Updates from September, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 14:36 on 2023-09-09 Permalink | Reply  

    This week, the mayor of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension said to a resident that it isn’t the city’s responsibility to offer a parking spot for every car on its territory. Laurence Lavigne Lalonde may be right, but she may have lost the next election for Projet. She’s underestimating the passion that parking occupies in many lives.

    • Jonathan 14:57 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      That’s her response everytime someone complains about parking. She’s said it a million times. She said it during the election campaign.

      It’s true. And the majority of folks in VSP don’t own a car anyway.

    • Nicholas 15:20 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      Everyone using VSP for this oddly-amalgamated borough rather than Ville-Saint-Pierre is destroying our heritage! 😉

    • JP 15:26 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      It’s interesting to see her not care and hear what the citizens she represents are saying. No, it’s not the city’s responsibility to offer a parking spot but they don’t have to take existing ones away. I’m glad we managed to move away from that area before the UdeM campus got built. I knew the elites who could bike would want their bike highway and get it at the expense of Park Ex residents.

    • dhomas 16:03 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      @Nicolas ViSaMiPex is such a mouthful, though!

    • carswell 17:17 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      VSMPE works, no?

    • Ian 19:25 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      I guess Projet isn’t as serious about going electric as they claim. Unless people without driveways can get assigned parking, going fully electric isn’t viable in most of the city centre.

      Ah well, that’s municipal politics around here – vote for the ones whose promises align most closely with your own views, hope they aren’t lying, and sit back and take it until the next election because none of them are going to listen to you in the meantime.

    • DisgruntledGoat 02:59 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      Hoping the commenters concerned about parking have already relocated to Laval to complete the natural cycle of things.

      Can’t whine about the city not being car centric enough until you only drive in once or twice a week to check out the new Nike store or do your mandatory two days in col blanc office

    • DeWolf 10:35 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      Some people here must have drank the Pierre Pollievre kool-aid to suggest that it’s good, hard-working Canadians who own cars and evil urban elites who are zipping around on bikes, murdering puppies and kittens along the way. So many victims in this cruel war on cars!

      I shouldn’t need to remind anyone that cycling is by far the cheapest way to get around and if you actually spent time in Park Ex looking at who is getting around by bike, it certainly isn’t a bunch of spandexed lawyers on fancy racing bikes. So are JP and others really saying that the old people who get around on their janky old hybrid bikes don’t deserve safety?

    • DeWolf 10:44 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      @Ian are you seriously suggesting the future is having an EV charger in front of every house? EVs eliminate tailpipe emissions but that’s it. They are an environmental disaster on every other level: fine particulate emissions, carbon-intensive manufacturing, destructive resource extraction, congestion. And they’re even deadlier for pedestrians because they are so much heavier than ICE vehicles.

      No, the future is to replace ICE vehicles with EVs while also drastically reducing the number of personal cars. You do that by improving public transit and promoting car-sharing services, but also by creating safe infrastructure for getting around by bike or small electric vehicles like e-scooters that don’t have enormous batteries and don’t take up a ton of space like electric cars.

    • Daniel 11:41 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      We absolutely need to make way for greener infrastructure. There is no doubt. At the same time, I’m very sympathetic to the woman in the previous CBC story who has a reserved disability parking spot in front of her house and who will now see that spot move around the corner.

      It may not sound like much to some, but this is changing the rules of the game on her when every step counts.

      Does that mean they shouldn’t put up the bike lane? I’m not saying that. But I’m genuinely unsure what the kind and equitable solution is here.

    • jeather 11:41 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      Ideally there’d be something like the escooter that was usable for winter and could carry shopping. You don’t need a full car for groceries, but many people want something a bit bigger than a bike, and if you want this to be taken up more broadly, there needs to be a safe winter solution.

    • Ian 11:46 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      No, DeWolf, I am saying few drivers will ditch their ICE for an EV if they have nowhere to charge it. It’s not a controversial opinion.

    • Chris 11:57 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      >No, DeWolf, I am saying few drivers will ditch their ICE for an EV if they have nowhere to charge it.

      Right. But we don’t want them to ditch their ICE for an EV. We want them to ditch their ICE for public transport, car share, biking, e-scooter, etc.

      EVs are just greenwashing.

    • bumper carz 12:30 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      @Ian: “I am saying few drivers will ditch their ICE for an EV if they have nowhere to charge it. It’s not a controversial opinion.”

      What is controversial in your statement is the implication that electric SUVs are * the answer.* Commercial media say they are, while reality disagrees.

    • Ian 13:04 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      That’s a logical stretch even for you, I don’t recall bringing up SUVs but it is your favourite topic so fair go. I’m surprised you didn’t somehow advocate for the death of people that don’t live in Montreal’s densest boroughs, but there’s still time, I suppose.

