Updates from May, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:58 on 2011/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    As of next Monday, a new reserved bus lane will be in effect on Saint-Joseph. The relatively new 427 express line along that street has been a big success.

     
    • Stefan 19:35 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      this is coordinated with the recent creation of the bicycle lanes on laurier (since cyclists don’t seem to coexist very well in reserved bus lanes)

    • David Tighe 08:16 on 2011/06/01 Permalink

      In Dublin, the reserved bus lanes have a bicycle lane beside the footpath (they are of course extra wide). It is clearly demarcated using green-tinted asphalt. The reserved lanes are all-day so bikes are protected permanently from both from car and truck traffic and from carelessly opened doors. It does require some patience from bus drivers but it dispenses with the need for concrete separators like we use here.

    • Stefan 09:40 on 2011/06/01 Permalink

      david: sounds like an excellent solution. there’d be enough space on st. joseph for that as well. btw in vienna we also use tinted asphalt/layer, it is much more durable than the lines of paint, which are practically invisible for half of the year due to abrasion.

  • Kate 18:27 on 2011/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    The New York Times ponders in detail a fairly egregious tourism campaign for Montreal. Makes me wonder what the proposals were like that they turned down.

     
    • David Tighe 12:51 on 2011/06/02 Permalink

      I think Tourisme Montréal has to face the fact that Montréal is now an expensive city by American standards. It is also expensive to fly to. It can only attract people with at least moderately high incomes and perhaps backpackers. The people who used to visit up to the late ’70′s can no longer afford to. Both their incomes and their free time have declined too much in real terms. A sad situation which applies to a lesser extent to us also. This means constant hammering upon all the wonderful things the city can give to those tourists with the money to pay for them.

      Incidentally, the same thing seems to have happened in Europe. When one hears a North American accent nowadays, its usually a Canadian.

  • Kate 11:45 on 2011/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Marie-Claude Lortie inquires on her La Presse blog (what’s with the New Yorker lettering? Oh let it pass) why, with many well-regarded architects in town, so many of our new buildings are mundane. She suggests that we’re all afraid of major projects since we got so burned by the Olympic stadium and its problems.

     
    • Blork 12:57 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      It’s an interesting perspective, and I tend to agree. Along with the burn scars from the Stadium there’s also the general malaise and lack of confidence in big projects that comes from the construction industry in general (all that “alleged” corruption) plus the fact that every single public works project comes in at 3X the original budget and 2X the schedule. The result is that everyone shies away from big projects.

      On a personal note, I wish Montreal architects (which is to say, architects building in Montreal — or maybe it’s the people who approve the projects that get built in Montreal) would get over the green glass thing. Enough with the goddam green glass! There are other materials for pete’s sake!

    • qatzelok 15:09 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      The Turcot is a perfect example of a Big Project, and why they suck.

    • Freezerburn 08:47 on 2011/06/01 Permalink

      I agree about the Turcot project. They should just fix the existing structure. This new idea is bogus.

  • Kate 11:36 on 2011/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Merchants in the Quartier des Spectacles are heartily sick of the ongoing excavation of Ste-Catherine Street, which is expected to continue all summer throughout the festivals and be completed this fall. It isn’t good for business and frankly it isn’t good for the city’s image either.

     
    • Tux 15:05 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      It’s the kind of work that needs summer’s good weather to be completed with anything resembling expediency. It’s really too bad how it chokes foot and vehicle traffic but it’s not like they could start in the fall and finish up in winter. :\

    • Stefan 15:41 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      i’m impressed how construction work (on buildings) continues here in any weather conditions (-30, snowstorms) with gas burners and curtains to shield off the cold.

      would it be possible similarly for digging up roads, if the cosntruction site were housed in with a tent? technologically it seems possible, it would probably more expensive though …

    • Kate 19:07 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      One of my neighbours had guys out building a deck last winter, a first. Hardly seemed like an emergency job.

