Updates from July, 2024 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:33 on 2024-07-09 Permalink | Reply  

    The fiasco of the Grand Prix terrasse closures feels like ancient history by now, but TVA reports that two fire service managers who were suspended with pay while the matter was investigated will not, in the end, be given lengthier suspensions or fired. They’re already back at work.

    • Ephraim 21:34 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

      So, they got a few days extra paid vacation

    • Ian 08:17 on 2024-07-10 Permalink

      While this is true on the face of it, any kind of suspension does adversely affect your chances at advancement, and since this is a life career with only one available employer it’s a bigger deal than it seems. Given that they were probably following directives from their superiors it’s a pretty raw deal.

      If they weren’t following directives from above, the punishment would have been worse. These are jsut a couple of fall guys.

    • Ephraim 18:28 on 2024-07-11 Permalink

      @Ian – Every community has their own. The north shore, the south shore and all the little villages around. And with a union, I will be that advancement isn’t affected at all.

    • Ian 16:29 on 2024-07-12 Permalink

      If seniority is transferable I guess? You may very well be right, I don’t enough about the inter-agency structure of the municipalities.

  • Kate 21:30 on 2024-07-09 Permalink | Reply  

    Following from a major theme in local news, and thus on the blog, the city plans a public consultation on coexisting with the homeless, which largely comes down to where can we house the homeless when nobody wants them next door?

    • Kate 19:18 on 2024-07-09 Permalink | Reply  

      Air quality in Montreal last year was the worst in eight years because of forest fires.

      • EmilyG 20:03 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

        I’m guessing that the guy who set some of the forest fires won’t be doing that again this year.

    • Kate 18:57 on 2024-07-09 Permalink | Reply  

      A tempest is brewing over whether Summit Park, the 23‑hectare forest atop one of Mount Royal’s peaks, should be an off‑leash dog park. Opinions largely depend whether someone has a dog or not.

      • Ian 19:06 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

        One of the biggest problems is that there isn’t a dog park anywhere else nearby. Obviously this is a nature preserve, not a dog run – it’s already leash-only throughout early spring so flowers and plants at least have the chance to get started, and walking through the park is confined to the paths.

        I’m not a dog owner but I get it, dogs like to run and get weird if they can’t. If only the electorate of Westmount could find another place for people to let their pets do whatever… Sunnyside Park, for example, is mostly unused and basically adjacent.

      • Nicholas 19:56 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

        Westmount has three dog runs, not including the Summit Woods, for 20,000 people in a 4 km² city. CDN-NDG has five, for 167,000 people on 21 km². Le Sud-Ouest will soon have seven, for 78,000 people on 16 km². The Plateau has four, for 104,000 people on 8 km². Cote St Luc has two for 35,000 people on 7 km². I didn’t check further, but I bet Westmount has more dog runs per capita and per area than all the central boroughs and cities, and probably many of the suburban ones. I think the people who live in the million dollar mansions at the top of the hill can schlep down to Murray Hill Park, whose dog run is at worst 1.4 km away and mostly under 1 km for people north of The Boulevard, so as to protect one of the few natural areas in the centre of the island.

      • carswell 23:22 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

        Summit Park is a site of major importance for small migrating birds like warblers in the spring, historically early May. Such birds tend to migrate not like geese, covering long distances at a stretch, but by flying from tree to tree. After a long, non-stop flight over the very wide St. Lawrence, a huge distance for them, they’re exhausted and head to the nearby and highly visible woods, where they often spend a day or two eating and recovering before continuing their journey. And they really are famished and exhausted, sometimes letting you stand close by as they gobble a line of aphids from the underside of a stem, behaviour I’ve never seen in their natural habitat.

        If Westmount doesn’t do the right thing and ban off-leash dogs from the park at all times, they should at least do so during that crucial period (mid-April to mid/late May).

      • Ian 23:24 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

        I’d love to see it, the park really is a gem with a lot of wildflowers and wildlife. It’s a shame the local residents don’t see more value in that.

    • Kate 12:06 on 2024-07-09 Permalink | Reply  

      Tires were slashed and shipping containers damaged in the Ray‑Mont logistics yard in Point St Charles as a statement against the company and its plans in the east end.

      • Kate 10:08 on 2024-07-09 Permalink | Reply  

        Plateau borough has installed quite a lot of rubber speed bumps along the pedestrian section of Mont‑Royal in an attempt to make cyclists slow down. But Vélo‑Québec says they can easily tip cyclists, causing accidents.

        Cyclists, skateboarders and scooter users are permitted, but are asked not to speed, and to yield to pedestrians.

        • Ian 19:07 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

          Vélo-Québec are a bunch of pearl-clutchers. It’s a shame there’s no pedestrian advocacy group to influence city planning … but then again there shouldn’t have to be.

