Updates from March, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 15:04 on 2017/03/11 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC went for a look at L’Eugélionne, the new feminist bookstore.

    • Ian 23:54 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      I remember L’Androgyne fondly. Good to see another another situated bookstore taking up the flag.

  • Kate 12:30 on 2017/03/11 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre is back at work after his sick leave. TVA link with a brief video interview in which Coderre seems a little subdued.

    Coderre has also restated his confidence in police chief Philippe Pichet in the matter of the internal SPVM crisis. Watch: he’ll restate his confidence until he suddenly doesn’t.

  • Kate 12:29 on 2017/03/11 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette followed three people in wheelchairs as they got around town, using the metro elevators and the STM’s adapted transit.

    • Bill Binns 13:20 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      Very interesting article. To me, this makes a case for what an imperfect method of transport the Metro will always be for people in wheelchairs even after all of the very, very expensive elevators are installed. That two billion+ spent on elevators could have eliminated all of the stated problems with the adapted van program and provided door to door, on demand, year round transport for people that needed it. I agree that it’s outrageous that people need to make a 24 hour appointment to access transit. From some of the comments in the article it also sounds like the people who dispatch the adapted transit vans are severe assholes. These problems are far more solvable than people having to be carried out of the Metro by the fire department when a single elevator breaks down somewhere. Especially if you are willing to throw two billion bucks at the problem.

    • jeather 13:30 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      OTOH elevators etc can be used by people with temporary disabilities, while paratransit cannot.

    • Kate 13:34 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      Elevators are also useful for people with strollers and shopping carts and for when escalators go down. If the original conceivers of requirements for the metro hadn’t been in such a hurry they would’ve understood that. The London tube has elevators, and is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in the world.

    • Bill Binns 13:42 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      @Jeather, Kate – Yep, absolutely “can be used by” lots of other people but it’s a convenience not a need. The people I see using the elevators more than anyone else are people carrying bicycles. Very useful for them but not a justification for spending two billion dollars.

      If people with temporary disabilities are not allowed to access the paratransit vans for some reason, that’s another problem that could be solved by the two billion dollars.

      As the article makes clear, even a 100% accessible Metro does nothing for someone who cannot get from their house to the Metro or from the Metro to their destination because of the snow that is on our streets from five to seven months out of the year.

    • Bill Binns 14:00 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      Also, the London Tube may have elevators but it can’t be anything close to fully accessible to wheelchairs. I have dragged suitcases through that system and it’s full of stairs. Paris is even worse.

    • jeather 14:54 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      Well, lots of things are conveniences, not needs, and we do them anyhow. Though presumably those who need elevators but are not eligible for paratransit just don’t use the metro.

      The elevator rollout is being done terribly on a bunch of levels, but making the metro stations fully accessible is not a bad thing.

    • ant6n 16:33 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      It’s not right to exclude people by pushing them into a separate, segregate system, even if it didn’t suck. People deserve some independence. Other cities have done it.

    • Bill Binns 16:38 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      @Jeather – I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I’m saying that if your goal is to increase the mobility of folks confined to wheelchairs, making the Metro accessible is a very ineffectual way to do it and crushingly expensive as well. Not to mention the fact that it’s going to take until 2025 to finish and even then the entire system will not be accessible. This issue with people being stranded by a single elevator failure and needing to be carried out of the Metro by a team of firefighters…. this will likely be an every day thing eventually. Ever lived in a highrise? Elevators break down a lot. In the Montreal Metro *everything* breaks down a lot. The STM must go through miles of “DESOLE” tape every month.

    • ant6n 16:44 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      The more elevators there are, the more they act to be redundant to one another. If one station’s elevator is down, use the adjacent one; or use the one going the other direction.

      Related, we should use better station design for accessibility — in particular, favor island platforms over side platforms (for new stations), and favor the use of fewer elevators to make connections. A station that has an island platform can provide access between Metro and ground level with a single elevator.

    • ant6n 17:09 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      Another note from the article: the paratransit costs 70M$ per year, with a fare recovery of 7% (about 50% for the rest of the system). Building a system that didn’t suck would cost a lot more; so elevators also make economic sense.

    • Brenda 18:01 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      I think it’s important that people in wheelchairs be able to participate as fully as possible in normal social activities. This includes riding mass transit with the un-handicapped. Being shuttled around in special busses has a stigma attached to it, and it’s also isolating and anti-social.