      I’ve seen tents on street repairs, but only small emergency repairs, never major roadwork sites.

    • Rich 19:43 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      Concrete has to cure under under just the right conditions or it’s worthless. And excavating frozen ground is a major pain in the ass. Such is the nature of civil engineering in northern climes.

      Also: HOT PANTS!

    • Chris 22:19 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      Also, the carbon emissions of doing this kind of thing in the winter would be much worse.

    • Stefan 09:42 on 2011/06/01 Permalink

      i was told that they use freeze-resistant concrete here, at least in the condo project around my corner, where they were pouring this winter.

    • Brian 00:33 on 2011/06/03 Permalink

      This has to be one of the longest construction sites I’ve ever seen… You’d swear they’re building a hydro dam, or a major addition to the metro system. The only day I ever saw a lot of workers there was a holiday when it was double time and a half… Personaly I liked the way that area looked a few years ago…. Now with the concrete park and the permanent construction…Not so much
      Maybe they could do a Bixi Merry-go-round in the middle of it where the riders sing, “It’s not our money !” in loud in-your-face voices

  • Kate 07:21 on 2011/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    I found myself curious, reading bios of the recently deceased Alys Robi, to find that she’s technically Lady Alys, having been ennobled by the Queen in 1985. I knew from various instances (the most notorious one in recent years having been Conrad Black, who shuffled off his Canadian citizenship in a hurry so he could accept a lordship in England) that Canada has generally not been happy with its citizens accepting titles from other countries, even from England with whom we technically share a monarch.

    Well, apparently the situation is still pretty complicated despite a government resolution in 1919 that the whole titles thing should be ended here; sounds like most folks who’ve received titles have at least had dual citizenship with England, keeping that door open, but this was not the case with Lady Alys, who was born in Quebec City where her funeral will be held this weekend, although there’s a move to have her accorded a state funeral.

    Dear Queen_UK, just letting you know I have dual citizenship, should you have any spare noble titles floating around.

     
  • Kate 07:06 on 2011/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal de Montréal is working itself up into one of its righteous snits about how many city councillors absent themselves from council meetings, while naming the most assiduous attendee and waving a finger at Luc Ferrandez who “prefers to work rather than talk.”

     
    • Jack 09:58 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      All the newspapers will be trying to take Ferrandez apart. Check out how much of their advertising is car related. I hope he keeps working on making our city more livable.

    • Ian 19:23 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      He lost my vote over the Mordecai Richler issue, as far as I’m concerned he’s just another racist that only represents his “real” constituents si-tu-connais-ce-que-je-dis.

    • Marc 20:03 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      I can’t see him being re-elected since he pissed lots of people off for many reasons, but I don’t think that qualifies him as a racist. I’m no fan of renaming streets for ANYONE.

    • Ian 20:23 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      Nobody was talking about renaming a street except a reporter for the Gazette. Ferrandez refused to name anything after Richler because a) the councillors suggesting this weren’t from the Plateau (like the old Jewish community?) and b) no other authors are honoured (he gave French authors as examples of course) but this is actually not true, and c) naming things after people compromises notre patrimoine, which isn’t true if we’re talking about naming something after someone that is actually a major part of the local cultural history, it’s not like naming Parc after Bourassa. What it all comes down to is that the sovereigntists are still sore at Richler for “Oh Canada, Oh Quebec” and Ferrandez is… that’s right, a sovereigntist. If Richler wan’t an Anglo Jew something in the Plateau would have been named after him long ago, Ferrandez’s dancing around the issue notwithstanding.

    • Jack 06:54 on 2011/06/01 Permalink

      If a politician like Ferrandez is unable to change the direction of a few a streets, calm traffic and openly question our over-use of the automobile, what future do we have?

  • Kate 06:46 on 2011/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    The ministry of justice (minijust?) is opening a wicket for access to justice that’s supposed to simplify citizen access to this fundamental right. It’s a pilot project following similar initiatives in Quebec and Rimouski. And since our 20th-century-minded media didn’t provide any online links, here’s the website.

