Updates from July, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:35 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

    The city ombudsman has received more than 150 complaints about the rearrangement of streets this summer. Issues of accessibility and consultation are on the list, which has been posted here.

    You’ll note “l’absence d’études d’impacts préalables” as one of the items. People are already forgetting these street changes were ordered in about ten minutes as the city dealt with losing all the festivals and tourists, and finding something, anything, for people to do to liven things up this summer. There was no time for the usual elephantine process of studies to take place.

    Incidentally, a quick look around at what other cities are doing this summer will find that a lot of them are closing streets to traffic as a way to support economic recovery and compensate for missing tourist revenue. Plante was not doing anything that mayors elsewhere would find bizarre.

    • Kate 23:28 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

      The city’s blue collar union is mad at the mayor because, after promises to prefer its own workers for maintenance, it gave contracts instead to privately owned companies. The administration says that with the pandemic, it didn’t have enough workers to sanitize everything properly, especially since many had been choosing to stay home.

      • Kate 23:22 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

        To read that a Boucherville day camp has had 27 cases of Covid and now 19 secondary cases as well and then, on the same page, that students in Quebec schools, including high schools, will not have to wear masks when school starts up in a few weeks may not be peak 2020, but it’s up there.

        In other Covid news, Dr Horacio Arruda got doxxed and Aaron Derfel finds the official hospitalization numbers don’t add up.

      • Kate 23:07 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

        Jean-Doré beach is closed till further notice because of high bacteria counts. It may reopen Sunday but who knows.

        • Kate 23:05 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

          We’re just completing a July that was the hottest in the last 99 years. You have go to back to 1921 to find a July hotter than that, by .1°.

          • Kate 13:46 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

            The new bridge will be closing Friday night till Sunday, which seems to be the only traffic note for the weekend.

            • Kate 12:00 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

              We’ve been getting vibrant sunsets, but why? The explanations here are confusing to me, on two counts. The scientist quoted says it’s because “less air pollution and low humidity levels make for clearer skies and more vivid sunsets.”

              But humidity hasn’t been low, and in past times, I know I’ve read that the one upside of having a certain amount of crud in the air is that it makes for fancier sunsets.

              • DeWolf 12:27 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                Apparently this has been the July with the most humidex days above 30 on record. It’s been seriously muggy for the past two weeks. Maybe the CBC article was written back when we were having the long dry spell?

              • EmilyG 16:08 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                I guess the dust storm from overseas, or whatever that was that affected the US earlier on, wasn’t a factor?

              • Kate 17:08 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                I don’t think the desert dust storm ever got this far north, EmilyG. Article from 5 weeks ago.

            • Kate 10:11 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

              Quebec promised extra funding for day camps, but hasn’t come through, so the city is footing the bill.

              • Kate 10:03 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

                A health food store in Outremont has been criticized for putting up anti-mask signs – curiously, in English, but in colours and typography not entirely unlike the STM’s current signage style (which I think is a coincidence, as the sign apparently comes from a group called “Hugs Over Masks” (ugh) not quartered here).

                • Blork 10:47 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  According to CBC radio, the owner has also said they believe the virus was created in a lab and that Chloroquine cures COVID-19 but is being deliberately repressed, blah blah blah.

                • walkerp 11:24 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  These fringe losers on the left are somehow more annoying than the ones on the far right.

                • JaneyB 11:54 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  And…we have fines for that. They can be renewed every new day. Maybe they could simply be shut by the city for health violations. The fringy/flakey Left is indeed very frustrating.

                • MarcG 11:59 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  I’m too lazy to read the articles, what makes these people “left”?

                • Raymond Lutz 12:06 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  There’s nothing inherently lefty in operating a health food store, case in point: Alex Jones, Stephan Molyneux, Jordan B Peterson (and daughter) all dabbed into ‘healthy’ diet business and/or counseling.

                • walkerp 13:57 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  Really not going to bother explaining it to you nerds.

                • Marco 14:38 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  Left or right. The virus doesn’t care what you are. Wear a mask to stop the spread.

                • Clément 14:53 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  “Decreases oxygen intake” Oxygen molecule is 0.34 nm

                  “Does not block coronavirus” Virus is 80 nm

                  So the virus is 235 times bigger than oxygen, yet the masks block oxygen but not the virus.
                  Please, more science in school.

                • Uatu 06:59 on 2020-08-01 Permalink

                  Yeah, if that’s the case then these idiots should demand that their surgeons operate on them without a mask since they might get foggy headed and prone to blackout from lack of oxygen.

              • Kate 09:35 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

                Transit fares over the urban community will rise by 2% on October 1. Here’s the new fare structure in PDF format, the STM’s increases being banished to page 33.