    • Michael Black 20:16 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      It depends. My mother became less mobile as she got older, getting to the bus or metro would have became a problem after time. Her world got smaller, needing to go blocks rather than the distance of the metro or bus. Getting to the bus stop became a significant percentage of the trip. She did qualify for adapted transport, and the door to door transit was good, even if trips had to be planned ahead (and sometimes problems arose).

      But she was old, and that was different from being younger. People with powered wheelchairs also have a different mobility from someone with a walker then manual wheelchair.

      The buses that can lower themselves adjust to more than people in wheelchairs. I had a bad knee a few summers ago, not having to make a big step up. Same with people pushing strollers. A lot of things do help more than the “obviously disabled”, I don’t know whether including them adds more clout to making changes, or diminishes the problems the handicap face by not letting their problems be “good enough” for change.

      Ramps on corners of the sidewalk are about thirty years in the past. They weren’t on every corner, or even at corners (their placement was not consistent) until late in the eighties. And then lots of times when people illegally parked at intersections, blocking the view but also blocking the ramps.


    • Kate 20:45 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      I kind of hate strollers in buses, but I see the necessity. We can’t make it so that you need to drive if you want to have a kid.

      Not all the buses can be lowered yet. Sort of serio-comic scene a few months ago. I’m getting on the 80 on Park at Bernard. Bus door opens, strapping Hasidic woman disembarks effortlessly with stroller. She’s followed by another Hasidic woman about half her size, also with stroller. Second woman tries to emulate friend, completely foozles it. I catch the kid as the stroller goes arse over tip.

    • Bill Binns 20:53 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      Over the last few years, “strollers” which used to fold up to be barely larger than an umbrella have turned into sidewalk clearing monstrosities with full suspensions and bicycle wheels that weigh three times as much as the kid they are transporting. I frequently see people struggling with these things on the bus, in the metro, at stores, at the airport etc. I don’t get why people do that to themselves.

      Good job catching the kid Kate! I hope you got a thank you.

    • Jo Walton 21:28 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      Bill, it’s because of the snow that’s on our streets for five to seven months of the year. Those little fold-up strollers are great for summer, but they won’t cut the ice.

      The transit we have needs to be usable by babies and people in wheelchairs and groups of friends that include babies and people in wheelchairs as normal full members of the community. The kneeling buses are awesome.

    • Ephraim 21:42 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      An elevator isn’t simply for those in wheelchairs, it is for those with walkers and canes. People more mobile. My mother won’t step foot on an escalator and would only take buses because of the escalators and stairs.

    • Ian 22:18 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      I’m with Jo, as a parent of 2 kids those umbrella strollers are less than useful in winter.

      Truth told though, most of us with big strollers could easily fold them up, put our kid in our lap, and only take up two seats instead of three or as I’ve sometimes seen, four. I always did when my kids were small enough to require a stroller.

      The bigger issue is getting those stupid strollers up and down the metro stairs. You ever carry something as unwieldy as a stroller packed with something as precious as a child up the full length of Lucien L’allier because the escalators were out? I have. And frankly, there are a lot more parents with strollers than there are wheelchair bound people. I suspect that the kind of people that make decisions about where to put in elevators or maintain escalators have never had to carry a baby in a stroller up the stairs of any metro. The wheelchair lobby has a lot more natural sympathy, here and elsewhere I’ve seen a general “well if you’re to broke to own a car you shouldn’t be having annoying kids” vibe.

      As for those of you who shit on parents that rely on the metro, well, fuck you. Not all of us are rich, and when you have kids, you have kids. I do have a driver’s license and am firmly middle class, but choose to take the metro on purpose. Not everyone has that luxury of choice. My transportation choices (and theirs) help the environment and city budget, and our children will be paying taxes to support your hospital bills when you’re a senior citizen, so be grateful that some of us have the audacity to breed even if we take the metro despite the passing inconvenience being exposed to children or accommodating them might entail.

    • ant6n 22:20 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      The 10-minute network should have high curbs and do all-door level boarding. For the next generation of buses, I’d like to see 3 extra-wide doors like this.

    • Ian 22:23 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      Ha! I’d be happy if the city could manage to use asphalt strong enough to support the accordion buses, it’s troughs all up and down Parc between Van Horne and Mont Royal. I certainly don’t trust them to create raised curbs if they can’t even manage paving.

    • ant6n 22:55 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      “ha, government can’t even do x!” is a kind of strong-man argument against any public initiative.
      But just so you know, raised curbs for buses are built out of pre-fab concrete blocks.

    • Ian 23:59 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      Point taken. I embrace any initiatives that benefit the differently abled.

