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  • Kate 12:03 on 2017/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    A car and bus collided on Avon Road in Montreal West Thursday morning, and the car driver is in critical condition: he was driving a convertible.

    (Avon Road is what St-Jacques is called as it goes through Montreal West. The STM GPS voice has a hell of a time with it.)

    • Bill Binns 12:41 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      Not just a convertible but an old 70’s Triumph. Possibly the worst four wheeled vehicle imaginable for a head on collision with a bus.

    • Blork 12:59 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      Not a Triumph. That’s a Fiat 124 Spider, late 70s or early 80s. (Same warning applies.)

    • Blork 13:58 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      My forensic analysis (I know y’all look forward to these) is that the Fiat was heading south behind the red van in the photo. He might have been speeding and decided to pass the van but underestimated the trajectory of the bus and the acceleration potential of his Fiat, and hit the bus in the bus’s lane because the red van prevented him from returning to his own lane in time.

      This is based on the location (closer to the intersection of Ronald/Milton than Westminister as the article indicates), the fact that the bus is pointing north and the red van pointing south. That short stretch of road is fun to drive in an aggressive way because of the incline, the slight bend, and the hills on either side of the road, giving the feel of a track instead of a city street.

      An alternative explanation is that the Fiat simply drifted into the bus’s lane due to driver distraction or some other “pilot error.” Whichever way you cut it, it seems like the Fiat was likely at fault.

    • Blork 13:59 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      (I should mention that my forensic analyses are always of the armchair variety and are presented entirely for conversational reasons.)

  • Kate 11:05 on 2017/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Montreal has never had scramble intersections, except as some corners always involve a kind of scramble, but two official ones are coming to town at McGill and St-Jacques and Square Victoria at St-Antoine West.

    I gather the corner of Sherbrooke and Victoria in Westmount is effectively a scramble intersection, but I don’t know of any others on the island.

    • Bert 11:25 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      The pedestrian lights were changed at Ste-Cat and Robert-Bourassa to allow crossing in both directions at the same time, at every light change and people have started scrambling. There are no markings to allow diagonal scrambling.

      What is with those blocks for cross-walk indication? They are popping up all over downtown.

    • NDG07 11:51 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      There are scramble intersections on de Maisonneuve at Greene in Westmount and at Claremont near Vendome Metro, and Girouard at Monkland and at Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in NDG.

    • Blork 12:04 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      To truly be a “scramble” intersection there needs to be indications on the pavement that signal it is permissible to cross diagonally. IOW, just having all traffic lights red and all “walk” signals on at the same time is not a true scramble intersection because you’re still supposed to stay within the painted crosswalks. (Although you can technically cross diagonally and not be at risk of getting hit, that’s outside of the markings and indications.)

      So those intersections that NDG07 mentioned are not true scramble intersections.

      It’s not just a technicality; going from four-way Cartesian to diagonal crossing is a big deal in terms of pedestrian flow and more importantly, drivers’ perception of pedestrians.

      It will be interesting to see how this pans out. Drivers here are notoriously impatient and pedestrians are notoriously oblivious, so it will be fun to watch. Note that diagonal crossing will mess with drivers’ heads big time, because they’re not used to seeing that. Those crossings are also typically longer in duration, so the drivers will have to wait more.

      And you can be guaranteed that some pedestrians will take this as a cue to do diagonal crossing where ever they feel like it, because stupid.

    • Bill Binns 12:25 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      Not exactly the same thing but sometime in the last year the crossings of Sherbrooke near LaFontaine park were changed so that only the pedestrian crossing light is on for about 5-8 seconds. It’s a small thing but it makes all the difference in the world to be able to dash most of the way across the street without dodging cars and trucks. Of course, you still have to dodge bikes because bikes can be either vehicles or pedestrians based on what is more convenient for the cyclist at the time.

    • Blork 12:25 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      Here’s a satellite view of a scramble intersection I’m familiar with, in Pasadena, California:

      The intersection on the right is NOT a scramble intersection. The one on the left is.

    • Matthew Surridge 12:29 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      Most if not all of the traffic lights in Westmount were changed years ago so that cars would get reds in all directions when pedestrians got walk signals in all directions. I remember interviewing the mayor at the time (for the Westmount Examiner), who felt it was a significant improvement that’d pay off the more people got used to the idea.

      The thing is, unless they’ve changed this and I haven’t heard, officially pedestrians aren’t allowed to cross diagonally. So some people (like me) tend to cross in a curve.

    • Michael Black 14:37 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      Yes, there were a few pedestrian lights in Westmount, I can’t remember if they were four-way. But after Jessica Holman-Price died (she slipped under a snow removal truck) one reaction was to put in more traffic lights, and make tem four way pedestrian. I don’t think there is a traffic light in Westmount now without a four-way pedestrian light.

