Updates from September, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 15:55 on 2023-09-05 Permalink | Reply  

    CDPQ Infra is trying to claim $60 million in insurance money because of REM construction delays caused by an explosion in 2020 in the Mount Royal tunnel. A stash of hundred‑year‑old explosives went off unexpectedly in July that year.

    Can the presence of this old dynamite really be called an unexpected disaster? Had the REM engineers carried out a more thorough inspection before beginning work, wouldn’t they have found it?

    Luckily I am not the judge on this case or I’d laugh them out of court.

    • anton 16:27 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      Well, the all of the explosives were _supposed_ to go off a hundred years ago, so, uh, not sure where you should expect there to be a bunch more lying around after all this time.

    • Kate 16:56 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      It all sounds a bit Wile E. Coyote.

      Anton, they knew the tunnel was not up to modern spec, I remember reading about this concern before they started. They must have sent experts in to check it out before they started working in it. After a hundred years anything could have been in there – and anything was. At least there weren’t any bodies.

    • Anton 02:11 on 2023-09-06 Permalink

      Well when I hear „not up to spec“, I think about egress routes, emergency exits, egress signage, lighting, emergency lighting, a second parallel tunnel that could be used for egress, tunnel profile (which is not a problem for the mont royal tunnel, the profile is huge), ventilation, emergency ventilation, access for emergency vehicles, other emergency measures (like sprinkler systems).

      From what I’ve read, the tunnel construction itself at the time was pretty solid, pretty clever, and overall well executed. The disaster I would worry about most now is probably a cave in (given that the tunnel is mostly blasted into the rock), then again I‘d hope there‘s continuous inspections for that (if thats even possible).

  • Kate 15:40 on 2023-09-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Amtrak says it hopes to resume service to Montreal next week.

    • Mr.Chinaski 09:08 on 2023-09-06 Permalink

      If only they would run the service during the night (something like 10pm to 10am), it would be always full!

    • Kate 09:40 on 2023-09-06 Permalink

      Years ago there used to be an overnight train, but that was in the neolithic when Windsor was an operating station.

    • carswell 10:25 on 2023-09-06 Permalink

      @Kate When I took the Montrealer — the overnight train to NYC — way back when (late ’80s or early ’90s), it left from Central Station. IIRC, the Adirondack originally used Windsor Station.

    • Anton 13:55 on 2023-09-06 Permalink

      I’ve been trying to find information about the Montrealer train for a while. Like for example ridership, consists, route performance. Back then, Amtrak didn’t provide route level information.
      If anybody has some info or data, it would be appreciated.

    • Kate 19:45 on 2023-09-06 Permalink

      Anton, I queried a train guy I know from Flickr and he sent these links, but had no further information:



      This is the guy’s own Flickr account – lots more train photos, but more recent.

    • Tee Owe 13:36 on 2023-09-07 Permalink

      I remember meeting someone who traveled from NYC at Windsor Station, back in the 70’s, early evening, really very atmospheric – big loss

    • carswell 13:42 on 2023-09-07 Permalink

      @Tee Owe There was a short period when you embarked the Adirondack at Windsor Station and disembarked at Grand Central Station (soon switched to the depressing Penn Station). Plus, if the train wasn’t delayed, you’d have just enough time for dinner at the Oyster Bar. Talk about leaving and arriving in style!

    • Orr 17:59 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      My buddy told me just the other day that his commuter train goes to Windsor station.
      He said that, but riding the clue-train not exactly his specialty.

    • Kate 19:50 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      Orr, I think some old-timers use that name metonymically to mean the Exo terminus near the Bell Centre.

  • Kate 09:41 on 2023-09-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Tuesday morning, the city announced a plan for better road safety in school zones. No way to know whether this is just PR smoke and mirrors, or whether measurable results will follow.

    Update: Some students will carry radar speed detectors in their backpacks, a technology used elsewhere but being tried for the first time here in town.

    • jeather 10:47 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      Fewer cars dropping the kids off/picking the kids up would measurably help, but that’s never happening.

    • mare 11:00 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      According to the person who announced this last week during Critical Mass, this is going to be *province wide*, at every school. He is part of a pressure group of concerned parents, and they worked hard to get this on the agenda. I forgot the exact details of the implementation and the time line, this obviously didn’t happen overnight before the Rentrée.

