Updates from September, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:12 on 2022-09-02 Permalink | Reply  

    The CAQ has cracked and admitted it isn’t possible for everyone to have a family doctor despite the promise being a pillar of their 2018 campaign. Christian Dubé assures us that people will be happy with access to a nurse or a pharmacist.

    • Ian 13:40 on 2022-09-03 Permalink

      ..and now, the sound of the other shoe dropping:

      the CAQ is proposing private care to pick up the slack. It’s almost as if this is according to plan.


    • Uatu 14:12 on 2022-09-03 Permalink

      Hey if I’m paying I’m demanding service in English!

    • Kate 14:48 on 2022-09-03 Permalink

      Ian, I was wondering how fast that proposal would come.

      Answer: pretty damn fast.

    • MarcG 17:50 on 2022-09-03 Permalink

      The same break-public-system-solve-with-private scene is happening in Ontario.

    • Uatu 17:56 on 2022-09-03 Permalink

      The failure of private chslds is conveniently forgotten.

  • Kate 16:18 on 2022-09-02 Permalink | Reply  

    We all got an emergency alert for St‑Elzéar‑de‑Bonaventure. Fagstein helpfully tweeted “Saint‑Elzéar‑de‑Bonaventure is a 9-hour-43-minute drive from Montreal.”

    The town is 867 km from Montreal, practically in New Brunswick, and has a population of 464.

    Stay indoors!

    • Blork 17:14 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

      My sweetie was in a large store when it went off. She said it was a crazy scene with dozens of people around her all buzzing at the same time, and all of them looking around, bewildered.

    • Josh 17:26 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

      This happens in the territories, too. The few times we have had emergency alerts in the Yukon, it doesn’t matter where you are in the territory, and whether the alert is limited to a community hours and hours away, your phone will go nuts. I figured this was a problem limited to us up here.

    • Chris 22:23 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

      These alarms for far-away things are not merely silly, they can do more harm that good. My friend that works in hospital emerg tells me that there’s often someone that literally get hurts, her last example is someone that was climbing a ladder and got frightened by the alarm noise and fell off the ladder and broke a bone.

    • Kate 15:15 on 2022-09-03 Permalink

      There’s also simply the crying wolf aspect. If people get used to the idea that the alert doesn’t mean “pay attention, this is important” then they won’t be paying attention when they actually should.

    • CE 21:41 on 2022-09-03 Permalink

      The constant use of the emergency tone for amber alerts makes the tone completely useless. I was out on my balcony and heard my phone making the sound. Since it’s pretty much always an amber alert, I didn’t think there was any reason to check it right away (how am I going to find an abducted kid while out painting my rear fire escape?) But what if there were bombs flying towards us or a tornado about to touch down? Such warnings require immediate action and shouldn’t be mixed with things that are either not emergencies, or are emergencies but so far away as to be completely irrelevant.

  • Kate 08:26 on 2022-09-02 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro is working through each of the 27 provincial ridings on the island of Montreal, with an item on each. It’s under the tag Elections on their site.

    Saturday, Radio-Canada looks at ridings of interest in Montreal and the metropolitan area.

    • Kate 08:17 on 2022-09-02 Permalink | Reply  

      Montreal North has put several traffic bollards around schools which look like a kid standing in the street. I suppose this will work until someone knocks down a real kid thinking it’s just a traffic bollard…

      • Em 09:39 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

        They put these up in Verdun, though on medians, not in the street.

        If anything, they freaked me out and made me want to slam on my brakes the first couple of times, (which is not a great thing for a driver to do). Not sure they make me drive safer overall.

      • Ephraim 10:35 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

        I wonder if this was tested with new cars that detect people in the street, like Tesla. Because this could actually cause a newer car to automatically hit the brakes, which could actually create an accident and the city would end up as part of the lawsuit by the insurance companies.

