Updates from March, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:22 on 2017/03/15 Permalink | Reply  

    The annual anti police brutality demonstration is planned Wednesday evening in Hochelaga‑Maisonneuve.

    Updates: One report says about 100 people are out. The CTV report says 150, a few minor incidents but no arrests. La Presse estimated 300 and described “un peu de grabuge.”

  • Kate 18:12 on 2017/03/15 Permalink | Reply  

    stormwatchHundreds of drivers were stranded overnight on autoroute 13 and questions are being asked why. Radio-Canada talked to several people who experienced this.

    Projet is asking why the city’s response to the storm was so poor. The city has a public security plan for extreme storms, but didn’t use it; in return, the city is complaining the transport ministry didn’t tell it about the autoroute 13 problem till nearly morning.

    Although drivers were initially ticketed when vehicles had to be towed from the 13, this item mentions they will be refunded.

    Snow clearing is set to begin Wednesday around 19:00 and could take awhile.

    Schools have already announced they’ll be open Thursday.

    • carswell 20:39 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      At around 9:30 this morning, I needed to go from UdeM to a meeting on De Gaspé between St-Viateur and Bernard in Mile End. I decided to take the 51, which was slow to arrive and, when it did, was a convoy of three or four buses. The ride was uneventful until we approached Laurier and Parc.

      The city has started doing major infrastructure work on Laurier West (scheduled to end in the fall of 2018 — pity the merchants), starting at Parc and moving westward block by block to Côte-Ste-Catherine. After working on the north side of the block just west of Parc for the last month or so, they’ve just switched to the south side. The work takes up half the street at any given time, which leaves two lanes of traffic and (supposedly) no parking.

      This morning, a westbound 51 had gotten stuck at the stop on Laurier just west of Parc. I’d guess it happened early in the morning as snow was banked up all around it. This and the fact that there were still some parked cars on the north side of the street, meant that block of Laurier was reduced to a single lane.

      The convoy managed to make it down as far as Parc but something happened to the first bus, effectively blocking the single lane and trapping us in our bus for a good 10 minutes. Our driver finally convinced the construction workers to remove the barriers that were blocking the bus’s door and let those who wanted to leave do so.

      In Mile End, the streets were cleared but the sidewalks mostly weren’t. Most of the way from St-Laurent and Fairmount to my destination, I and nearly every other pedestrian walked in the streets. The sidewalks were especially bad at street corners, where huge snow banks often blocked all access.

      The sidewalk situation was a little better on my return, when I walked west on St-Viateur and south on Parc, though the latter was far from clear in places, some of them due to drivers and business owners who found it easier to push “their” snow onto the sidewalk than to throw it onto a snow bank.

      When I got to Parc and Laurier — shortly after 1 p.m. — the stuck bus was still there. Construction meant the westbound 51 stop just east of Parc was blocked and a sign there said to use the stop just west of Parc. But that stop was blocked by the stuck bus and huge snow banks. There was no sign explaining what to do, either. Plus the single lane was a dangerous mess, with cars on southbound Parc that turned right onto Laurier unable to see that eastbound cars had already entered the lane. The turning cars were then forced to back up across the crosswalk (which the construction fencing made invisible in the driver side mirror) and into the intersection, sometimes against the light, in order to let the eastbound traffic pass.

      I saw that happen several times because no westbound 51s arrived. Afraid that the service might have been detoured or cancelled, I decided instead to take the 80 up to the blue line. But even that was a problem, as huge snow banks blocked most of the entrance/exit points. Plus a large delivery truck double-parked in front of PA Nature meant the bus couldn’t easily reach the one place where the banks had been breached.

      So, yes, somebody was asleep at the switch. Six or seven hours was enough time for the STM to have the stuck bus towed away. Failing that, they should have detoured the line and put up signs explaining where to go. They should also have ensured bus entrance/exit points weren’t blocked, especially on major lines like the 80. And the city should have had a couple of SPVM cops or other employees directing traffic to prevent the mess on the single-lane stretch of Laurier. Yes, we got more snow than was forecast and yes, this was only one spot out of many. It’s still hard to see it as anything other than a fail.

    • Kate 22:32 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      At the very least, the city should have had cops out directing traffic in tricky spots like that corner, where construction was already making things difficult. I passed by there a few days ago and noticed how constricted it was, and can only imagine the mess after the storm.

    • JaneyB 10:00 on 2017/03/16 Permalink

      And if not the cops, the cadets. They all have radios and cell phones. As for the 13, doesn’t that have cameras all along it? An inexcusable mess.

