Updates from November, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 13:13 on 2022-11-07 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Devoir considers the difficulties for older or disabled people in getting around town, and some of the things the city may do to remedy this, including zones around the larger seniors’ homes that replicate what school zones do.

    • mare 16:58 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      I’ve always said that if I become wheelchair bound, I’d move out of Montreal. We might have lowered kerbs everywhere, but so many steps everywhere and snow and cold don’t help either. You don’t see many wheelchairs here, because physically disabled people stay close to where they live, exactly in zones that you describe. The wheelchairs the RAMQ prescribes are also so ugly and bad. They have to be the lowest bid and made in Quebec and there’s no reason for innovation for Quebec companies when there’s only competition on price.

      One should probably move *before* one needs a wheelchair anyway, because moving is already such a drag for able-bodied people. Finding the right moment will be a challenge.

    • Blork 17:22 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      @mare, I’m curious as to where you’d move to. I assume you mean a completely different place with a better climate, right? Not just Brossard? 🙂

    • shawn 17:30 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      Right, on a general note I’m always a bit amused by those ‘Montreal is the best city to live’ surveys because they never seem to take into account what it’s like to live here if you’re sick or old…

    • Daniel 18:26 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      Can I contribute my latest hobby horse? I recently got a handicapped parking placard but there are very few handicapped spaces on the street. My friend in New York City with a placard can park in practically any street spot, paid or permitted — for free! Quebec City also allows placard-holders to park in spots they otherwise couldn’t.

      Upon learning this, I went on the Montreal website to learn what parking accommodations they might provide. Answer — I’m not making this up — they are proud to offer some street-side paypoints that are lower so you can pay them from a wheelchair. Yay?

      It’s really shitty. I’m writing letters to the city. It’s safe to say I didn’t become disabled for the parking privileges and good thing! Because there aren’t many here.

    • EmilyG 19:13 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      Montreal is a very disabled-unfriendly city.

      (I’m not old, but am disabled.)

    • mare 21:20 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      @blork Weirdly enough the US is one of the most accessible places in the world thanks to the ADA. Wouldn’t move there because they wouldn’t want me (and other reasons) though.
      Not to Brossard either, not even to Longueuil. I’d probably go back to the country were I was born, the Netherlands, and join my two sisters who are (partially) wheelchair bound. It’s flat, has very little snowfall (unfortunately lots of grey days and rain), excellent public transport, and most buildings, houses and shops don’t have that one step to get in that we have here (which makes a lot of sense to keep the snow out). Very hard to find a place to live though, Montreal’s housing crisis is (still) very mild.

    • curious 21:25 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      Daniel, the handicapped parking card allows you to park in reserved residential spaces for up to an hour.

    • Daniel 21:35 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      curious: Oh! That would be something at least. I looked and couldn’t find anything like that in writing. Do you know where that might be written?

    • Kate 10:41 on 2022-11-08 Permalink

      Daniel, I’m trying to find out if/where it’s written down, but so far no luck. I only have this so far:

      “If you are a passenger and need a safe area to get into or out of a vehicle, or if you regularly drive someone who has reduced mobility, you can apply to have a passenger drop-off zone created in front of your home or near where you work.”


      which is not the answer.

      mare, I was told on Metafilter that the reason for the ADA was the large number of veterans returning from Vietnam with disabilities, who shamed the U.S. into instituting better laws about accessibility.

    • Ephraim 11:23 on 2022-11-08 Permalink

      We don’t have enough handicapped parking and/or drop-off zones in this city. And the city agents aren’t allowed to be confrontational, so non-handicapped people use handicapped spaces as stopping zones. The ticket even at over $300 just doesn’t seem to be enough to get people to respect the spots. And the cops themselves don’t realize that handicaps can be invisible and making pedestrians wait to cross can be painful for some people. I have a friend who is in pain while standing and the cops, moving traffic, made him wait at the corner to cross through several lights

    • curious 13:55 on 2022-11-08 Permalink

      I heard that on the radio about a year ago and know two people with handicapped parking cards who frequently park in residential reserved spaces and have never been ticketed. I’ll see if I can find the chapter and verse.