      And yes, people have gotten ticketed for diagonal crossing, though not in some years. This was one of the newspaper war, the Westmount Examiner in its decline proclaiming diagonal crossing was legal, though thy had previously covered the tickets handed out.

      Meanwhile, there have been people wanting diagonal crossing, not looking at the original problem, or why pedestrians have to pay. “Please sir, I want to cross the street”, press a button and wait. Though, few have buttons now. If you arrive at the wrong time, you wait, while without the pedestrian lights, if you can.t move forward, you can cross over, at least if you needed to.

      Nobody talks about all the cars that would go through red lights to make a turn. Or that it continued long after the pedestrian lights went in. The only reason that changed at Lansdowne and Sherbrooke is because they changed the sequence, so the pedestrian light comes after the traffic goes up Lansdowne, rather than after traffic goes long Sherbrooke. The only light that does that.

      There are also intersections where the pedestrian light means nothing. If you cross at the upper side of de Maisoneuve at Greene, there’s no reason to wait when traffic is allowed forward on de Maisoneuve since no car can turn up Greene. Same if crossing de Maisoneuve up Greene on the Eastern side. It’s not the only intersection like that, but the pedestrian lights tell you to don’t-walk.

      The four way pedestrian lights only make things safer because nobody is dealing with the actual problem. Jessica Holman-Price’s death was an actual accident, not related to where she was crossing, and she deserves better.


    • mare 14:47 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      What will prevent pedestrians from also crossing (perpendicular) when the car traffic lights are green?

    • Blork 15:02 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      Mare, AFAIK, the pedestrians ONLY have a green light when all vehicles have a red light. So pedestrians are not even supposed to cross when there is a vehicle green in the same direction they are going. That doesn’t mean they won’t; just that the signal will be a HAND (stop) instead of a WALK.

      So you win some you lose some. Basically, when it’s pedestrian green, everyone can cross anywhere in any manner, but that’s the ONLY time you’re allowed to cross. In theory this makes it better for cars too, because it means they don’t have to wait for crossing pedestrians when they are turning on a green light.

    • DeePs 16:19 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      mare, Blork, I totally agree that pedestrians obey the signal that suits them at those intersections with four way walk signals. They (and I) love the informal scramble crossing that this permits but then also cross on the green as if at a regular intersection (ignoring the red “don’t walk” signal) causing the ire of the waiting motorists. This is the biggest issue with the scramble crossing…

  • Kate 10:55 on 2017/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Dissatisfied with the Syndicat des cols bleus, a small breakaway group has created a new union and will try to get enough others to join to get union accreditation.

  • Kate 10:50 on 2017/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Tight-laced Martin Coiteux has finally done it, he’s proposing a bill to fine police officers wearing protest pants.

    • Bill Binns 12:30 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      Wow, what has it been five years? Eight? Finally, a slight possibility that something will be done in the face of mass insubordination. We should be talking about firing rather than fining but something is better than nothing.

    • Kate 12:45 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      Cops wear the pants because it’s been the only labour action permitted to them. Montreal has a long memory for the time police went on strike.

    • Bill Binns 13:15 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      Firing 25% of the force plus possibly taking the union down at the same time could be just the medicine our dysfunctional police force needs. As we saw in 2012, we can easily fill the city with SQ cops if needed.

  • Kate 09:45 on 2017/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro has assembled a crime map showing where incidences of various kinds of infractions occur. Compare to the city’s own map and the CBC’s plotting of break-and-enters; the Gazette did one as well a few years ago but it’s been allowed to 404.

  • Kate 00:45 on 2017/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s the Toronto Star’s Expo 67 piece with a few very nice black and white images.

    CTV marks the actual 50th anniversary of the opening.

    CBC has a nice piece on what remains of the Expo 67 installations here and elsewhere. Two pavilions are now in Newfoundland, but they didn’t get a photo of the USSR pavilion, which is said to be neglected somewhere in Russia.

  • Kate 00:24 on 2017/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    I don’t know why this tour of the Turcot site is limited to 90 winners, but maybe some of my readers will be interested enough to enter.

  • Kate 00:10 on 2017/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    A section of ceiling on the ground floor of the Grande bibliothèque came crashing down midday Wednesday. Luckily some cracks were noticed in advance so nobody was under it when it fell. TVA link plays video report.

    According to CBC, this ceiling was not part of the original construction but was installed with the recent redesign of the ground floor. A spokeswoman on the TVA report says no other similar elements exist in the library, which remains open.

  • Kate 00:03 on 2017/04/27 Permalink | Reply  

    The byelection in central Montreal riding Gouin will be held on May 29.

  • Kate 13:14 on 2017/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Numbers show that the flight to the suburbs is slowing a tiny bit.

  • Kate 13:13 on 2017/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has created the new position of traffic coordinator and hired former traffic reporter Pierre Lacasse for the role.