      If you don’t think EV vehicles are better than ICE I guess all those electric buses and EV stations are a waste of time. Better call up Plante and let her know.

      Maybe this is a problem we can solve with clowns?

    • DeWolf 14:34 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      @Daniel As I mentioned in the last thread about this, the equitable solution would be to remove one lane of traffic and make Querbes one-way. You’d have room to install protected bike lanes without losing any parking, and on top of that you’d eliminate a lot of the through traffic that makes Querbes such a dangerous street. Win-win.

      @Ian As usual you’re distorting what I said. Electric buses and delivery vehicles, etc, are not personal private vehicles.

    • Ian 14:50 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      So does that mean you agree that there should be more EV charging stations, or are you sticking to no personal private vehicles across the board?

      While we’re on the topic, how do you feel about personal private vehicles for others than the fortunate residents of Montreal’s 13 densest boroughs?

    • DeWolf 16:09 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      Of course there should be more EV charging stations. But it makes no sense for them to be on the street. Eventually we’ll need more off-street parking, most of which should be equipped with DC fast chargers instead of the L2 chargers we have now on the Circuit Électrique.

      The future I’d like to see for us is less on-street parking, with community garages where people can charge their cars. And most importantly, fewer personal cars in general. That means more support for services like Communauto, more safe infrastructure for cycling and other alternative forms of transport, better pedestrian environments and most crucially of all, better public transit. I think we agree on the last point and all Canadian politicians have absolutely dropped the ball on making transit an essential and attractive option for more people.

      Of course for that to happen the less dense boroughs will need to become denser. Which isn’t actually that hard in Montreal because, except for the West Island (and not even all of it) the built form here is already fairly dense and can be easily densified a little more without the block-busting tower developments you see in places like Toronto. But ending car-dependency is key.

      So I don’t begrudge anyone for owning a car right now but I do begrudge anyone who is actively trying to prevent a future where cars aren’t as necessary.

    • Ian 18:11 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      Okay you have my vote on that, too. I love the idea of centralized community garages with super-limited street parking – or none at all.

      Definitely building housing should be on the table too, to solve the housing crisis and prevent sprawl.

    • DeWolf 21:50 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      Yes, I think ultimately we agree on most things, it’s just good old internet snark getting in the way 🙂

    • Joey 09:03 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

      @Ian I had an EV in Mile-End without a parking space (let alone private charger) for three years before a neighbour had an alley spot available for rent. While it was occasionally a nuisance, relying on the Circuit electrique infrastructure was fine for my charging needs. Then again, I wasn’t doing 30 km a day of driving, but the car (at the time a Leaf) had a relatively small battery and required frequent juice, especially in the winter. Something to plan around but hardly a dealbreaker.

      I am very cautiously optimistic that the Quebec government will invest adequately to make sure the charging infrastructure keeps up with EV adoption, though it’s also worth keeping in mind that EV batteries are getting bigger (so you don’t have to charge as frequently as in the past), EV engines are getting more efficient (so you can drive farther on a single charge) and EV charging is getting faster (so shorter, more frequent ‘convenient’ charges – i.e., you drive downtown and park in front of a charging station – compose a larger share of your charging). Always a pleasure to find an EV spot that, unlike its neighbours, does not require you to pay for parking – you get a free parking space plus you can charge your car for, usually, $1/hour.

      We’re quite ahead of the game in Montreal. I was recently in Toronto for a weekend. Mapping out where/when to go find a charging station wasn’t quite a ‘Kate traffic nightmare’ but it was verging on headache territory. I had gotten used to the Montreal experience of ‘I’ll just assume there’s a charger’ nearby wherever I’ll be… It’s sort of like Bixi. Montreal has nearly 800 stations; Toronto has just over 600.

    • Ian 12:16 on 2023-09-11 Permalink

      That’s pretty lucky, I live in Mile-End too and I can only see 8 stations available within walking distance from me, occupied or not. I agree that right now it might be doable but imagine if even one in 5 of our Hassidic neighbours get an electric car …

      For those not in the ‘hood I only mention the Hassids becasue they ALL have cars, big enough for a family with 6 kids. Not even just SUVs, many with bigger families drive vans with rows of seats.

      That said I am pretty sure the dilpidated Lipa delivery vans & those janky old schoolbuses going down the street all day give off more exhaust, but I digress.

      The great thing about the Hassidic community is that if you just convince their rabbis, everyone falls in line.

      If the parking lots in the area were converted to multi-level electric charging garages there would be WAY more adoption of EV for sure, and with the elimination of street parking the transition away from everyone having their own car/ SUV/ family-sized van would be a way easier sell.