    • Ephraim 19:17 on 2022-11-08 Permalink

      You can park for 1 hour in the resident zone in Montreal. You can park anywhere without paying in Quebec City… but in Montreal you have to pay the meter

    • Daniel 13:51 on 2022-11-09 Permalink

      Kate: Thank you for your research efforts. curious: I’m sure it’s a thing many people have heard and a thing many people do. Ephraim, it’s true about Quebec City; I read it on their website!

      Meanwhile, I wrote to the Agence de mobilité durable re: my handicapped vignette and received (quickly!) this response:

      “Please note that you can not park with your vignette on streets reserved for residents. You can park only on the spots reserved for handicapped person or on a street where it’s free for all.”

      There’s room, of course, for that to be the official city policy and for stationnement enforcers to look the other way. That’s my best guess about the situation at the moment. To be perfectly honest, if need be, I’ll probably park briefly in resident spots, use my handicapped vignette, and hope for the best.

      Oh, and I’ll write to my elected officials to bring us up to the standards of many other cities. Maybe someday, Kate, you can link to a story about an anglophone agitator who changed parking policy for the disabled here! 😉

    • Kate 14:06 on 2022-11-09 Permalink

      I hope so, Daniel.

  • Kate 11:29 on 2022-11-07 Permalink | Reply  

    Dominique Anglade is announcing Monday morning that she’s quitting as chief of the Quebec Liberals and will also quit as MNA for Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne at the end of the month, which will mean a byelection.

    • Blork 11:41 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      So much for “stick-to-itiveness.”

    • shawn 11:55 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      I have absolutely no data to back this up so I oughta keep my mouth shut. But. I have always felt that in a society where identity-based politics plays such a huge role the deck was stacked against her. Whatever her mistakes – and there were a bunch – and the mess of problems she inherited…

    • Kate 12:27 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      It bugs me when someone who’s taken an oath to serve walks away from the job like this – not as party chief, but as MNA. I think if someone takes on that job they should do it, unless they have serious reasons like personal or family illness that prevent them.

      shawn, I think there’s no doubt that her being a woman of colour meant she was working against bias from the start.

    • Dominic 12:35 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      She was my MNA before she was leader, and she was always very responsive. She even replied to Twitter DMs with answers to questions on her Tweets.

      Agree with what @shawn said, she never really had a chance 🙁

    • shawn 16:57 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      Actually, there it is. First time I’ve seen it in print: “Party insiders noted that roughly 30 per cent of Quebecers polled said they could not see themselves voting for someone who did not resemble them, suggesting the colour of Anglade’s skin played a factor in her low ratings.” Almost a third! Christ…


    • jeather 21:03 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      She absolutely came in with the deck stacked against her, but she then decided to play her cards as badly as possible. I also agree that giving up her seat a month after the election is a shitty move.

    • DD 16:28 on 2022-11-08 Permalink

      Regardless of ethnicity, hardly surprising that a multimillionaire from the insulated world of venture capital and McKinsey and a former CAQ candidate would have difficulty articulating a distinguishing economic message.

  • Kate 09:35 on 2022-11-07 Permalink | Reply  

    People living and doing business along Pie‑IX are tired of construction noise and obstructions but, now that the SRB is more or less done, there’s the construction of the blue line extension to come.

    La Presse’s Nathalie Collard tears into our collective failure to develop public transit, noting the years of rumination over the blue line extension and reminding us that discussions about rapid transit on Pie‑IX date back to the Jean Drapeau era.

    • Uatu 18:19 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      Well we were occupied by more important issues like religious headgear, the size of English on signs, oaths to the king etc. Real stuff that really matters 😛

    • dhomas 19:43 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      We actually HAD rapid bus transit on Pie-IX before. Until the early 2000’s, IIRC. I used to take the 505 during rush hour to get to my girlfriend’s (now wife’s) house. It was cancelled after some people died by looking the wrong way getting off the bus, since it ran counter to traffic. I may be misremembering, but I think one of the fatalities was the daughter of a city councilor, who pushed to cancel the service. At the time, they cancelled it to develop something new and I think a tram was under consideration. It only took them 20 years-ish to restore the service…

    • Kate 10:51 on 2022-11-08 Permalink

      dhomas, yes, I remember that system existing, there were islands in the middle of the street, as now, with blue shelters on them. I never used it because I didn’t live or work in that part of town but I remember seeing it.

