Updates from February, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:27 on 2023-02-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Thieves are cutting through city bike racks and there seems no way to counter this, as any metal that can be formed into tubing and turned into a bike rack can necessarily also be cut with tools.

    But people are making off with bikes that have U-locks on them. Those too will be cut off, but those stolen bikes are not being ridden away. There must be organized teams with tools and a truck – are the police making any efforts to identify them and track them down?

    • mare 02:44 on 2023-02-18 Permalink

      Not necessarily with trucks. I’ve seen (Dutch) bike thieves that had a clip on their belt and just walked away pushing the bike, but with the rear wheel slightly lifted, but still locked. Also a lot of people just put their U lock around the frame, so they don’t have to kneel or bend over. Putting your lock tightly around the bottom of the pole might be a better way.

      Unfortunately there’s not much you can do against a $100 angle grinder and a brazen thief. There are super hardened and thick locks that cost $300 and will take several disks to grind trough them, but if the thieves just cut the bike stand that fancy lock won’t help much. Those five disks they can do somewhere else with a bigger and better angle grinder. A ‘trend’ in the Netherlands is thieves just cutting the frames and harvesting the bike for parts, like the battery and motor. I have a rather cheap eBike (but expensive to me) and I use 5 locks and an alarm. I also have a tracker and insurance. Hopefully it will be too much effort and thieves will take another bike.

      BTW “rappelant l’existence du service d’enregistrement de vélo Garage 529 pour lutter contre le vol géré par le Service de police de la Ville de Montréal.” is not true.
      The site https://project529.com/garage is *not* run by the Montreal police, and not only for Montreal bikes. I’m glad they mention it though, because it means the SPVM does look there if they recover a bike, and try to track down the owner. If you have a bike, free registration there might mean you’ll get your bike back after the police finds a warehouse full of bikes. I don’t think finding those warehouses has a high priority though.

      What would probably help if Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace would be required to ask for serial numbers of bikes, and photos of those serial numbers. And check those against a registry of bikes, and notify the police if there’s a match. And be liable for fencing stolen goods if they don’t. I have no illusion that will ever happen though.

      Everyone who wants to buy a used bike, should look for the serial number beforehand, and check it against the two bike registries https://project529.com/garage and/or https://bikeindex.org/

      And owners should register their bikes their and report it to the police. If the stolen bike numbers go up the police might be more active to protect their crime statistics.

    • Meezly 11:19 on 2023-02-18 Permalink

      I plan to read the article later, but I’m guessing the proliferation of electric bikes is probably spurring thieves to invest in excellent grinders, and now all bikes are fair game.

    • steph 13:08 on 2023-02-18 Permalink

      A friend of mine who lives in the mile end had his white van stolen from him a few years back. By chance, a few days later he found it parked near the VanHorn overpass, with 5 bikes loaded in the back. So obviously he called the cops. The only thing the police had to say was “They’re probably stolen bikes on their way to Toronto for sale on marketplace/kijiji there. You’re lucky you found your van”. They unloaded the bikes from the van and the cops just told my friend know he could be on his way. While he sorted things in the van, he saw the cops just drive away – leaving the bikes on the curb, obviously unlocked.

    • Blork 18:08 on 2023-02-18 Permalink

      Totally aside, but I sometimes think I occasionally have very good luck. Years ago I left my bike in a crowded bike rack on the sidewalk in front of the YMCA on Drummond around 10:00AM and then went to work over on deMaisonneuve. I came back around 5:30 and there were only two or three other bikes left at the rack, including mine. That’s when I noticed my U lock still in its little harness. I had completely forgotten to lock it, and it was obvious to anyone who looked, even from a distance, that it wasn’t locked. Lucky me! (That time at least.)

  • Kate 20:31 on 2023-02-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Recent numbers from the STM show that the metro is less crowded Mondays and Fridays than on the other three weekdays. The spokesman also says metro trains will stay at 9 cars, which is odd because I didn’t think you could easily shorten an Azur train, while the blue line, still running the older trains, has always run on 6 cars.

    • carswell 20:55 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

      The headline for the Journal article Kate links to is Voici les journées les plus achalandées dans le métro de Montréal and the only days discussed are weekdays. Not a single mention of Saturday or Sunday. Current ridership is 69% of prepandemic levels on Mondays and Fridays and 73% on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

      Meanwhile La Presse’s headline is L’achalandage en hausse, surtout le week-end. In addition, the stats are broken down by bus and metro as well as day of the week. On Saturdays and Sundays, average ridership is 85% of prepandemic levels, which seems noteworthy and leaves me wondering why the Journal ignores it.

