Updates from May, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:59 on 2020-05-02 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has decided to close the parking lots of Lafontaine, Maisonneuve, Jarry, Fréderic-Back and Île-de-la-Visitation parks to reduce the number of visitors and maintain distancing. TVA found Lafontaine packed with people on a nice Saturday (although Fagstein begs to differ). Meantime, my neighbours know we can’t safely visit Jarry Park for the same reason.

    Radio-Canada reminds us that the parking lots of Mount Royal and Île Notre-Dame have been closed for almost a month already.

    • dmdiem 21:25 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

    • JaneyB 11:31 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

      @dmdiem – very interesting article, thx. I’ve really never thought of camera lenses changing my crowd size impressions to create excitement, crisis etc. I guess they’ve been doing it all along.

    • Chris 11:31 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

      dmdiem, a wonderful illustration of photographic manipulation!

      I for one hope people continue to (safely) use the parks, despite all the quarantine-shaming going on,.

    • DeWolf 11:49 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

      I passed through Lafontaine on my bike yesterday and it was indeed very busy, but the vast majority of people I saw were being responsible. There was even a physically-distanced drum circle.

      I guess this is a useful experiment: if there is a spike in cases on the Plateau and in other central neighbourhoods over the next two weeks, we’ll know why. But if there isn’t, then we’ll know that hanging out in the parks is fine.

    • Kate 12:03 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

      As I noted last weekend, Jarry Park was packed with people when I went for a walk there, and yesterday chatting with neighbours it transpired none of us were visiting the park any more just now because of the sensation of crowding on nice days. As someone posted in a comment here, it’s not just technical safe zones, it’s the sensation of having to plan your path to avoid any passing groups or random other people on intersecting paths.

  • Kate 11:08 on 2020-05-02 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s state of emergency, first declared on March 27, has been prolonged several times and has now been extended till next Wednesday, May 5.

    • Kate 11:06 on 2020-05-02 Permalink | Reply  

      Someone broke into the office of CORPIQ, the landlord group, this week, and flooded its premises with a fire hose. Some entertaining responses on this Twitter thread including FNoMTL’s “Don’t worry it’ll get fixed in 6-12 months and if they don’t like it they can always move.”

      • ProposMontreal 11:47 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        The hatred is strong in this twitter thread.

      • Kate 11:50 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        I wouldn’t have said hatred, more something like “flagrant lack of sympathy”!

      • Chris 13:24 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        ProposMontreal, twitter is basically a non-stop hatefest flame war, so nothing new here.

    • Kate 10:48 on 2020-05-02 Permalink | Reply  

      Cycling is booming and bike suppliers are doing very well as the weather turns nice while people are getting restless, or are feeling uncomfortable about using public transit.

      Plateau borough is setting aside parts of certain streets as pedestrian walkways, for the time being.

      • DeWolf 12:46 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        La Presse had another article about the apparent boom in cycling and Suzanne Lareau, who runs Vélo Québec, noted she had never before seen so many young children on bikes. I was pleased to read that because it confirms something I had been noticing all April: every half-decent day there were entire families out on their bikes, including little kids, and I’ve seen lots of parents using the quiet streets (and lack of school) as an opportunity to teach their kids how to ride their bikes.

      • Chris 13:06 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        Indeed it confirms polling results over many years: the #1 reason people don’t cycle more is safety, i.e. fear of being hurt by automobile collision.

        The Globe has an article on the topic of reallocating street space too:

      • Michael Black 13:42 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        Sure, and other studies show that bike paths are a necessity to increase cycling.

        Maybe most people don’t want to cycle, and these studies just give them “valid” excuses.

        There becomes an incredible narrow mindednes. The only reason for cycling is environmental, and the only thing that prevents it is safety. Fifty years ago when the concept of bike paths first arrived on the island of Montreal, it wasn’t so much safety as claiming a right to be on the street, and bike paths were an ilk advised solution to tge problem. So fifty years of pursuing the wrong path, and maybe more cyclists, or maybe not.

        It’s thirty years (next month) since Cicely Yalden was killed at tge corner of Rachel and Clark. Reports differed, but either she had to get off the bike path because someone was illegally parked on the path, or someone was illegally parked too close to the intersection, blocking her or the driver’s view.

        The way is respect, but the investment has been in bike paths, which never addresses the real.problems, and doesn’t fix anything away from bike paths. It creates an addiction.

        When you posted about how necessary bike shops are, in some ways you are buying into a false concept. You don’t seem driven by bicycling as an end in itself, but for the environment, and then everything goes. When Le Monde a Bicyclette had strength it was revolutiinary, not mainstream instead of cars. The right to the street, but also about self relience. So no “I’m too busy to fix my bike”. Bicycles were just a bit of the issue.

      • steph 15:03 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        There were two cops with a radar gun at the foot of the south bound Champlain Bridge bike path this morning stopping cyclists. Speed limit is 20km/h. After working hard to bike up the hill, who doesn’t want to just let the downhill ride let you rest your legs. I wonder if and how much the fines were.