    • SMD 09:11 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      Haven’t we seen this movie before? Coderre hired his buddy and campaign fundraiser Rick Leckner, former traffic reporter at CJAD, to sit on the Mobilité Montréal board for three years. And then there was no more traffic and all the public works were efficiently coordinated! Hiring traffic reporters to manage complex construction projects is a great idea!

  • Kate 13:11 on 2017/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Michel Cadotte, who has claimed compassion in his alleged killing of his partner in February, would like to be free on bail before his preliminary hearing.

  • Kate 10:22 on 2017/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s one of those academic studies that arrives at a fairly predictable result: poor people live near highways, and highways are not healthy, with their noise, bad air and risks from traffic.

    • Jack 12:46 on 2017/04/26 Permalink

      I worked at a school in this corridor, Perspectives II, for years we asked that our concrete yard be transformed into something green and pleasant for our kids. Despite the fact that the school was located right beside the 40’s service road and elevated section our sister school insisted that we use some of this space for as unbelievable as this sounds….parking, in the school yard. In 2016 despite all these studies and reports….they got their parking.

  • Kate 10:11 on 2017/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    How is democracy doing in this city?

    There will be no referendum about investing public funds in baseball.

    City council won’t demand the opening of the Jean-Drapeau pools this summer.

    There will be no debate about that $25,000 cheque slipped to Denis Coderre in 2012.

    The taxes paid by both the Canadiens and the Impact have fallen over the last couple of years and the teams are making efforts to reduce them further.

    Incidentally, I wish the hell journalists would refer to the return of baseball and not “the return of the Expos.” Calling Coderre’s imaginary team “the Expos” adds a gloss of sentiment and nostalgia that warms the idea a lot. Whatever happens, no new team can bring back the era that so many people have gilded in their childhood memories.

    • ant6n 10:32 on 2017/04/26 Permalink

      Just call it “big-O, 2.O”.

    • Phil C. 11:17 on 2017/04/26 Permalink

      One man’s obsession with baseball costs everyone else a billion dollars. No one bats an eye.
      Is this pulled out of the Onion? Reality is stranger than fiction

    • Bill Binns 12:32 on 2017/04/26 Permalink

      I can’t even bring myself to read up on the baseball issue. I think that good old Montreal apathy is beginning to set in.

    • Douglas 12:43 on 2017/04/26 Permalink

      How close are we to this baseball thing? Is it actually going to happen?

      With all this excess tax revenues I fear Coderre’s appetite for jewel projects.

    • 13:13 on 2017/04/26 Permalink

      Like the new hockey arena in Quebec City, they’re operating with the Field of Dreams tagline: “If we build it, they will come”.

      Like Applebaum, I expect to see Coderre behind bars one day – although too little too late.

    • carswell 15:35 on 2017/04/26 Permalink

      Like the Bell Centre’s placement (which killed the city’s greatest train station, made the Vaudreuil-Dorion line less appealing and probably killed the prospects of an associated airport line), like the REM, like the “Evenko amphitheatre” on Île-Ste-Hélène, these things are arranged in back rooms by business interests and politicians beholden to them and then sprung fully formed on the public. Any public consultation is purely for show.

      So, yes, Douglas, the baseball stadium is almost certainly happening, like it or not. The amphitheatre may be a reward for Evenko/Molson’s support of the the project. And given the REM’s Peel Basin and Technoparc stations, which don’t make much sense unless one of them is being built to serve, say, a stadium, one can assume the Caisse de dépôt has been in on it since the beginning too.

    • 16:33 on 2017/04/26 Permalink

      Bonaventure high way still cuts right through the lot where they want to build the stadium. An urban boulevard is in the plans but I can barely envision the city with that high way removed. With the highway gone, they expect to build on a plot of land 28,000m². WHAT? It would be the smallest stadium in all of Major League Baseball.

    • Chris 21:30 on 2017/04/26 Permalink

      There is a referendum on baseball, it’s the municipal election!

    • Kate 00:15 on 2017/04/27 Permalink

      carswell: an excellent summary.

  • Kate 09:55 on 2017/04/26 Permalink | Reply  

    A man who went missing in November has been found dead in Montreal West, but there’s no evidence it was foul play. (CTV, you’ve got to edit better: this item says “Wah Tat Hum, 22, was last seen…” but the man shown looks to be in his 70s.)

    • Kevin 10:18 on 2017/04/26 Permalink

      I’m sorry Kate, but the better editing ship has sailed.

      Blame search engines that only reward speed, blame the audience not wanting to pay for quality, blame whatever you want. The simple fact is the only moderately successful online business model is publish first, correct typos later. That’s why articles have a ‘report error’ button: all the editors have been laid off, or the position never existed in the first place.

      Writers will do the best they can, but unless they’re working on something that’s “not for today” nobody else is going to see their work before it’s published.

    • Blork 10:28 on 2017/04/26 Permalink

      It’s been updated to “72.”

    • Kate 13:06 on 2017/04/26 Permalink

      I’ll send in my invoice : )

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