Updates from January, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:22 on 2023-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Facing a budget shortfall for 2023, STM board chairman Eric Alan Caldwell says they are doing the best they can under the circumstances. I read this item wondering whether there would be any nuggets of news in there, but not really, except that on Thursday some folks will hold a funeral for the 10 minutes max idea.

    • Kate 23:17 on 2023-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

      A teenager was attacked and beaten with a blunt object as the school day was ending at a Montreal North high school. He’s said to be in critical condition.

      • Kate 23:13 on 2023-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

        A building in St‑Laurent was destroyed by fire Monday evening, needing 100 firefighters to subdue the blaze.

        • Kate 23:07 on 2023-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

          The man who allegedly held his mother hostage and shot at police Sunday morning has been charged with negligent use of a prohibited firearm, carrying a weapon for a dangerous purpose and using a weapon against police. CTV adds that Julien Giard has a criminal record.

          • Kate 18:17 on 2023-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

            One of the city’s largest trees was taken down recently, having been judged too unstable to be safe.

            Most of our really big trees are this species, the eastern cottonwood. Nobody plants them – they simply pop up. I have a few favourites – this trio that looms over several small houses in Petite‑Patrie, this one in a park a little way south of there, these behind a seniors’ residence on Villeray and this one in Mile Ex.

            …You mean you don’t collect trees?

            • SMD 19:41 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

              Oh man, that one in the park on Mozart is one of my faves!

            • EmilyG 19:42 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

              There are various trees around town that I especially like.

              There’s a public tree map of Montreal: https://quebio.ca/en/arbresmtl

            • DeWolf 20:01 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

              I had no idea their typical lifespan was only about 75 years. That means they get really big really fast!

            • Ian 20:55 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

              And they have a tendency to lose limbs like other fast growing big trees. Looking at you, weeping willow.

              I have a truly enormous cottonwood in my neighbour’s back yard, the alley between Hutchison & Parc. It’s so big that it is clearly visible from Parc.

              Lost a big branch a couple years back and took out the top balcony in our triplex!

            • Salvatore 23:20 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

              The middle tree in your fav trio is now only a trunk. It was “mostly” cut down this summer.

            • Latour Roger 06:52 on 2023-01-24 Permalink

              I know the ones on Saint-Gérard (near seniors’ residence on Villeray). They are Carolina Poplars, an hybrid of our native Eastern Cottonwood and the European Black Poplar. The big poplars of park La Fontaine are these hybrids, planted around 1916 as cuttings (clones). They are all over the island (really). Distinguishing from the Eastern Cottonwood usually requires leaf samples. Or if the trees are in a row, ie. planted.

              The trio on Saint-André are almost certainly the hybrid. A lot of these in that neighbourhood.

              One day I might finish my book on this very subject…

            • Kate 09:44 on 2023-01-24 Permalink

              Thanks for the info, Roger.

              Salvatore, that’s too bad, although I imagine it would be a real mess for any of those houses if one of those trees fell over in a storm.

            • John B 10:37 on 2023-01-24 Permalink

              I read somewhere that cottonwoods & poplars have evolved so they’re the first trees to grow in a fairly barren area like a beach, or riverbed that recently changed course, and they grow fast & big with fairly soft wood, then die and decompose quickly leaving richer soil for more permanent trees.

              Of course “quickly” is all relative to the tree timeline, so it still seems long to us.

          • Kate 17:34 on 2023-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

            Both La Presse and Le Devoir are looking at the lives of “temporary” foreign workers who spend most of their lives here, can’t get permanent residency – yet our society and our economy rest on their shoulders.

            That we import workers for cheap to whom we don’t extend the protection of minimum wage, socialized medicine and stability isn’t an oversight. It’s policy.

            • Kate 14:15 on 2023-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

              A new train control system of a type already widely used in other cities will be tested out on the metro’s blue line and then extended to the rest of the system. It’s not a cheap experiment, expected to cost $565 million, and be working by 2028.

              The existing control technology dates back 50 years to the origins of the metro system.

              Update to add the Gazette and to ponder why this, why now? Maybe the old system really is not sustainable, and rather than being maintained and repaired, needs to be replaced, if not immediately, then soonish. Eventually your technology gets so old you can’t even get replacement parts – as happened with the old MR‑63 metro trains.

              But it’s hard to believe that imperfectly spaced metro service is a more pressing fix than, say, better bus service.

              Also, why the blue line?

              • Blork 14:35 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                I know that it’s necessary to update such tools, but half a billion dollars? For control system? And you just know that by the time it’s up and running it will be 2032 and cost $900 million. Yikes!

              • steph 15:38 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                I’m not an expert, but the name of the new system is in english… the old one was in french. I don’t think the new system will work for Quebec. We will have to re-invent our own.

              • Blork 18:19 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                Probably the blue line because that’s the one with the lowest level of catastrophe if (when?) the system breaks down.

              • carswell 19:00 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                The STM will have to have a control system for the blue line extension, not coincidentally to be completed by 2028. Instead of installing the old system, which would soon have to be replaced, it makes economic and organizational sense to go with the new system and thus to start the upgrading of the existing lines’ systems with the remainder of the blue line.

                I suspect they’re feeling pressure to focus on this as opposed to bus service because of the rush hour crowding on the orange line that followed its extension to Laval. The number of riders is currently under pre-pandemic levels but they’re probably looking forward and may still be blinkered by the métro-boulot-dodo mindset that envisions downtown returning to its former glory.