        Unfortunately a lot of bicycle drivers don’t realize that these new systems actually can trigger by their driving in the opposite direction of traffic to the car and their getting too close. The world of moving vehicles is changing, but people aren’t adjusting. The same way that they aren’t adjusting to the acceleration of electric cars versus ICE cars.

      • DeWolf 11:45 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

        @Ephraim, cyclists and pedestrians can’t be expected to understand how the AI in a Tesla works.

        We’ve already made the mistake of designing our entire cities — our entire lives — around cars. We can’t do it again just to accommodate the anti-social suburban values inherent in Elon Musk’s expensive machines.

        This article feels somehow relevant here: “We speak of vulnerable road users, but they’ve only been vulnerable since the advent of fast traffic with big, heavy vehicles. Why don’t we call those fast, heavy vehicles dangerous road users?”


      • MarcG 12:29 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

        That reminds me of how my wife caught herself saying that Wellington street was “closed” when it was pedestrianized.

      • dhomas 13:45 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

        EVs are also much quieter than ICE vehicles. I was cycling through the cemetery close to my house last week where there are very few cars, so I was taking up more of the road than I usually would on a public street. It took the EV being right behind me for me to notice it was there since it was so silent!

      • Ephraim 15:59 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

        @DeWolf – It’s not just Teslas, it’s showing up in a lot of cars, for example https://www.bosch-mobility-solutions.com/en/solutions/driving-safety/pedestrian-protection/ and the AI follows standard rules of the road. Pedestrians jutting out into traffic and cyclists driving in the opposite direction of traffic are going to be problematic if it’s automated or unautomated traffic.

        The reality is that we need to redesign the street system as we move to more automation which is intended to make everything safer. Software makes things much more predictable, to a certain point. For example, the rules for road markings in North America aren’t standard…. for example, do you need to draw a dotted line along the area as a car merges onto a highway? Well, the new lane detection systems look to put a car in the middle of the lane, so if you don’t put the dashed line, the car may swing left as the merge lane appears. (And there are regions in Quebec that don’t put in that dashed line, for example)

        We change and adapt. We need to. The fact is that automated cars are already entering the system… Quebec already has authorized it. We have an automated shuttle running down St-Hubert plaza. We need to ensure the safety of everyone and standardized rules of the road are going to become more and more important. We can’t play ostrich to this.

        There is also some good news in these changes, besides making it safe for pedestrians, it cuts down on speeding to a certain extent and on road rage. But it increase the attention on the road. So, you can scream at Elon Musk all you want… there are 25 different companies working on this including Waymo, Magna, ABB, Embark, Google, Apple and Uber.

      • DeWolf 16:39 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

        I certainly agree that streets need to be made safer! But you’re essentially arguing that we need to bend over backwards to accommodate flawed AI systems, which is the kind of car-centric thinking that ruined our cities in the first place. If a car freaks out when a cyclist is riding against the flow of traffic — which is legal on many streets in Montreal, btw, and is legal on pretty much every side street in Paris and Amsterdam — that car is not safe for the road. The onus is on the manufacturer to improve their system, not on cyclists and pedestrians to bow down to their new self-driving overlords.

        If a self-driving or semi-automated car can’t handle the complexity of a normal urban street, that’s a good argument for banning cars from those streets. Not for redesigning the streets so those flawed vehicles can barrel through the city without any obstructions.

      • Uatu 16:57 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

        I’ve seen this on the south shore except the kid is on the curb. That would make more sense than in the middle of the street IMHO. It was even enough to make me slow down and I was riding my bike.

      • Jonathan 18:06 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

        What DeWolf is saying

      • Ephraim 18:39 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

        @Dewolf – And how realistic is that attitude. As realistic as AM radio stations ignoring the 8-Track, cassette tapes, the Walkman, the CD, streaming and Podcasts? You know, we used to use the sun dial and hourglasses too. Ignoring the change in technology is a risk… We used to make children work in mines too… times change. Moving towards automated cars might actually mean more shared cars in the future, rather than individual cars.