        • Kate 19:28 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

          There’s Piétons Québec but it’s not specific to Montreal.

        • Ian 08:27 on 2024-07-10 Permalink

          In looking up any position they might have on pedestrian-first usage or prioritising pedestrians, everything I could find was “piétons et des cyclistes” or “à pied et à vélo”. Even their training sessions are partnered with Vélo-Québec.

        • CE 09:13 on 2024-07-10 Permalink

          If we had a pedestrian lobby group as big and effective as Vélo Quebec, I feel like the pedestrian infrastructure in this city would be much better. Just looking at ave Mont-Royal again, when it’s not pedestrianized, some of those sidewalks are so narrow it’s embarrassing!

        • DeWolf 09:21 on 2024-07-10 Permalink

          It’s rare that I disagree with Vélo-Québec but their complaints about this doesn’t make any sense to me. If a cyclist is injured by going over a speed bump on Mont-Royal, it’s because they were going way too fast. And therein lies the problem.

          @Ian You’d rather active transport groups not work together? I get that you have a massive chip on your shoulder about people who ride bikes but seriously, pedestrian safety and cyclist safety are intertwined and there’s no good that will come from a pedestrian advocacy group spending its effort battling cyclists.

        • Ian 09:51 on 2024-07-10 Permalink

          Pedestrians are under-represented in city planning concerns and I don’t think conflating their needs exclusively with those of bicyclists does pedestrian safety any favours. I do have issues with Vélo-Quebec as an advocacy group as I feel they give way too much priority to sport cyclists and MAMILs, but I don’t have a beef with cyclists in of themselves. I commuted by bicycle well into my mid-40s, including winters.

          Would you expect the STM or EXO or the REM to consult with Vélo-Quebec?

        • DeWolf 15:06 on 2024-07-10 Permalink

          Yes absolutely, why would you want all these organizations to exist in silos? They should definitely be consulting with both Vélo Québec and Piétons Québec.

        • Ian 16:30 on 2024-07-10 Permalink

          Well then, you’ve got a big opportunity to organize advocacy synergies if that’s how you think it should be done. AFAIK only the STM consults with Vélo-Quebec, and even then only as a partnership in organizing the Tour-de-l’Île.

          You always say people “have a big chip on their shoulder” if they consistently speak against something you favour. I think you’ve got a chip on your shoulder against people that don’t see things the way you do.

          Personally I think that advocacy groups should only serve to bring their concerns to planners – otherwise we run the risk of being governed by lobbyists or, as I suspect is the case with Vélo-Quebec’s relationship with the city, friends of friends. It all sounds innocent when it’s the MAMIL lobby positionining themselves as “a key element of public transit” but what if it was developers, or contruction companies? If that were happening publicly everyone would be (rightly) decrying cronyism and corruption.

          Again, I don’t think Vélo-Quebec reflects the needs of bicyclists, just a very specific kind of bicyclist. In any case, I wouldn’t expect an panel from the STM giving an explanation of new bus lanes (forn instance) to have reps from bike advocates or (heaven forfend) car advocates. These are all different things. Why should Piétons-Quebec be expected to share the stage with Vélo-Quebec?

          As far as advocating for the rights of pedestrians go, as I said in my first post in this thread, I think city planning should take their concerns into consideration and give them priority without the need for special advocacy groups – in fact, despite the complaints Vélo-Quebec, who apparently aren’t as willing to share public space with pedestrians as they demand for themselves from others.

        • Rennie 16:51 on 2024-07-10 Permalink

          >>””I don’t think Vélo-Quebec reflects the needs of bicyclists, just a very specific kind of bicyclist.”
          I would like to understand that statement a bit more. Thanks.

        • DeWolf 17:44 on 2024-07-10 Permalink

          Advocacy groups develop specific expertise that other organizations don’t have which is why they are valuable resources. It’s not a question of consulting them on every occasion but when a new metro station is being planned, I would hope the STM would turn to Vélo-Québec for advice on how to make it safe and accessible for people arriving by bicycle because their own planners might not have that knowledge.

          And yes, planners need to work with a hierarchy of priorities in which pedestrians should always be on top. This has become official policy in the UK among other places.

          In any case, I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that Vélo-Québec is an organization that advocates for sport cyclists more than anyone else. It’s been around for awhile, maybe that was the case in the past, but with J-F Rheault in charge? The guy rides a heavy Dutch grandpa bike around town. MAMILs are more often opposed to safe cycling infrastructure because they like to go fast and bike paths like the REV are designed for ordinary people who aren’t blasting down the street at high speeds.