                This brief letter to the editor in Le Devoir seems relevant here, apropos Quebec’s tendency to “gère souvent Montréal comme toute autre région alors que c’est une métropole multiethnique, multiculturelle, multilingue.” Every time I update the Covid numbers for the side column of the blog, I’m reminded that Quebec made Montreal its region #6. (This isn’t recent, and I suspect it was done during a PQ administration, but I admit I don’t know when the current numbering began.)

                Josée Legault also worries about the fate of Montreal with the rentrée coming in a few weeks’ time.

                • Robert H 12:56 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  The letter you quoted was an astute critique of the “incompréhension” toward Montreal found in La Vieille Capitale. Another letter following Josée Legault’s column illustrates the mentality in question:

                  «Curiel Gab
                  Dé tout temps, l’objectif de Québec a toujours été de contrôler Montréal, d’assurer que la métropole ne devienne pas trop indépendante et que ne se développe pas une identité montréalaise qui pourrait défier l’identité nationale. Le reste on s’en fiche pas mal. Aux prises avec la Covid? On gère ça tout croche depuis Québec et si la ville a un des pires bilans en occident et bien soit. L’important c’est de contrôler.»

                  Too late about that identity question, though.

                • Tim F 06:30 on 2020-08-01 Permalink

                  I thought the whole idea was the ARTM was supposed to unify and simplify the fare structure throughout the metropolitan area. Not just unify them into one PDF file.

                • Kate 10:22 on 2020-08-01 Permalink

                  Of course it’s unified, Tim F! It’s all laid out in this 35-page document!

              • Kate 09:24 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

                Disturbing story about a man, being questioned by police on Thursday about a shoplifting incident, who leapt to his death from his 14th-floor balcony. No other information is given here, even the location where it happened. The BEI is investigating.

                • MtlWeb 09:49 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  Building was on St Mathieu, near Guy. Wife just came out of CLSC and saw commotion outside. Quite sad.

                • Kate 09:52 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  Thanks for the info.

                • walkerp 10:00 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  So sketchy.

                • Aneesh 11:39 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                  oh! Thats the reason why it was closed with a keep out tape

              • Kate 08:59 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

                La Presse says Montreal has been among the cities hardest hit by Covid in Western countries. In April, our numbers were better than Madrid’s, but worse than Milan’s.

                • Kate 08:54 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

                  The pedestrianization of Notre-Dame West is now cancelled after loud complaints – this while cycling and walking are growing in popularity.

                  • Ian 09:03 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                    While I don’t doubt this, I do question how these numbers are being presented…
                    “Les voies dites «actives et sécuritaires» ont vu leur achalandage de vélos bondir de 36% cet été alors que le trafic routier a chuté de 20% depuis le début de la pandémie”

                    Well duh, of course roads that are closed to cars are seeing more traffic in other modes.

                    FWIW most of the people I know that have cars & work remotely have been doing their best to be at a cottage throughout the entire summer – I’m sure that is also contributing greatly to the lack of drivers in town.

                  • walkerp 10:03 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                    You can see how single-issue, lobby-driven ideology has infested so many brains. It’s a meme that has become the accepted truth for many that not having cars means businesses die. Hello, we are in a global pandemic that has caused the greatest economic downturn since the depression.

                    The car lobby and its adherents are becoming more and more like the NRA in their tactics. Anything that might limit at all the power of the car even the tiniest bit is attacked hyper-aggressively as a destruction of all freedom and wealth. And then they paint people who just want to have a slightly quieter, less polluted and safer city as extremists.

                  • Kevin 10:37 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                    Do we want a city where nobody leaves their neighbourhood is shaping up to be the question of the next election.

                  • MarcG 10:56 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                    My wife and I regularly walk or bike from Verdun to Lasalle, Lachine, St-Henri, Little Burgundy, Westmount, PSC, and Old Montreal. Even in the winter it’s easy and fun to walk to different neighbourhoods if you’re physically able. When we ate at Joe Beef many years ago, guess how we got there? We haven’t purchased a car because we know what will happen if we do: we’ll start driving places we could easily get to on our own steam and before you know it, we’ll hate PM and street sales and moan all day about traffic and shovelling snow like everyone else.

                  • Andrew 11:15 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                    There were a lot of complaints from locals in the St-Henri Facebook group, not about the parking spaces but making it one-way seemed to have a lot of issues. It was poorly marked so a lot of drivers were just going the wrong way in the single lane, the bus routes were diverted all the way to St-Antoine, and the number of cars being diverted onto smaller residential streets.

                  • Kevin 11:36 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                    One note: we don’t actually know if walking and cycling are more popular. Projet Montreal is presenting a single data point as an increase.

