Updates from March, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:53 on 2017/03/26 Permalink | Reply  

    The blue line will be open later starting Monday and a few more departures will be added in the daytime. I hope some day to also see the line get full-length trains. Those short trains are getting crowded.

    The STM is also tinkering with bus schedules, some getting more service, some less. But as noted in the articles, STM bus schedules are always adjusted quarterly.

    • ant6n 00:05 on 2017/03/27 Permalink

      The problem with a full-length Blue line is that it would dump too many people on the Orange line.

      We need a high-capacity connection from Edouard-Montpetit downtown, not one that can only “process” at most 5000 people per hour. At full length and current schedules (4-5min), the Blue line can bring in up to 20K people per hour per direction, from two directions. Just the additional capacity moving from 6 to 9 car trains is more than 6000 people per hour and direction.

    • Blork 09:58 on 2017/03/27 Permalink

      I agree. The Orange line is already overloaded at rush hours. Dumping more people onto it doesn’t help and end up discouraging use of the Metro for a lot of people.

    • rue david 13:31 on 2017/03/27 Permalink

      Anton, for your next project, you might look at the benefits of extending the yellow line two stops to McGill station along the lines proposed in the short-lived expansion plan. In the fantasy I’ve developed (mostly just before bed or as I’m walking to work, not with any numbers), the yellow line directly downtown takes a serious rush hour passenger load off both orange and green. I also love the idea of putting a station on the site of that godawful service station on the corner of Sherbrooke and Main which I predict would instantly vault into a top 10 station by traffic.

      Anyway, once the red line portion of the REM is built, the blue line contribution to orange line crush should decrease significantly.

    • Kate 14:54 on 2017/03/27 Permalink

      rue david, do you imagine running the yellow line trains on the green line tracks via St-Laurent and Place-des-Arts to McGill? Or having a massive dig to install a parallel tunnel there?

    • rue david 15:12 on 2017/03/27 Permalink

      The proposal considered was definitely a new tunnel, and I like the one that goes directly under Sherbrooke. http://i.imgur.com/2KOvA0P.jpg?1
      I like the second option because I think that main Street station would be very popular and more useful than a parc/pine Street station, I like it because it takes down one of Montreal’s great eyesores in that service station, I like it because cut and cover tunneling down Sherbrooke would be much cheaper than tunnelling, I like it because new construction and a big plaza there would be tops.

    • Blork 15:17 on 2017/03/27 Permalink

      Isn’t there some folklore that the Yellow line tunnel already goes almost to McGill but that it was never finished? Any truth to that?

      BTW, as a Yellow line user who works downtown, I LOVE that idea.

    • ant6n 21:22 on 2017/03/27 Permalink

      “Anyway, once the red line portion of the REM is built, the blue line contribution to orange line crush should decrease significantly”

      In my post at the too I tried to lay out that this effect will be much smaller than people hope for, due to the low capacity.

    • ant6n 22:00 on 2017/03/27 Permalink

      I think the yellow line tracks go almost up to St Denis and Sherbrooke. Sherbrooke is pretty far north relative to a lot of employment centers. There would be a good amount of relief, but it’s expensive and the line would still be a short stub line.

      In any case, it would be much cheaper to maintain/extend the high capacity on the existing mount royal tunnel rather than build a new downtown tunnel (plus stations).

    • Kate 14:46 on 2017/03/28 Permalink

      I don’t see how extending the yellow line as suggested wouldn’t involve years of massive digs downtown.

  • Kate 23:42 on 2017/03/26 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is spending $200,000 to put up historical illustrations on five bus shelters and Projet is not impressed.

    • PO 07:19 on 2017/03/28 Permalink

      Maybe I’m not the first one to suggest it, but would it be feasible to certain municipal projects, esp. temporary ones, handled by universities in exchange for stage or project credit? Team up a history major, graphic design major and civil engineering major, give them a budget and a deadline, and everyone wins. The city gets reasonable savings from not having to dish out 200k on things like this, and the students win municipal connections, practice in project administration, experience in their domain, course credit and some cash.

      These decals cost nearly the equivalent of the pay of seven full-time workers earning 30k a year. 14,000 man-hours.

    • Kate 15:01 on 2017/03/28 Permalink

      It’s impossible for me not to assume that projects like this are designed and intended to put money into the right pockets. A lot of that cash is going right to Videotron for the right to decorate their bus shelters. Some of the rest will go to somebody somebody knows, or somebody who’s owed a favour. It’s never a question of finding a way to save money, and the city has no interest in courting the universities unless an advantageous PR fillip can be achieved by doing that.