      • Chris 16:38 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        >Sure, and other studies show that bike paths are a necessity to increase cycling.

        Which isn’t a contradiction to the polling I referenced. At issue is that potential cyclists don’t feel safe sharing space in close proximity to automobiles. Thus, one possible solution is to created dedicated space in the form of a bike path. (There are other solutions too.)

        >Maybe most people don’t want to cycle…

        Of that I have no doubt.

        >…and these studies just give them “valid” excuses.

        Polling is for sure imperfect, but nevertheless valuable and insightful.

        >You don’t seem driven by bicycling as an end in itself

        Should I be? What kind of an ‘end in itself’ would it even be? Is driving an end in itself? Is walking? I genuinely don’t understand what you mean here. The ‘end’ for all these things is moving from A to B.

        Bicycling is a way to get from A to B that is 1) cheap 2) environmentally friendly 3) healthy.

        Yes, it’s pretty easy to repair and maintain your bike yourself. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea though. Public transit and car repair shops were rightly considered essential, because of the ‘end’ of needing to get from A to B. Likewise for bike repair shops, and happily the government corrected their initial omission. It’s relatively easy to change a car tire too, but plenty of car owners don’t know how, aren’t expected to, and aren’t admonished for it.

        And BTW I’m _not_ a bit fan of this decades long obsession with adding piddly bike paths. For 3-4 decades now they’ve been adding handfuls of km of bike lanes every year. And what has it gotten us? Bike mode share is still pathetically low. Car growth outpaces human population growth. It’s not working.

      • dwgs 20:41 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        …and my son’s friend and his brother were each fined $700 by bicycle cops today for being within 2m of one another as they cycled. They are 14 and 16 years old and live together. Genius.

      • JP 21:07 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        That is ridiculous and unbelievable. This is why I don’t trust authorities to make judgement calls. One would hope and think that they’d be logical.

        On my brief, local walks, I see so many ticketable offences, and I hear about others via friends. find it frustrating when I hear about cases like this where it seems like no fines should have been issued.

        A major issue I’m observing is reckless driving and speeding…less traffic is making some drivers act as if their part of the Grand Prix. That poses a far greater safety issue than two brothers who live in the same home cycling close to one another.

      • Francesco 21:18 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        The teen across the street in our working-class bedroom community on the a West Island is celebrating a birthday today. I saw balloons all over the front of their house and in the tree, and commented to my wife that I was relieved we are under lockdown so he won’t have a big, loud party in his backyard tonight — his 16th last year was very loud, very late, and there were broken bottles all over our quiet street in the aftermath. Someone even called the cops on them.

        Well, no luck. The kid set up a table at the curb on his driveway, and a loud party speaker at the garage door, and there’s indeed a jump-up going down on my street. :rolleyes: Yes, I’ve seen distancing guidelines broken repeatedly. Will I narc? No.

      • Uatu 09:34 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

        @JP – I’ve seen the speeders but I’ve also seen a lot of speed traps and drivers getting ticketed by the roadside. I’m usually driving no faster than 10km over the limit which is too slow for some and I’ve been justified when the impatient guy speeds by me only to slow down a km later because of a speed trap. Just because there’s less traffic doesn’t mean the cops aren’t around. It’s actually prime hunting time for them!

      • Blork 15:04 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

        I find this discussion very confusing. It seems like some of you can only think in binary with no shades in between.

        For example, Michael Black said “The way is respect, but the investment has been in bike paths, which never addresses the real.problems…”

        OK, but what do you propose? You can’t legislate “respect” nor can you set a budget and buy some. But you CAN legislate bike paths and set a budget and build them. And maybe by doing so you are sending a broader message about the “respect” that cyclists deserve, and are showing your collective respect by creating dedicated paths for them. If not that, then what?

        And then Chris says “For 3-4 decades now they’ve been adding handfuls of km of bike lanes every year. And what has it gotten us? Bike mode share is still pathetically low. Car growth outpaces human population growth. It’s not working.”

        Again, what do you suggest? In CONCRETE TERMS that can actually be done, not just complaints about how things ought to be?

        And what do you mean “it’s not working”? If you think the ONLY GOAL of bicycle paths is to reduce the growth of car acquisition, then maybe. But is that the only goal of bike paths? How about increasing the use of bicycles? How about providing relatively safe A to B routes for cyclists? How about reducing the car/bicycle collision rate? All of those things are working. Your complaints sounds like someone who decides at age 40 to start living a more healthy lifestyle, and two years later he can run a half-marathon, has good cholesterol, no longer has sleep apnea, but is still six kilos overweight so “why bother? It’s not working?”

      • mare 15:56 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

        Note to Kate: the ad in the middle of articles fucks up the RSS feed. Came here to react and was surprised Blork’s comment was twice as long. Probably not controllable by you but just so you know.

      • mare 17:02 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

        The Netherlands is always touted for being so bike friendly. Apart from geographical features (its flat but also *very* windy on most days) it hasn’t been that way since forever.