    • Kate 21:29 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

      Good link, carswell – I hadn’t spotted that.

      So people are using transit on weekends more than for standard weekday commutes. That’s nice to know.

    • Nicholas 21:52 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

      Washington DC has noticed such a difference between Mon+Fri vs Tue+Wed+Thu that they’re now running more service those three middle days (partly due to a lack of operators and trains). And yes, generally changing the length of trains with married open gangway cars like the Azur takes a while and must be done in the shop, while changing the length of trains with coupled cars like the Blue line MR-73 between 3 and 6 cars can be done in minutes. I remember as a kid the blue line having 6 cars at rush hour and 3 otherwise, but with increased ridership that made no sense anymore. With weekend and off-peak traffic recovering much better than peak, probably makes sense to keep it at 6.

    • Kate 22:03 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

      I don’t remember seeing 3-car trains on the blue line, but then I didn’t live close to it till 2005.

      Wouldn’t they have to keep adjusting barriers on all the platforms to keep passengers corralled into the right places?

    • Benoit 02:18 on 2023-02-18 Permalink

      The stm had 6-cars trains on the orange line on weekends in the 90’s. It wasn’t a good idea, trains were always packed and the savings quite small

    • jeather 10:10 on 2023-02-18 Permalink

      Without intending to turn a public transit thread into a car thread, rush hour traffic is decidedly less busy on Fridays and somewhat less busy on Mondays. That this is also true in public transit isn’t shocking.
      I am curious, though — MF is down to 69% of prepandemic, and TWTh 73%, but was there a MF effect before the pandemic also? (I took the metro then, but can’t remember.)

    • Uatu 13:04 on 2023-02-18 Permalink

      I guess la presse recognizes that less commuters on Monday and Friday reflects the new paradigm of a 4 day work week. Maybe pkp/le journal would like life to return to prepandemic hours with workers back downtown like old days?

    • steph 13:13 on 2023-02-18 Permalink

      I go to the office twice a week. TWTh is obviously MUCH busier. I alos have the impression that in the last 3 weeks that the interval between trains has also lengthened (used to be 3 mins… now it’s 5 mins). With that the platforms are now noticeably fuller. I’ve had to wait for a 2nd train now twice at Berri (which has never happened to me in the last 20 years)

    • DeWolf 13:34 on 2023-02-18 Permalink

      Yeah, metro service was slightly reduced and it’s really being felt. As steph said, it means you’re often waiting 4 or 5 minutes between trains instead of 3, which doesn’t sound like a big deal but somehow makes the trains much, much more crowded.

      If the new Quebec budget being announced next month doesn’t include massively more funding for public transit…

    • carswell 14:16 on 2023-02-18 Permalink

      @Utau That possibility crossed my mind too. Another might be the Journal’s suburban mindset: the metro is of interest on weekdays, when many commuters avoid driving in the centre city due to traffic, but not on weekends, when the roads are less jammed and suburbanites can take their cars instead (wouldn’t be the first time I’ve thought the rag’s name should be Le Journal des banlieues de Montréal).

    • Chris 15:37 on 2023-02-18 Permalink

      >…the new paradigm of a 4 day work week.

      There is no such new paradigm. Perhaps you meant 4 days in-office?

    • walkerp 00:21 on 2023-02-19 Permalink

      It’s coming, though.

    • Chris 11:11 on 2023-02-19 Permalink

      Uatu, or perhaps it was a Freudian slip about work-from-home being about as productive as an actual day off? 🙂

    • steph 11:37 on 2023-02-19 Permalink

      Everyone I know who WFH is more productive at home. The few exceptions are all extroverts. The office is great for extroverts – They masking their own lack of productivity by distracting others and dragging down everyone’s productivity.
      Don’t get me started on how bosses want people to return to the office as a means to justify THEIR jobs…

    • Uatu 12:20 on 2023-02-19 Permalink

      Yeah I think I meant 4 day office week. I think it’s because I know people like nurses that have 3 or 4 day weeks (but they also work 12 hour shifts.) I find that I’m more productive at home because I don’t have to commute anywhere and I can set my own pace which means I can get everything done by waking up early leaving my afternoons open for whatever I want. And I agree with steph- wfh pretty much exposes the irrelevance of middle management bullsht jobs.