    • Ian 18:01 on 2017/03/28 Permalink

      Still, that’s a mere drop in the ocean for the likes of Quebecor. Whether that job went to Quebecor, Sid Lee, or Cossette, it’s a city hall RFP so it was going to go to a big agency either way, and none of them would have done it on the cheap.

      But like you said, Kate, “A lot of that cash is going right to Videotron for the right to decorate their bus shelters.” – Quebecor owns Videotron, and is also fulfilling this design contract. There’s your cui bono. Though since Videotron already holds the advertising rights having Quebecor do the job was probably seen as a win-win and may in fact have cost less than going to another agency because of that.

  • Kate 21:40 on 2017/03/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Konrad Yakabuski talks about the thousands of French folks living in Montreal; although he mentions the impending French election, he avoids discussion of how the expat French see the politics back home.

  • Kate 21:31 on 2017/03/26 Permalink | Reply  

    The western green line was halted for almost two hours Sunday evening after a woman fell onto the rails by accident.

  • Kate 13:46 on 2017/03/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Philippe Couillard is gung-ho for the REM even with no promise of federal money, and equally determined to build the extension of autoroute 19 up to Bois-des-Filion, even if it means funnelling more traffic down Papineau in Montreal, which was never conceived as a highway or “urban boulevard.”

    Where is Denis Coderre in these dossiers? The one positive thing I hoped for in Coderre as mayor was that he might have the pugnacity to stand up to Quebec when it made plans that were bad for the city. But he hasn’t talked at all about the shortcomings of the REM, even though as a Montreal North resident himself he has to see that it totally shortchanges the northeastern part of the island, besides the technical and financial problems ant6n has worked so hard to explain. Not only that, but noise about the REM has shut down the hope for a blue line extension – possibly for another generation – which also leaves St‑Léonard, Anjou, Montreal North and RDP high and dry, and these are parts of town that need better transit.

    The problems with the A-19 extension were discussed in this blog item from two years ago.

    I want someone to sit Philippe Couillard down and grill him hard on his views of Montreal, if he even has any. I’m afraid his main strategy for the city is to shill for as many PLQ votes in its suburbs as he can.

    • Phil C. 14:07 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      Is this actually the 21st century of have I been transported to the era of Jean Drapeau? Apparently 50 years wasn’t enough time for bad urbanism. More highways = more capacity for cars = more sprawl = more highways

    • steph 18:24 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      Most voters simply don’t understand that more highways = more traffic. Even most educated people don’t understand this. Is it fair to blame politicians when they give people what they want, even if it’s bad for them?

    • ant6n 23:50 on 2017/03/26 Permalink


  • Kate 11:10 on 2017/03/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Public security minister Martin Coiteux has stated his confidence in police chief Philippe Pichet after receiving a report on the chaos inside the force. Its recommendations are to be revealed to the public sometime Sunday. One of the things Coiteux may try to do is force police back into uniform (TVA link, video).

    • John B 11:29 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      Interesting that it’s being referred to as an “action plan on winning back the public’s confidence” as opposed to an “action plan on cleaning up the SPVM.”

      On the other hand, isn’t the SPVM one of the few groups that had their pension plan well in the black, and they were just lumped in with all other municipal employees with the pension reform? If so they’ve got a right to be angry, and I’m impressed that they’ve stuck with it for so long.

    • Ephraim 14:45 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      The problem isn’t the public.

      1. Clear civilian oversight.
      2. Respect for the law starts by obeying it yourself.
      3. Real punishment for violations of your oath as an officer of the court.
      4. Body cams, so we don’t really need 1, 2 or 3, because you are too afraid of doing something your aren’t supposed to do because there is a record of it.

    • Kate 15:14 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      But Ephraim, this scandal isn’t about the constable on the beat (if there is a beat any more). It’s about guys in more influential positions inside the force. I understand about body cams for police who sometimes have to manhandle people on the street, but when you’re talking about dudes managing Mafia informants and the like, you can’t send them in with a camera clipped to their lapel. You actually have to be able to trust them.

    • Ephraim 17:07 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      Kate – Ever eaten a rotten apple? It doesn’t stop at the top, it goes right down to the core. The problems like discrimination, taking bribes, not respecting law are all systemic.