      I don’t think it cost anything like as much to build as the thing they have now. There were photos of quite deep excavations for the current arrangement, which made me wonder whether they were actually laying the foundation for a future tram without spelling it out.

    • dhomas 21:16 on 2022-11-08 Permalink

      The excavations they did this time around were to rebuild underground utilities, like water, sewage, natural gas, telecom, etc. I think the tram idea is dead.

  • Kate 09:32 on 2022-11-07 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s pedestrianized streets are popular, so why are they shut down so early, or indeed at all?

    • walkerp 11:07 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      This is the same city where they turn off the water fountains in late August…

    • John B 11:11 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      I’m one of the people who think the streets should be permanently pedestrianized, especially Wellington, my local street. Imagine what could be done for Halloween, or the entire street as a Christmas market, or New Years’ Eve on Wellington!

      It is true that it seemed like fewer people were using the terrasses as we headed into October, but I think that’s because of the unpredictability of the closing date, and the lack of commitment to being open during colder months. I didn’t see announcements for when Wellington would close to pedestrians until very late in the season, maybe a week or two before everything ended. If merchants know in advance that the street will be pedestrianized until, (for example), January 10 every year until 2025, then it makes sense to invest in warm outdoor seating, blankets, and heaters. If they don’t even know at the beginning of September if the street will be pedestrianized until the end of October obviously they’re not going to spend any money.

      For accessibility to cars, France, (or at least Paris), created a new type of traffic zone recently, (I think during the pandemic), “zones de rencontre,” where it seems like all types of traffic, (motorized vehicle, bike, pedestrian, etc), are permitted, but the right-of-way laws are flipped in such a way that motorized vehicles have last priority, so they have to creep through masses of people if they try to go there during busy times. On the surface it feels like North American car culture would make this impossible here, but I think France has a pretty big car culture too, so maybe it would be fine.

    • John B 11:24 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      @walkerp – and close the outdoor pools! Although the fountains seem to be getting better. In Verdun I think they lasted to late September this year, maybe even early October & Thanksgiving.

    • DeWolf 11:33 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      I’m glad the conversation has quickly shifted from “Why are these streets being pedestrianized?” to “Why aren’t they pedestrianized all the time?” Think back to the uproar over Mont-Royal’s first summer-long pedestrianization in 2020. It wasn’t that long ago.

      Apparently the Plateau is hiring an expert to manage the Mont-Royal pedestrianization, now that the city has guaranteed it will happen for at least the next three years. Luc Rabouin also said it will start earlier and end later next year.

      @walkerp I assume you mean the fountains in parks? It still depends on the borough, but I notice that the Plateau and Ville-Marie kept their fountains going until November 1 this year. When I think back to the Montreal I first encountered 20 years ago, there was definitely a distinct disinvestment in public spaces. It’s only in hindsight that you realize how dowdy and neglected the parks and streets were back then.

    • DeWolf 11:48 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      I just finished reading the CBC article and couldn’t help but laugh at this passage:

      “Year-round pedestrian streets do exist in other Canadian cities. Sparks St. in Ottawa, for example, is permanently closed to car traffic.”

      I mean, yes, Sparks Street is one example, but we also have three year-round, permanently pedestrianized streets here in Montreal. I’m surprised the writer didn’t mention those. Prince Arthur has been doing much better since its renovation. I spend a lot of time there because it’s so nice. De la Gauchetière in Chinatown is always bustling.

      And the third one is Ste-Catherine in the Quartier des spectacles, from Bleury to St-Laurent. This stretch used to be pedestrianized only during the festival season, but the Plante administration permanently pedestrianized it in 2020. I’m kind of surprised it hasn’t gotten more attention because it’s nearly 500 metres long — nearly twice as long as the pedestrian bits of Prince Arthur and de la Gauchetière — and it’s a very successful example of how a pedestrian street can thrive in all seasons. Even in the depths of winter, there are always lots of people walking around there, and the city has invested in wintertime programming that makes it even more lively.