        • Ian 17:53 on 2024-07-10 Permalink

          I guess that’s why they are complaining about speed bumps in a mixed usage zone then? I must have misunderstood 😉

        • MarcG 07:35 on 2024-07-11 Permalink

          No speed bumps = Bicyclists go too fast and endanger pedestrians
          Speed bumps = Bicyclists are distracted by the speed bumps and endanger pedestrians
          Winding route = Emergency vehicles are inhibited
          Perhaps mixed use is just a dream and there needs to be dedicated bike lanes.

        • CE 08:40 on 2024-07-11 Permalink

          I really don’t understand Vélo Quebec’s opposition to these speed bumps. all cyclists will lose the right to use the street if the minority of idiot cyclists are allowed to continue riding like assholes on the pedestrian streets.

        • DeWolf 21:04 on 2024-07-11 Permalink

          @Ian That’s exactly why I’m surprised by Vélo-Québec’s position on these speed bumps, especially since they’ve been used without controversy on Wellington.

          You can be right 90% of the time, which means you’re wrong 10% of the time. This weird position doesn’t mean Vélo-Québec is mainly supporting obnoxious Lycra dudes.

        • Ian 16:30 on 2024-07-12 Permalink

          Point taken, I guess nobody likes MAMILs now. They’re the bicyclist equivalent of middle aged dudes that buy a Porsche & treat the world as their piste.

        • Rennie 10:52 on 2024-07-13 Permalink

          Now I understand your comment about Vélo-Quebec better, thanks.

        • Rennie 10:45 on 2024-07-16 Permalink

          6600 children learned to ride bicycles safely thanks to Vélo-Quebec’s “Cycliste averti” cycling education program.

      • Kate 09:56 on 2024-07-09 Permalink | Reply  

        Remnants of tropical storm Beryl are expected to lash the city starting late Wednesday and continuing through Thursday. CBC helpfully reminds us to prepare an umbrella.

        • Ian 16:38 on 2024-07-10 Permalink

          Ugh, thank goodness the heat has broken. Bring on the rain!

      • Kate 09:37 on 2024-07-09 Permalink | Reply  

        Work on Henri-Bourassa to add both a bike path and a bus lane has begun and will take several years.

        • Joey 09:49 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

          Something doesn’t add up. The city is *not* mimicking what it did on Pie‑IX (in other words, what is initially billed as a rapid bus lane is actually just a regular old bus lane) and there is no mention of major infrastructure repairs. So why is this going to take two years?

        • DeWolf 09:59 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

          The work is done in phases. Two years is for the 18km entire project, from one end of Henri-Bourassa to another. The current phase is from Marcelin-Wilson (just before L’Acadie) and Lajeunesse and will be finished by next spring.


        • DeWolf 10:01 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

          And yes, it’s a half-measure, because building a real SRB would have involved a complete reconstruction of the street. We’ll see how this work. The buses will have a 24/7 reserved lane and (supposedly) synchronized lights, but because it’s to the right of the road there is a risk of conflict with turning vehicles. And delivery drivers will officially be allowed to park in the bus lane at certain times which just sounds like a terrible idea.

          Much better than the status quo but certainly very far from the “metrobus” that was promised.

        • DeWolf 10:04 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

          Also worth noting that this isn’t just a painted reserved lane like you have on Park Avenue or Queen Mary or any other street. The intersections will be reconfigured along H-B to prioritize buses, the road will be repaved (with red asphalt in the case of the bus lanes), trees will be planted, the bike path constructed, new traffic lights installed, etc. So it’s a bit of work, hence the construction.

      • Kate 09:19 on 2024-07-09 Permalink | Reply  

        Le Devoir finds out there are few consequences for construction work done without permits. People who undertake to do conversions on residential space should be fined if they proceed without one, but it’s being let slide so badly that boroughs wouldn’t say how many they’ve issued in recent years. Likewise, work being done by unlicensed contractors also goes unnoticed and unpunished.

        • Kate 09:06 on 2024-07-09 Permalink | Reply  

          The city has been losing international sports events, a trend blamed on heavy bureaucracy and lack of sponsorship money.

          • Kate 08:39 on 2024-07-09 Permalink | Reply  

            TVA says that more than 100 homeless camps have been dispersed by police so far this year. People working with the homeless are demanding that more should be done to help them when the camps are taken down. And, following Monday’s discovery of a dead man in a rough shelter in Milton-Parc, TVA reports on a Milton Street business that couldn’t open because a homeless person was camped in its doorway.

            La Presse describes how day camps cope with the presence of the homeless and drug users when they take the kids out for walks.

            People living in Chinatown are finding cohabitation with the homeless is becoming difficult. Some organization is distributing free food to people camped out there, and residents wish that would stop.

            The city plans a consultation on the situation.

            • Chris 12:48 on 2024-07-09 Permalink

              I noticed the other day CP has posted “no trespassing” posters near the tent encampment along the tracks near St Laurent and Bellechase. Perhaps a first step to eviction

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