur handrails that nobody under 175 cm/5’9” can comfortably reach, and so the STM has to retrofit straps so people will move away from the doors.

            In other words, build a park and ride so the people in the regions can take some of their commute on transit.

          • Ant6n 19:22 on 2020-03-08 Permalink

            that’s a straw man. Transit advocates have been complaining about the azur layout since day one.

        • Kate 08:51 on 2020-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

          NDG’s Empress Theatre may be torn down to make room for some form of mixed-used centre.

          • Clément 09:35 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            This article is very ambiguous and I can’t help but be cynical.

            “…could be partially, or completely, demolished …” ==> We wanted to save it, but there is too much structural damage, so it has to come down.

            “…declare that some housing units in the new structure will be earmarked for affordable housing…” ==> That damp basement unit, next to the furnace, is quite affordable. But the other units will be offered at market price to ensure the whole project is viable. Also, breakfast bars.

            “…will be reserved for commercial space in favour of art galleries or similar enterprises…” ==> Starbucks is similar to an art gallery, right?

            “…can be saved and integrated into a new design — at a cost…” ==> We have this great, profitable project, but only if we get taxpayers’ money.

            “…The project is still in its early stages. Officials are waiting for further studies before plans can be finalized…” ==> Oh, ok, another 10 years of stalling it is, then.

          • Tim 10:04 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            Awesome (and accurate) translation Clément.

          • dwgs 10:25 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            Speaking as someone who walks by it twice a day for the last 20 years and has seen the accruing decay the first point is very likely true. I’d be surprised if they could save it without spending bajillions of dollars. Also, there’s nothing distinctive about the interior anymore.

          • Michael Black 15:55 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            Isn’t “Cinema V” part of the Sue Montgomery Saga?

            I saw something recently that gave a timeline, and she wanted the file on it, and that seems to have ballooned, at least by her version.

          • Ian 20:33 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            Yes, the borough planners were trying to railroad her into a condo development plan, and were acting like it was a done deal. By her account, which I believe. Lest we forget most of Rotrand’s old unelected development pals are still on staff.

        • Kate 08:45 on 2020-03-06 Permalink | Reply  

          A 3.3 earthquake gave the city a shake Friday morning at 3:22. I was not awake for the event.

          • Ian 13:25 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            It woke me up in Mile End but admittedly I’m a light sleeper. It sounded like my upstairs neighbour rolled a heavy ball from one end of the apartment to the other as a truck passed, rattling the windows. A cup fell off my shelf but didn’t break. I went back to sleep.

          • Blork 13:31 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            Dang, so mad that I missed it. I’m pretty sure it woke me up, but at the time I thought it was just a random wake-up, roll-over, back to sleep. (I.e., by the time I was awake it had passed.)

          • Kate 13:58 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            Now that I think of it, I believe I did wake up briefly, but without knowing why. I live in a sixplex, it’s not unheard-of for some of my neighbours to come home late. Went right back to sleep.

          • Michael Black 14:11 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            I remember the first time I ever noticed an earthquake, I was 12. But I thought it was just a truck passing by. It was only the newspaper story that made me realize it was an earthquake.

            There were others after that, but usually they were so brief that I didn’t catch on till it was over. Then in 1988 or so, I was up very light and one hit. No traffic at that time of night, it was also long enough. Plus, some books fell of a pile. There was also one about 1998 that was long enoigh. Or maybe by that time I was just quicker to realize it was an earthquake.

            It does seem like many hit overnight. At least that’s my impression. That mpacts, the lightness and if most are asleep lets the earthquake pass unnoticed by most.

            I guess we shoukd be lucky we just get “shakes” that we wonder about rather than real quakes that do damage.

          • Blork 14:36 on 2020-03-06 Permalink

            I’ve felt a handful of earthquakes in Montreal over the years. I also felt one in L.A. that was like a single BANG! instead of the usual rolling rumble, and apparently it was a particular type that is caused by fracking. That was weird. I was in Sienna in September 1997 when the Assisi earthquake hit 100km away. The first one practically threw me out of bed but I didn’t even feel the second one the next morning.

          • JP 01:18 on 2020-03-08 Permalink

            I briefly woke up, and thought “Snow removal…didn’t they already do that?” and went right back to sleep. It was only upon reading this here that it all made sense.

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