    • ottokajetan 08:56 on 2017/03/12 Permalink

      I’m almost 100% certain parents boarding a busy bus with strollers are aware of the stress and inconvenience they are causing. There’s a special place in hell for those who make their lives even more difficult.

    • JaneyB 09:32 on 2017/03/12 Permalink

      If access issues were just for the disabled, I’d take Bill_Binns’ suggestion to staff a dispatch centre with nice people and make booking more spontaneous. Door to door service sounds like different in a good way! ‘Feeling excluded’ in light of that is not, imo, enough to justify the retrofitting costs.

      Really though, it’s about the strollers. The majority of transit users are women, old and young. That means lots of strollers, and later some canes and chairs. We don’t have laws that reflect this – for some reason – so they’re piggybacking on the disability legislation. Though no one likes strollers, the main problem on buses is that planners somehow failed to think about the actual ridership! Parents, esp women for strength reasons, hang around the front because they are worried no one will notice if they get caught in the back door. If everyone is doing the same annoying/wrong thing, it’s not the people…it’s the design.

      I wonder if they could make an attachment to the handrails of station stairs to take the stroller to the bottom (or top) while the parent carries the kid. Like a ski lift or something.

      So, my bid: fast dispatching centre for disabled service, trustworthy bus back doors, ski-lift invention for stollers in metro stations.

    • ant6n 13:13 on 2017/03/12 Permalink

      Access is a right. Dismissing it as ‘feelings’ is like dismissing equal pay issues.
      At the same time, para transit is super expensive, even the current shitty service.

    • John B 11:06 on 2017/03/13 Permalink

      “As for those of you who shit on parents that rely on the metro, well, fuck you.”

      Ian said what the rest of us feel every day. Thanks Ian.

      We use umbrella strollers all year. There’s no way we’re carrying one of those giant sport/ATV strollers up to our 3rd-floor apartment. On days when there’s too much snow, (which are surprisingly rare), we use a cheap plastic sled or some sort of baby carrier.

      I also caught the tail end of rush hour in the metro with a stroller the other day, and it sucks. We know we’re “in the way” but parents don’t exactly choose when their children need to go to the ER, and if you’ve got the right to ride at rush hour, then so does my child.

      [End of rant]

      That sucks about carrying a stroller up the stairs at Lucien-L’Allier. I used to work near there, and walking up without a stroller was bad enough.

      As for the elevators: Those talking about the differences in levels of mobility are right. For example, my entire family has pneumonia right now, and so even walking is incredibly tiring. It would be exhausting for any of us to walk up a lot of stairs, so if we had to go out, an elevator would be a big help if an escalator was out of commission. Respiratory illnesses don’t look like a classic disability, but can be surprisingly de-habilitating, and they’re just one of many often temporary, often hidden, disabilities.

  • Kate 12:21 on 2017/03/11 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s a chilly Saturday as we prepare to change the clocks. La Presse says we may hit a record low for this date.

    • Ian 22:23 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      Which is weird considering the maple trees in the city are already budding. Crazy up and down temps this year.

    • JaneyB 09:36 on 2017/03/12 Permalink

      During the +12 degree days we had recently, the lilacs were starting to bud. Hooold on there buddy, not so fast!

  • Kate 12:04 on 2017/03/11 Permalink | Reply  

    CTV’s W5 show got a camera inside a Montreal lab and captured images of alleged animal cruelty. The lab’s now under investigation.

    • Marc Dufault 14:57 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      Absolutely disgusted with how mankind treats animals. This needs to be shut down

    • CE 19:53 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      I thought this was quite well known. My girlfriend worked in a McGill lab where everyone knew that the top floor was where all the apes were for medical testing. She told me it’s extremely secure and impossible to get into if you’re not supposed to be there. I’ve heard some pretty messed up stuff happens in that lab.

    • Kate 20:47 on 2017/03/11 Permalink

      CE, there’s a difference between people sort of knowing, and being shown actual video evidence. I don’t even know what the laws say about things like cosmetics having to be tested on animals, but some companies still brag about not doing so. The best way not to do this is to make your stuff out of ingredients that have long been known to be safe – Lush is one outfit that does this – but then you don’t get to claim you sell mystery new high-science youthfulness elixirs.

  • Kate 00:03 on 2017/03/11 Permalink | Reply  

    Lengthy and expensive repairs to keep the old Champlain in service were completed on Friday. Item says the new bridge should be completed by December 2018.

  • Kate 00:01 on 2017/03/11 Permalink | Reply  

    Police are seeking possible other victims of a man accused of following a woman off a bus and attacking her.

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