              • DeWolf 20:11 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                I just looked up what New York is spending to do the same kind of work across its entire system and the price tag is apparently C$3.75 billion. So I guess this kind of work is extremely expensive, but… why?

              • JaneyB 20:42 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                This is where we need to hear from Ant6n. Where is he, btw? (From twitter, it seems at the anti-coal protests in Germany but still…).

              • Kate 12:18 on 2023-01-24 Permalink

                JaneyB, it seems he’s gone back to Germany, but he’s not a personal friend so I don’t know further details.

                DeWolf: I imagine they have to extend cabling for a complex feedback system all through the network. They probably can’t reuse any of the hardware that’s already in place – and New York’s subway is much older than ours, so they’d be dealing with even older and more crufty stuff in place. And rats.

              • carswell 12:38 on 2023-01-24 Permalink

                These systems also have to have a lot of fail-safes and redundancies built into them. That can’t be cheap.

              • CE 13:01 on 2023-01-24 Permalink

                Maintenance in New York also has the added difficulty of the system being 24 hours on many (most?) lines.

              • carswell 13:28 on 2023-01-24 Permalink

                Good point, CE. Even here, the work would have to be done between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. at dog knows what overtime rates. And each morning, the workers won’t just be able to leave things as is until their next shift but have to tidy up the site, yet another extra cost. None of that will apply to the blue line extension, however — yet another argument in favour of starting there.

              • carswell 18:41 on 2023-01-24 Permalink

                A snippet from this morning’s Daybreak interview with the head of the STM, Éric Alan Caldwell (more francophone than anglophone, to go by his accent) just aired on Let’s Go. He confirmed that they’re starting with the blue line because it doesn’t make sense to outfit the extension with a 1970s control system that would soon have to be ripped out and replaced. He also said when the extension is complete, the line will switch over to Azur trains (they’re currently being ordered) in a nine-car configuration. Looking forward to that!

              • carswell 19:09 on 2023-01-24 Permalink

                Interesting 14-minute video about the control system upgrade from a knowledgable Toronto transit geek.


                tl;dr The city is making a big mistake with the announced high-priced communications-based control system upgrade to the blue line and should instead take advantage of the opportunity to install platform doors and completely automate the line (which would require a different control system).

                Some convincing arguments and lots of shots of other transit systems, including an upgraded line in Paris. The video was obviously made before it had been announced that the line will be switching to Azur cars, which announcement actually strengthens his case.

            • Kate 12:51 on 2023-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

              No Borders Media is reporting that Gabriel Sohier‑Chaput, alias Zeiger, has been found guilty of willfully inciting hate against an identifiable group. Thanks to H. John for alerting me to this news.

              More from CBC.

              • EG 14:43 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                I don’t buy the “just satire” defense.

                The term “Schrodinger’s douchebag” comes to mind:
                “One who makes douchebag statements, particularly sexist, racist or otherwise bigoted ones, then decides whether they were “just joking” or dead serious based on whether other people in the group approve or not.”


              • Kate 15:24 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                EG, nor did the judge.

              • MarcG 17:14 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                It’s worth reading the No Borders Media Twitter reports. The judge really made up for the weak prosecution.

            • Kate 10:20 on 2023-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

              There’s already a special weather statement up about the snowstorm expected Wednesday night.

              • Kate 10:18 on 2023-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

                A demonstration will be held Sunday over an issue that’s mostly dropped out of collective consciousness for the moment: building an elevated train in the east end, and also the proposed extension of Assomption Blvd right through the Boisé Steinberg.

                Geneviève Guilbault is saying that some parts of the eastern REM will be elevated and some won’t be.

                • mare 14:48 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                  Funny that people (and the media) will call it REM forever now, even though CDPQ has a trademark on it.
                  Not funny is that this will yet be another rail system that won’t be compatible with existing systems so it can’t be easily (or at all) connected to other lines in the future. And it’ll need it’s own maintenance facilities and supply of spare rolling stock and parts. It’s sad that the greater Montreal is such a patchwork of public transport without any long term plans.

                • DeWolf 15:53 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                  @mare, that’s not unusual, nor it is a problem. Nearly all large metro systems have a variety of rolling stock that isn’t necessarily compatible from one line to the next. London has different trains for all but three of its Underground lines, for instance, not to mention the DLR (automated light metro) and the Overground. Paris has some lines with steel wheeled trains, others with rubber tired trains. Vancouver’s SkyTrain has two distinct types of rolling stock: one for the Expo and Millennium lines, one for the Canada Line.

                  It doesn’t really make sense for an entire rail network to use exactly the same rolling stock, station sizes, etc. Different lines have different needs.

                • Kate 18:02 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                  But that’s because big cities necessarily are a patchwork, no? Upgrades are made unevenly, technology changes while politics shuffles its feet, incompatible systems are kludged together with duct tape and baling wire.

              • Kate 09:37 on 2023-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

                This account of the police rescue of a woman from a gunman on Sunday morning plays up the heroism of the police but explains nothing about whether there was any relationship between the perpetrator and his victim.

                • Blork 11:38 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                  First paragraph says the perp was her son.

                • Kate 12:52 on 2023-01-23 Permalink

                  I didn’t see that earlier, which doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. Thanks.

              Compose new post
              Next post/Next comment
              Previous post/Previous comment
              Show/Hide comments
              Go to top
              Go to login
              Show/Hide help
              shift + esc