     
  • Kate 06:34 on 2011/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Some police cars have been equipped with an electronic eye that can spot license plates sought for various reasons.

     
  • Kate 21:07 on 2011/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Before I forget, next weekend will be Puces Pop at Saint-Enfant-Jésus along with some interesting-sounding nosh; also the Fête Éco-Bio in the environs of the Tohu (in previous years, it used to take place in August).

     
  • Kate 21:03 on 2011/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Story about a new tourism paradigm championed by Gilbert Rozon and buds comes up with the startling ideas that we should present Montreal as a party town, Quebec City as historic and romantic, and Charlevoix and the Gaspésie as sites of quaint villages. Also, the Mighty St. Lawrence will have to do its bit. Did somebody fob M. Rozon off with some 1950s travel brochures?

     
  • Kate 18:48 on 2011/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s an odd thing that was pointed out on Livejournal. On Emploi-Québec’s website you can do a job search and narrow it down to various parts of Quebec including the island of Montreal, which then breaks out into neighbourhoods. So far so good. But here’s the thing: downtown Montreal is not listed. I remember using this site a couple of years ago and they had the downtown core listed, for some reason, under “Saint-Alexandre” (and it always had the highest number of job offers) but it’s gone now.

    I dropped them a line and got in return a confused phone message in which this circular reasoning was given: they don’t list downtown Montreal (or Ville-Marie, or what have you) because that is not how things are listed on the site. That’s all.

    Am I missing something here?

     
    • ant6n 19:14 on 2011/05/30 Permalink

      You may file a complaint by filling out the back of form 39-B and sending it, addressed to the hospital where you were born.

    • Stephanie 19:37 on 2011/05/30 Permalink

      I think they’re sticking all the downtown jobs under “Plateau-Mont-Royal”

    • Rich 19:58 on 2011/05/30 Permalink

      I force myself to use that site regularly and it’s one painfully amateurish piece of work. The federal government should be kicked in the shins for handing the employment portfolio to the province. One could see that move working out badly from a billion miles away.

    • Singlestar 20:46 on 2011/05/30 Permalink

      These are not “neighbourhoods” in which the jobs are located. they are the names of the Emploi-Quebec offices. Most downtown jobs would be under Sainte-Marie-Centre-Sud or Plateau.

    • Kate 20:51 on 2011/05/30 Permalink

      OK, so there used to be one on Saint-Alexandre but there isn’t any more?

      Yes, it would be nice if the site had a map, or let you search by postal code proximity, or used the city’s boroughs or some other rational system.

    • Tux 15:06 on 2011/05/31 Permalink

      Quebec’s websites are a big fail in general. Ever tried to locate the nearest CLSC? Google will serve you a lot better than the province will.

  • Kate 18:25 on 2011/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    In Pointe Claire Monday morning a young male cyclist was badly hurt in an accident with a city bus, which had to be lifted off him.

    Tuesday morning update: the victim is out of danger although pretty seriously banged up.

     
  • Kate 17:59 on 2011/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    MétéoMédia has made its long-term forecast for the summer months and sees a somewhat rainier season than the average but nothing outrageous in terms of temperature. Sun, clouds and occasional thunderstorms – that’s pretty much summer in Montreal.

     
  • Kate 17:54 on 2011/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The city plans to name delinquent landlords on its website, along the same lines as naming restaurants with serious food infractions. This is excellent: the public needs to know.

     
  • Kate 17:51 on 2011/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Just missing Canada Day, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are coming here July 2. The feds have even put up a website for the visit with William’s head close-cropped WAY too tight.

     
    • Chris E 19:40 on 2011/05/30 Permalink

      Also interesting is the fact that French is first until you go into the French or English site.

    • walkerp 21:27 on 2011/05/30 Permalink

      Yeah, wow, that is weird. He looks vaguely extra-terrestrial.

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