    • Uatu 11:01 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      Using temporary bollards to calm down traffic? There has to be something physical in the way because everyone drives SUVs now and those things are basically designed to plow into kids

    • Joey 11:18 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      The examples cited aren’t that impressive:

      Two weekly enforcement operations in accident-prone and school zones;
      An analysis of school corridors and reporting of situations that could compromise the safety of schoolchildren;
      Online video clips and prevention tips shared on social networks and with neighbourhood posts;
      Distribution of awareness tools around schools;
      Awareness-raising posters at school drop-off points and at the main entrances to schools and their day-care centres.

    • walkerp 11:35 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      According to the brigadière, the cops were out in the first week giving drivers a lot of tickets around school zones, so that’s something.

    • dhomas 11:42 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      The city of Laval made a cool video to try to get people to slow down:


      PSAs are nice, but generally ineffective. There needs to be physical, traffic calming measures in place to slow people down.

    • carswell 11:48 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      Isn’t this a problem that a few strategically placed traffic cameras around each school would instantly solve? Affordably, too, as the fines would likely cover the cost and then some.

    • steph 13:10 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      @dhomas, call the OQLF – “Slow d’āne”

    • thomas 14:18 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      Completely, agree with carswell. I wonder why the city doesn’t make more extensive use of traffic cameras.

    • dhomas 14:20 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      @steph the “faucon pèlerin” strikes again!

    • Nicholas 17:00 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      I thought I remember reading that the province limits the number of photo radar and traffic light cameras, though I can’t find a source. There are only 12 on the island, which is basically a rounding error. Given that 94% of Quebeckers support photo radar in school zones and the penchant of the mayor and her party for traffic calming and non-car travel, I’m pretty sure there would be more than 12 cameras if the city had the authority to.

    • Joey 17:56 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      Geneviève Guilbault has already announced plans to increased the number of cameras.

    • Ephraim 20:54 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

      Were they not supposed to put cameras on school buses? Ah yes, in 2018…. so where is it now? https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/quebec-launching-pilot-project-to-install-cameras-on-school-buses

  • Kate 09:13 on 2023-09-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Shots were fired overnight on a residential street in Ahuntsic, but no victims turned up. A car dealership in Pointe‑aux‑Trembles also got shot up.

    • Kate 09:10 on 2023-09-05 Permalink | Reply  

      Montreal used to have a lot more asphalted central areas devoted to parking, some of which have since been built on, but not all. The owner of many of the remaining ones is the province (or, as Philippe Teisceira‑Lessard calls it, l’État québécois).

      • PatrickC 09:45 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

        Nationalism aside, I’ve long felt that using “état” instead of “province” stems partly from the fact that the negative connotations of “province” and “provincial” are stronger in French than in English. There’s Paris, and there is “la province,” almost equivalent to “the sticks.”

      • carswell 10:25 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

        “Provincial” has an in-the-sticks connotation in English, too, but that somehow hasn’t sown confusion among anglophones using it to refer to the “state” they live in.

        Popular usage of the term has, I believe, been encouraged by the provincial government as part of its stealth campaign to present Quebec as a country within a country, to minimize the open acknowledgement of Quebec as a province — l’état québecois et l’état canadien, to separate without the mess of actual separation (for now at least — who knows what “former” separatist Legault has up his sleeve).

      • DeWolf 11:20 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

        The Hôtel-Dieu parking lot is especially egregious. You could build massive amounts of housing (social or otherwise) without even touching the old hospital building.

      • Kate 16:56 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

        DeWolf, if you look at that block in Google Maps satellite, the sheer size of that lot becomes apparent. It would be great if they built more housing along the Santropol side, and maybe de‑asphalted the western portion and added it back to the Hôtel‑Dieu garden.

        Which reminds me – they were supposed to open that garden to the public, but I haven’t heard about it lately. Are they waiting till all the work’s completed on Pine Avenue, maybe open it up as part of a festive moment?

      • DeWolf 18:20 on 2023-09-05 Permalink

        I think it’s already open? But with the construction I haven’t bothered to check.

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