    • Blork 11:52 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      Year-round seems a bit much, given how nasty it can be outside in January/February, but I totally agree they should run them longer and start earlier. Imagine if they ran from end of April to December 1 every year. Nice!

      Let’s not forget that if a street is pedestrianized and full of all those objects (terraces and whatnot) it makes it very difficult to do snow clearning. So Wellington in late January could be like a graveyard as pedestrians avoid it because (a) it’s cold and (b) it’s largely uncleared, and car/bus traffic avoids it because it’s uncleared.

      It probably wouldn’t take much to come up with a usable workaround, such as removing any “playground” type objects in the snowy season and making sure terraces are arranged such that snow clearing can run down the middle of the street.

      But pedestrianized streets in winter are not as lively as during the summer. Even if a terrace is open and it’s a beautiful day (only -5C!) people won’t be sitting outside lingering over a meal. Maybe sipping a coffee, but that’s about it.

      OTOH, pedestrianized streets are about more than just sitting and eating…

    • Blork 11:54 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      @DeWolf, I had the same reaction to the Sparks Street reference.

    • DeWolf 12:01 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      Winter pedestrianization would need to be a bit more targeted. In the article, Luc Rabouin said the Plateau will experiment with wintertime terraces and shorter bits of pedestrianization, which I think is a great idea, especially if it allows the buses to keep going.

      Duluth is a good candidate for year-round pedestrianization. It’s not a thoroughfare, there’s no buses, and it’s narrow enough to feel intimate and enclosed. Plus the blocks are short so you’re never more than 30 metres from a cross-street. It’s also a pretty magical street in the winter. Walking up towards the mountain after a snowfall, it almost feels like you’re in a ski village.

    • Blork 12:27 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      Thumbs up to that. In particular, Duluth. I was walking around there on Saturday (between St-Denis and the Main) and I couldn’t believe what a scene it was. So odd that in many ways it was exactly the same as when I lived there in the late 90s, yet also so different. The difference was mainly in the amount of people just out and about and the level of activity. Some nice new shops too. In particular, I love the De Stiil bookshop. I’ve been in a few times and it’s really special. I so wish that had been there when I was a local.

    • John B 16:42 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      @Blork – for year-round pedestrianization, January & February might be rough, but pre-pandemic Wellington had it’s cabane à sucre event every March which closed at least part of the street for a week. It feels like there’s great stuff that could happen from March until New Year’s Day, and at that point, why bother letting the cars in for only 2 months – that’ll just give people who want less pedestrianization leverage & hope, and give businesses a less stable environment for decision-making.

      Transit is a bit hard but the bus lines could be permanently re-routed. Or, we could bring back trams, which are very predictable about where they drive.

    • dhomas 19:53 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      For the outdoor pools, I frequent them with my kids enough in the summer to notice that the lifeguards are pretty much all younger folk, still in school. Once school starts, you lose the lifeguards. The “jeux d’eau” stay open a little longer since there is no lifeguard required.

      As for year-round pedestrianisation, it may be a chicken and egg situation. If streets were pedestrianised year-round, restaurants might be able to put up heated terrasses. I used to travel to Paris quite a bit and these were pretty common, though it doesn’t get as cold as here. We could also organize it in stock a way to make snow clearing easier.

    • Tim S. 22:47 on 2022-11-07 Permalink

      I was pleasantly surprised that the water fountains on Mont Royal were working on the weekend.

    • JaneyB 09:35 on 2022-11-08 Permalink

      @ John B – also in Verdun. I wonder if they could flood a couple of blocks of Wellington at least and make a rink. I noticed a pétanque gravel space this year, often busy too.

    • John B 11:13 on 2022-11-08 Permalink

      @JaneyB – that would be amazing. It would probably need to be refrigerated, but I saw last week that Westmount is setting up a portable refrigeration system for the rink they put in Westmount Park, so it seems that portable skating rink refrigerators are a thing.

  • Kate 08:48 on 2022-11-07 Permalink | Reply  

    A man was stabbed, so far non‑fatally, Sunday evening in Chinatown. It’s the usual story about an altercation that turned violent.

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