      There is no real difference systematically from fabricating evidence, using data you aren’t supposed to have or harassing someone for driving while black. They are both symptoms of believing your are above the law, not subject to it and that you don’t think you are going to get caught.

      So, putting on a pair of dark coloured pants isn’t going to work. What will work to fix the system is that they police know that civilians, not government, not unions, civilians are watching them. That they are subject to the law 100% of the time and if you park your car illegally because you want lunch, you turn on your damn flashing lights to go through a traffic light or you illegally wiretap a phone line, you are responsible and we want to catch you. That when we catch you, you aren’t going to get an extra 14 days paid vacation, you are going to lose your police pension and be required to refund your salary because you weren’t doing your job.

      And the fastest way to get that into everyone’s damn head… cameras. You don’t stop someone for driving while black because the camera is there and you can’t get away with it. You don’t beat up the kid who is protesting, because the camera is there and you can’t get away with it. You don’t fabricate evidence, because when you violate the oath of an officer of the court… you can’t be put in front of the court ever again…. you can’t be a police officer

  • Kate 11:05 on 2017/03/26 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s been a bright Sunday morning but there’s still a red freezing rain warning on the weather page and news of a storm coming from the west, precipitation midday shading into freezing rain in the evening. TVA link plays video.

    …Hmm, 13:30 and the sky is a clear unbroken blue so far.

  • Kate 00:28 on 2017/03/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Engine trouble forced a China-bound plane back to Trudeau airport Saturday. All accounts say the plane had to dump fuel over the Laurentians. Really? Is this safe?

    • Max 02:50 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      It’s standard procedure when you need to get a plane’s weight down to the maximum landing weight for an early landing. “Dump” is a bit of a misnomer as the excess fuel is actually pissed out and aerosolized over a distance and period of time. In terms of environmental impact I’m pretty sure it’s less damaging than burning the fuel up.


    • Kate 10:36 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      Thank you, Max.

  • Kate 00:23 on 2017/03/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Gilles Proulx writes about the turning point of 1966 when suddenly most Quebec Catholics stopped going to church.

    The Centre d’histoire piece looks at a then-and-now of a corner business in Little Italy.

    • rue david 03:29 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      man, i know you despise this guy, kate. but when i read his articles, i really want to like him because there usually is something interesting that can be pulled out of his columns. man though, he just makes it so difficult. like, this was a perfectly okay article that reminded me of a few things i knew, then the he raises the old «ville au mille clochers» sobriquet and asks whether montreal will one day be the «ville aux mille mosquées.» just so nuts.


      still, i didn’t know that old church was from 1749, very cool.

    • Tim F 09:16 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      I managed to look past the mosque comment, but the reference to Babylon (and the moral downlooking it implies) was the last straw for me. Every week it’s something…

    • Jack 10:14 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      rue david I really want to like this guy too because he writes about Montreal’s past and says he is an historian. What holds me back is the fact that he is racist and a liar. Usually people who are racists and liars are not given platforms to espouse their visions of the past. In Quebecor world oddly it doesn’t seem to be that big a problem. I don’t use these terms lightly. For his lying I think the most instructive moment came when he was on a show claiming to have an advanced history degree from St.Louis University ( a researcher checked and they had never heard of him). As for his racism Ill just cite two incidents I don’t have time to go through his entire screed. First the Jews, next the ” blokes” and I gotta run…if anyone can tell me how this guy still has a job in “journalism” do tell.

    • Kate 10:38 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      rue david, it’s not that I despise Proulx. But I always embark on reading his items the way you probe a sore tooth, waiting for the twinge. Amazingly, this week he doesn’t find a way to blame the anglos for Quebec’s desertion of the Catholic church. But, as Tim F says, he finds something else weird to say.

    • SteveQ 10:56 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      Wow, it didn’t take very long for someone to pull out the ”racist” accusation !

      Unfortunately so common here and elsewhere….

    • Jack 11:57 on 2017/03/26 Permalink

      SteveQ what do you call someone who claims that their is a worldwide conspiracy led by jews to control the world. What do you call someone who on a television show refers to anglophones as “têtes carrés” What do you call someone who refers to Italians as “voyous”. Can you help me out…

  • Kate 00:17 on 2017/03/26 Permalink | Reply  

    St-Laurent borough is to change zoning to allow for more places of worship.

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