        In the 70s, because having a car became more affordable, the roads, originally build for horse carriages, became full of car traffic. As a consequence traffic accidents spiked, The victims weren’t other drivers, but people without cars and kids and teenagers who weren’t allowed to drive cars (legal age to start taking driving lessons is 18, and there’s no learning permit system).
        So mostly pedestrians and cyclists.

        The political decision was made that slow and fast traffic had to be separated on all major roads. So trees were cut, front yard were expropriated and grade-separated bicyclepaths and sidewalks were built. Bicycle paths on both sides of the street, and if the street was wide enough there was room for a parking lane, and really wide streets (avenue’s that used to have three rows of big trees) had parking lanes on both sides.

        This process took a few decades, against a lot of blowback. Buy traffic fatalities went down dramatically, and more and more streets were converted along these principles.

        Later most streets that were too narrow for separated bike paths were converted to one-way streets, but cyclists could still go in both directions. The lane was just wide enough for a fire truck + 1 meter. No lines on the road, cars just have to slow down and hug the curb or parked cars, or risk having a major accidents. There are steep fines, traffic cameras everywhere and, on top of that, after traffic accidents with cycling or pedestrians, cars are always at fault. They are on the hook for physical, medical and psychological damages. Yes, insurance premiums are very high, and drivers *really* pay attention to cyclists. Also, car ownership is very expensive so public transit becomes a more viable alternative .

        (BTW Cyclists misbehave with impunity, just like they do in Montreal, but drivers learn to drive very defensively).

        Not so nice side effects: there are very few trees left along Dutch city streets, and most front doors exit directly onto the sidewalk. A lot of people moved to villages that grew so big they became the suburbs when their boundaries met the expanding boundaries of the city. The west part of the country is basically one big city, connected by trains that function like our metro. All industry is concentrated on certain areas and offices are not only in the downtown core but near (and on top) of every train station, also in the periphery.

        (There’s much more to write on this subject, but this is already a monster comment, all typed on my tiny old phone.)

        The gist is: built it and it will be used. But only when all major streets are converted, because cyclists are lazy and don’t want to meander and do complicated mind mapping to find a route between point A and B. Montreal’s bicycle network is woefully fragmented and disconnected.

    • Kate 09:02 on 2020-05-02 Permalink | Reply  

      UdeM researchers think the virus is far more widespread than the official numbers. It’s based on statistical analysis, not medical, so I don’t know what credence to give it.

      An Urbania writer went to work in a Verdun CHSLD for a week and writes a two-parter about it: Part 1, Part 2.

      The issue of wearing a mask is in the news. The STM’s Philippe Schnobb is in favour of it, but stops short of calling for making it mandatory. Josée Legault makes a case for mandatory masks in Montreal.

      • DeWolf 12:49 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        Mask-wearing isn’t mandatory anywhere in Asia. It became widespread and popular through public awareness and social pressure. (People often say “it’s in the culture” but the reality is that only a small minority of people wore masks in the past, even if they were sick.) If we make mask-wearing mandatory, we’re giving the police another stick with which to beat whoever they chose, which is going to result in a lot more vulnerable and marginalized people being unfairly targeted, just as we’ve seen with social-distancing fines for homeless people.

        Of course, getting everyone to voluntarily wear a mask would require clear and consistent messaging from above, and so far we’re getting exactly the opposite.

      • DeWolf 12:53 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        Okay, i should have double-checked my statement. Singapore mandated the use of masks two weeks ago, and two provinces in China have made them mandatory.

      • Tim S. 12:57 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        Anyone know if masks are being sold? I haven’t seen them near me, but admittedly I’m not doing too much browsing.

      • DeWolf 13:01 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        @Tim S., my local hardware store and supermarket are both selling medical-grade masks. Some local boutiques are advertising locally-designed fabric masks (maybe we should start calling them fashion masks).

      • CE 13:31 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        I saw a big display of them in a Jean Coutu the other day. I just bought a couple from my friend who has set up shop with her sewing machine and is pumping them out.

      • Uatu 15:24 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        Plenty of YouTube tutorials for mask making using everything – napkins, old t shirts, bandanas. It’s the new trending topic

        Weird how times have changed. Before you get harassed if you covered your face, now it’s the opposite.

      • Kate 15:37 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        Lufa now has masks for $10 and filters cheap among its offerings. I have a mask I got from a kind neighbour who made a bunch and offered them around free, but I’ve ordered another couple off Lufa because you’ve got to wash them regularly.

      • JaneyB 17:21 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        I’ve seen lots of them in the past few days at Jean Coutu (plus hand sanitizer).

        There’s also Matthew McConaughey’s charming coffee filter/bandana method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueyrM4QSxsU

      • Tim S. 21:33 on 2020-05-02 Permalink

        Thanks all. Guess it’s time to go shopping again.

      • Kate 15:08 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

        The Gazette surveyed several local fashion designers who have turned to mask-making.

    • Kate 08:44 on 2020-05-02 Permalink | Reply  

      Valérie Plante is the only Canadian named to a global task force of mayors tackling pandemic issues.

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