        Reminds me of the 24 bus. The route hasn’t been updated in so long that the end of the line is Sherbrooke at Montgomery… and no one really knows why it ends there anymore. Was it as close as they could get to drop people off at the Angus yards? Why there? Why not to the Olympic Stadium? Because the city doesn’t have enough data to redo the lines? Or is it the luddites who want no change?

      • Robert H 22:04 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

        Ephraim, you’re suggesting that Dewolf is a Luddite, but that is not at all the sort of view he expressed. He is making a humanist argument: technology should serve and adapt to people, and not the other way around. We should not, for example, be obliged to defer to the latest initiatives of A.I. efficiency experts. Instead of considering only the needs of motorists, we should think of everyone who uses the streets and public ways. Yes, changes will come whether we like it or not. But we should always have the right to shape them. Our autonomy and our environment are at stake.

      • Ephraim 22:39 on 2022-09-02 Permalink

        @RobertH – Whoa! I didn’t suggest that he is a luddite at all. The luddite remark was about the fact that the STM hardly adjusts bus routes to deal with reality and we’ve seen when they do try to do it that people revolt.

        We had been adjusting the streets in Montreal a lot over the years, adding cyclist routes, adding pedestrian zones, adjusting speed limits, etc. I’m not going to stop being a realist… vehicles are changing, they are going to follow the rules of the road more strictly. Those who deviate from the rules of the road are the most in harms way. This isn’t the average pedestrian. This isn’t the average cyclist. These are the outliers that are at risk. And don’t tell me that you haven’t seen people on their bicycle travelling south on St. Lawrence. Or pedestrians who don’t pay attention step into the road between two cars. Heck, how many cyclists complain about being doored, because people aren’t paying attention.

        We have to adjust. We can’t just ignore it. But we can use this technology to make things better as well. The car that can self drive means that it can bring someone into town and not stay there. It means that it doesn’t get affected by road rage. It means that it can self regulate to speed limits (including school zones, passing buses, etc) and can move around traffic. It can be the taxi that doesn’t stay downtown.

        For example, it could be a way to program pick-ups that bring more people to central public transit in the suburbs, where buses aren’t as viable and we don’t want giant parking lots.

        It’s coming. We can stick our heads in the sand or we can embrace it. How well has sticking our heads in the sand worked for Montreal? We have the world’s largest collection of mechanical traffic lights because as other cities were switching to smart systems, the city of Montreal BOUGHT their mechanical lights. Do you know how the city coordinates lights? Blackouts! We don’t even have a system to actually account for parking spaces in the city…. the police want an extra spot… here. Why is that stupid? Well, because the city has to pay to pave each spot, maintain each spot, etc. So each spot in this city should have a cost associated with it and a revenue stream. You want the cars off the street (I certainly would like to see less of them), well, maybe if we didn’t think that city streets were free parking, we would start to think twice about having a second car and a third car and driving them into downtown. You are NEVER going to stop the rich. Heck, they will park in handicapped parking spots with no remorse…. and the city hands out about a ticket or two a week on those spots. Well, a self driving car can bring a handicapped person right to the place they need to go, let them out and then go to the next person and doesn’t even need handicapped parking.

        We forget about the handicapped. My friend stood at the corner in pain because a policeman thought that moving traffic was more important than pedestrians. And he wretched his back avoiding a cyclist on the sidewalk, because he can’t move sideways. My mother has a rollator… do you know how hard it is for transport adapte to get a spot to let people off safely? Do you know how often people use handicapped parking as a stopping zone? Do they need to BEG for a parking spot when they have a permit?

        This is a new technology and it’s coming. Actually it isn’t coming, it’s here. We are going to see more and more of it. We need to adjust. The same way that ICE cars have to realize that EVs can accelerate faster. The same way that we need to paint better lines on the highways. It’s coming, it’s here. We can’t stick our head in the sand… but we can look at how it can make our lives better. Traffic calming, road rage, handicapped people, public transit. It may all have a different future. But putting our head in the sand…. NOPE

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