    • Ian 07:38 on 2017/03/17 Permalink

      Update in Mile End – My side of Jeanne Mance still hasn’t had the sidewalk cleared and there has been no street clearing. At least the 51 is running. In other bus shenanigans, the bus stop sign at the SE corner of Parc & Fairmount is down after the storm, too – on the day of the storm a bus started fishtailing as it was pulling away and knocked the sign right out of its moorings.

  • Kate 13:56 on 2017/03/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Aid in dying has proven harder to get in Montreal than elsewhere in Quebec, particularly at the MUHC.

  • Kate 13:54 on 2017/03/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Urbania looks at the prevalence of franglais in Montreal signage, part of a whole current issue on franglais.

    • Patrick 14:20 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      Many of those signs don’t qualify as “franglais,” since they involve trade names like “Five Roses.” Other signs are simply in English. The common definition of franglais is the use of English words and phrases when you are speaking French and a French equivalent is available. Bilingualism and actual language mixing are different.
      By the way, the article implies the name “Morgans” was changes in 1960 when the Hudson’s Bay Co. bought the department store. But the Morgans/Morgan-without-an-s signage was kept for some years after that. Until when exactly?

    • Kate 19:35 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      Assez true.

  • Kate 13:07 on 2017/03/15 Permalink | Reply  

    We were discussing snow removal a month ago. Mathias Marchal had written twice about the wedo services outsourcing app, and reader dhomas suggested it during that thread.

    I wanted to get some snow removal for a friend in the West Island, but even though you can still get the wedo app, it’s impossible to register and the Facebook page has vanished. Anyone seen news about this?

    Also, anyone know of any West Island based snow removal services that would do one job, today, paid remotely by credit card?

    • jeather 13:08 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      I’d bet if you paid by bank transfer you could hire someone off kijiji.

    • Kate 13:17 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      I just signed up for utask.ca but its website is too buggy to use. Here’s to slick-looking websites with broken back ends.

    • Mathias Marchal 14:15 on 2017/03/16 Permalink

      Hi Kate! Ils sont en train de préparer une nouvelle version de l’app. avec des nouveaux partenaires. Dommage pour eux qu’ils aient raté la dernière tempête!

    • Kate 02:35 on 2017/03/17 Permalink

      Merci, Mathias.

  • Kate 06:03 on 2017/03/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Levels of the pesticide atrazine found in Montreal’s drinking water are higher than the EU would tolerate.

  • Kate 06:01 on 2017/03/15 Permalink | Reply  

    stormwatchFlights are cancelled and schools are closed Wednesday. Apparently we got around 35 cm of snow, which has shattered an old record for snowfall on the date, and a little more is expected Wednesday.

    Denis Coderre has tweeted that people should stay home if they don’t need to go out.

    The Journal says some plowing companies that were barred by past collusion have simply changed the legal ownership of their firms and gone on doing business. But how many outfits own the hardware for plowing a snowfall like this?

    Update articles: STM buses will be off their schedules all day: some are still stuck, 19 of them have had accidents, and many drivers have not been able to get to work. Civil security has even requisitioned two buses to help rescue people stuck in their cars on autoroute 13. This blockage on the 13 has the premier angry.

    Noon hour: Flights must have resumed. I could hear planes going over as I cleared the front steps. Photos from Radio-Canada.

    13:30: Snowing again!

    Tweets are reporting that people whose vehicles got stuck on the 13 are being ticketed $218 for towing.

    14:15: More snow news bits: people pushing an STM bus; in the countryside, a man was killed by a snowplow and two men died in a stuck car although this story is confused about whether it was from exposure, carbon monoxide or some other cause.

    The Journal talked to a few folks stuck at the airport.

    As noted below by reader j2, the emergency civil alert test planned for Wednesday at 14:55 has been cancelled.

    • Chris 08:30 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      Stay home cuz of 35 cm?! What are we Americans? :) Don’t drive, sure, but why stay home? Grab your snowshoes and get out there!

    • Kate 11:07 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      I think Coderre imagines people driving, with public transit a remote second. Keeping vehicles off the road makes sense.

    • Mark Côté 12:27 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      I have to say that I love that you’re actually using that “Storm Watch” image. :D

    • Michael Black 12:53 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      But it would be better if it was animated, getting larger until it explodes. These thing mustn’t be subtle.


    • Kate 13:02 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      Michael Black, I don’t really want an animation distracting people from reading, because animations do.

      Glad you like it, Mark Côté.

    • ste.ph 15:07 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      The north sidewalks on my street must have over 4 feet of snow on it. I just saw a pair of chenille-à-trottoir attempt to clear it, only to give up after 10 feet and drive down the middle of the street instead.

    • Kevin 16:27 on 2017/03/15 Permalink

      On my way home I saw a bus driver on the wrong side of the road, wedged into a snowbank, trying to shovel his way out.
      About 10 minutes later a plow tried to push it out.

      This afternoon the bus is still there…

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