    • GC 16:18 on 2023-02-19 Permalink

      There have been some offices that have moved to having their employees only work four days per week, in total, but I would think they are still very much the exception in North America. (So probably not common enough to have a major impact on commuting.) In my circle, I think I know of only two people who work for companies who have done this–and neither one is in Montreal.

  • Kate 18:49 on 2023-02-17 Permalink | Reply  

    The prime minister was within his rights to invoke the Emergencies Act after regular police proved helpless to deal with the “freedom convoy” that infested downtown Ottawa for weeks, says the report from Justice Paul Rouleau of the Public Order Emergency Commission.

    • Kate 17:30 on 2023-02-17 Permalink | Reply  

      Not surprising to read that Pierre Ny St‑Amand will have a psychiatric assessment to decide whether he’s fit to stand trial. The descriptions of the accused’s comportment do not sound like a well man.

      • mare 18:36 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

        He could have been temporarily unwell during the event. Psychotic episode etc. But now, maybe after treatment, understand what he has done and thus be fit to stand trial. IANAD IANAL, yadda yadda

      • Kate 20:07 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

        Reading the descriptions of the man’s behaviour, I hope they also give him a thorough physical exam too, to rule out something like a brain tumour possibly altering his personality.

    • Kate 11:24 on 2023-02-17 Permalink | Reply  

      Things to do this weekend – Metro, CityCrunch, CultMTL, Sarah’s weekend list.

      • Kate 11:20 on 2023-02-17 Permalink | Reply  

        People are helping themselves to those temporary orange no-parking signs, then using them to reserve parking spots later for their personal convenience. Meanwhile contractors are having to pay for signs that have been stolen.

        Would it work to attach a tracker tile to these things?

        • Blork 13:15 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

          That would never work. For one thing, you’d need hundreds of tracker tiles, and people would easily find them and dispatch them into a snowbank. ← And yeah, I’m sure you were kidding, but for the sake of the first-degree readers….

        • Ephraim 16:19 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

          I’ve even said this to a city councillor. Those signs should require a sticker/code, like from the P-Touch with the permit number attached. A permit that any citizen can check online, to ensure that they are valid.

          We’ve had companies and film crews put up the sign on the street. When we call the city, it takes a while to find the permit. Often they have exceeded their permit. For example, in one case they paid for 5 spots on the western side of the street and have marked out 10 spots on both sides.

          No permit number, no need to respect the sign. Make it easy enough for us to validate. And no permit, the city can remove the sign and keep it.

        • Ephraim 16:21 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

          The reverse could also be true. Give each such sign a permanent number. When used for a permitted sign, assign that number to the permit. You can put in the sign number to verify it’s permit.

          BTW, on my street, often people just move the sign. They just show up too often. And if you call and the city can’t find a permit… off it goes

        • steph 16:27 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

          These thieves aren’t that clever, there’s some unspoken social rules in play here. If someone catches you doing this (which is very likely in our Montreal balconvilles), expect to get your car quietly keyed.

        • dhomas 16:57 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

          I have a few neighbours that do this around my house. On two occasions, I’ve loaded up those signs in the trunk of my car and brought them to an active constructions site so they would be taken care of. This was after I opened tickets with the city (Montreal app) that got ignored.

        • JP 20:10 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

          I had my car keyed once….I’m still not sure what I had done. But yeah, stealing and misusing those signs is a pretty crappy thing to do.

        • carswell 20:22 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

          Haven’t seen any of those free-standing no parking signs in my ‘hood (UdeM) for years and only a few on main local arteries like Côte-des-Neiges. For a while, the borough was using posterboard signs attached to wood stakes that were stuck in the snow banks about to be removed (I believe they were just gobbled up by the snowblowers and carted away — not exactly ecological). Nowadays all I see are the orange boxes that are slipped onto the permanent parking signs. Wonder if any of them are stolen for personal use.

      • Kate 10:29 on 2023-02-17 Permalink | Reply  

        Laval is still trying to get some of its millions back from associates of Gilles Vaillancourt.

        • Spi 10:53 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

          *from the associates of Gilles Vaillancourt or *from the Gilles Vaillancourt era.

          The former mayor is not a named defendant in any of the lawsuits filed from what I can tell, thus they aren’t trying to recoup money from him.

        • Kate 11:26 on 2023-02-17 Permalink

          Thank you. Amended.

      • Kate 10:25 on 2023-02-17 Permalink | Reply  

        CTV has a list of the off‑island schools closed because of weather.

        Not sure it amounts to a Storm Watch graphic in town though.

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