  • Kate 11:36 on 2023-09-09 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC looks at the city’s water retention parks and explains how they will help the urban fabric cope with heavy rainfall. I have to say that new Park Ex park looks like a more interesting place to play than the paved spaces I grew up with.

    • Ian 19:26 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      One of my favourite places to play as a kid was an abandoned quarry but I’m sure this is much safer 😀

    • Kate 20:25 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      A later piece from CTV covers the demolition of a parking lot in Lachine to make another green space with water retention capability. Nothing yet about people bewailing the lost parking.

    • JP 21:27 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      All I will say is that Lachine and Parc Ex are two completely different neighbourhoods. My experience of Lachine where I’ve been going fairly often since my brother moved there is that finding a spot to park is easy. A good portion of Lachine is homes with driveways…FYI. I used to think Lachine …was poor but exploring the area some parts of it almost seem upper middle class.

    • Kate 11:09 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      I don’t think anyone would challenge your point that Lachine and Parc Ex are different. The only thing that links these two stories is the interest in creating more places where rain can sink naturally into the ground rather than running off paved surfaces into the overloaded sewer system.

    • MarcG 17:09 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      Kate I think you’ve got your positives and negatives a bit tangled up in that first sentence.

    • Kate 19:37 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      Thank you. Fixed.

  • Kate 10:16 on 2023-09-09 Permalink | Reply  

    There have been reports at how bad the traffic is on the approach to the airport, even to people leaving their taxis and walking.

    More on this later from Radio-Canada.

    • walkerp 10:58 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      Good thing we didn’t build a train to the airport or anything silly like that.

    • mare 12:21 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      Good thing we didn’t build a train station under the airport a few hundred metres from existing train tracks, or something silly like that.

      Also, the 747 bus can drive on the emergency shoulder, but I don’t know if it does get stuck near the airport anyway. Been a while since I flew, came back 1 week before lockdown in 2020, and never left.

    • Nicholas 12:54 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      One trick is to take the 204 from Dorval Circle, which uses back roads to come up to a loop right under the Marriott, or the 460 (from Cremazie or du College), which uses side roads and goes through the taxi rank area, also avoiding the traffic. The other buses (747, 209) seem to use at least part of the main access to the terminal. (The night buses obviously don’t hit traffic.) If you don’t need to park (i.e. pickup/dropoff), you can use side roads from the Circle or Cote de Liesse (not the main exit from 20 W!) to Albert de Niverville to get to the 204 stop or take the ramp to the Marriott, or stop off outside one of the lots to connect to a shuttle bus.

    • Kate 12:59 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      Nicholas, do cabbies not know these tricks?

    • Ian 19:29 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      Well therein lies the rub – if you pay a fixed rate they will take the shortest route to save on gas, and if you pay by the minute/km it’s in their best interests to drive as slowly as possible. Either way relying on taxis is no replacement for decent public transit.
      I can alwasy get my friends to an airport faster than a cab would – but then we also have to deal with parking, which they don’t.

    • Tee Owe 15:38 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      OK not to the airport but from – my wife and I arrived on separate days a couple of weeks ago, same experience both, the line for taxis was unbelievable, whereas for the 747 yes, a line, but short and manageable, click click click for tickets and there were 3 buses waiting. The bus cruised into town without a hitch. Eleven dollars! My recommendation. Can’t comment on to the airport, we didn’t do that.

  • Kate 10:07 on 2023-09-09 Permalink | Reply  

    I’ve been doing this blog long enough that I remember the absolute shitshow when the SPVM replaced its old but reliable radio communication hardware in 2011 with a vastly expensive system called SERAM that often failed to work. Now that system is reaching its end of life and has to be replaced.

    What’s interesting here is this: “une équipe de la Ville de Montréal, baptisée SERAM 2.0, a contacté dans la plus grande discrétion les villes voisines de la métropole pour connaître le système de radiocommunications qu’elles utilisent.” It’s the “plus grande discrétion” that’s notable. It’s the most natural thing in the world that research for a big expensive civic purchase would include finding out what comparable cities use and how well it works for them. It isn’t something to be ashamed of – but there’s that Quebec thing of preferring something home-cooked, even if it turns out to be much more expensive, untested, and prone to bugs.

    • Tim S. 12:27 on 2023-09-09 Permalink

      Every time I’ve interacted with the SPVM they just call each other on their phones.

    • Ian 13:43 on 2023-09-10 Permalink

      This is mostly true but they use cell signal blockers during protests.

      Even when a big event lets out the network can get overloaded so in crowd control situations they need another means to communicate.

      As I recall the rationale for ditching radio was that it’s not at all secure, anyone could listen in.

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