                    Sue Montgomery and Marvin Rotrand have been squabbling on Twitter about the Terrebonne bike lane, each throwing out photos, and I’m just looking at this going: this is stupid and useless. A snapshot doesn’t tell you what’s going on with *flow* — and without collecting data before something starts, you can’t tell afterwards if the changes made had a positive or negative effect.

                  • Chris 19:00 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                    >Well duh, of course roads that are closed to cars are seeing more traffic in other modes.

                    Duh indeed. But maybe their point is that there’s *twice as big* an increase in cyclists as there is a drop in motorists?

                    >…without collecting data before something starts…

                    At the street-level, yes. But we’ve collected enough data already for the planetary, country, or city level: less cars and more bikes would improve many things.

                  • j2 01:23 on 2020-08-01 Permalink

                    Re : terrebonne, as I represented my family’s interest earlier, the bike path starts after the school so we are pleased with how it turned out, safer for kids, maybe cars and bikes can pass. It would be great if it was because of my partner’s and other parents’ advocacy but in any case, we’ll take it.

                • Kate 08:53 on 2020-07-31 Permalink | Reply  

                  An independent inquiry into the English Montreal School Board reveals a poisonous work environment including shouting and swearing, flinging of papers, and passive-aggressive humming of a song from The Lion King.

                  Arguably, the art of management involves always finding a way to force people to work together who can’t stand each other, but there are times nothing works. This appears to be one of those times.

                  • Meezly 09:01 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                    You know things are getting toxic when there is passive-aggressive humming of a song from The Lion King.

                  • Kate 09:36 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                    It could push a person over the edge.

                  • Michael Black 09:50 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                    If I recall, in high school someone started humming and got others doing it in class, but I can’t remember the specific reason. It had been done on “Room 222” on tv, a show set in high school, so I always assumed the idea came from the show.

                    I don’t think it was the time someone talked much of a class into boycotting, something about the “teacher being a bad teacher”, which I always doubted since the student didn’t seem to be a good student, and besides, most kids don’t care. The teacher actually did disappear soon after, maybe embarrassment rather than termination.

                  • Patrick Coleman 13:24 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                    After the film came out, a bunch of tech workers unhappy with the way the money was being distributed at Disney, were seen at various Hollywood gatherings wearing T-shirts with a “Lyin’ King” logo. No humming, AFAIK.

                  • Ian 11:06 on 2020-08-01 Permalink

                    Well at leas it wasn’t hakuna matata, or even worse, any song from Frozen.

                • Kate 19:58 on 2020-07-30 Permalink | Reply  

                  While the city administration says its active transit streets are very popular, and Projet posts photos (shown above) of some of the streets that have been temporarily adapted for the summer, showing busy terrasses and happy people, there are also ongoing reports of complaints.

                  It’s hard to tell whether the complainers are in the majority, or if they’re just noisy, supported by city hall opposition, and/or given a voice by journalists looking for a “balance” story. These are folks who in some sense seem to have lost the thread that these measures are temporary, that city hall is trying to create a summer ambiance in the absence of the usual festivals and tourist crowds.

                  Complainers also may be forgetting that a lot of people have either lost their jobs, or are temporarily laid off, and so even with all the free parking in the world they would not be out shopping or eating in restaurants. Even people still working might be observing some degree of caution about overspending, given the worldwide uncertainty about the economy.

                  Also a lot of people are still observing a degree of isolation from caution, for themselves, or because they have vulnerable family members to protect.

                  In other words, no city administration could escape blame at a time like this, no matter what they did. People should have a sense of proportion about what’s possible.

                  • david20 21:23 on 2020-07-30 Permalink

                    I love it and have been a militant pedestrianist since I’ve been anything other than a child. But I’m hearing it more and more that this is the final nail for some businesses during this Covid-19 time. Not just Joe Beef, but others. Has me re-thinking some.

                  • Alex 22:06 on 2020-07-30 Permalink

                    They just seem like a majority because social media algorithms like to increase post engagement by pitting people again eachother

                  • CE 22:45 on 2020-07-30 Permalink

                    I’m enjoying the street closures! Mont-Royal in particular is busier and nicer than it almost ever is. It’s a street I almost never go to unless I have to get something specific but lately, I’ve been going quite often just to enjoy the ambiance and, every time, I spend money. My girlfriend and I actually enjoyed one of the most expensive meals we’ve eaten in a long time just because the terrace looked so enticing.

                  • Ian 08:51 on 2020-07-31 Permalink

                    It’s VERY effective on Mont-Royal, for sure. That street was always kind of gross to walk OR drive on between the metro station and St-Laurent, and while as I live west of St-Laurent I don’t plan to walk all the way to Fullum, it has been very pleasant to walk along Mont-Royal at least as far as Cartier, which I would never do under “normal” circumstances.

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