Updates from May, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 16:31 on 2017/05/01 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse reports that potholes have appeared on recently paved streets.

  • Kate 12:18 on 2017/05/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Another entry in the project Concordia is doing with Metro on various parts of town: the history of Montreal North from its origins till now, with a small selection of photos.

  • Kate 10:47 on 2017/05/01 Permalink | Reply  

    A researcher makes the point that driving is expensive in social terms – with numbers.

    • Jack 11:22 on 2017/05/01 Permalink

      Im stunned the editors at the Journal du Quebec let this piece through. I’ve never seen anything like it. Wow! Its well researched, pointed and comes to a pretty obvious conclusion. For every $1 spent on a car and maintenance, a driver gets over $9 provided to them from the rest of us, not bad.

    • Kate 11:25 on 2017/05/01 Permalink

      I know, Jack. And it’s really only a sidebar to a piece discussing a possible new road link between Quebec City and Lévis which I didn’t include originally because it’s not a Montreal story. The Journal de Québec seems to be set against it, which is – as you say – unexpected.

    • Jack 11:36 on 2017/05/01 Permalink

      The article got beautifully trolled by Mathieu Charlebois,
      “Un dossier qui ne parle qu’à des experts et des spécialistes. Et où est l’opinion de ceux qui ne connaissent rien? Hein? Pas très neutre.”

    • Clément 11:55 on 2017/05/01 Permalink

      Since I moved to Quebec city last year, I’ve had a great seat to observe the debate concerning the reserved bus lanes and the SRB (Rapid Bus Transit) vs. the “3e lien” (i.e. the new bridge spanning the St-Laurent). It’s hilarious and pathetic at the same time.

      The strongest backers of the new, 6B$, publicly funded bridge are also the same politicians (Provincial CAQ and Federal Tories) who claim to be fiscally responsible. One the one hand, they want smaller government, fewer taxes, no deficit; yet, they are perfectly ok with spending tax money to build a new bridge that will benefit a handful of commuters (but many speculators and home builders) and which everyone knows will only worsen traffic problems in a few years.

      #1 prize for dumbest comment so far: “We have money to build the bridge, the education budget is 9B$”

    • ant6n 14:07 on 2017/05/01 Permalink

      Any insights? It seems Levis cancelled the srb because too expensive (when though they recently asked for an 260M addition), but are they now hoping to replace it now with the 3rd link?

    • Clément 15:57 on 2017/05/01 Permalink

      @ant6n: A brief history: (all dates are approx.)

      10 years ago: Plan de transport. We need better public transport. Let’s commission a study

      8 years ago: It will be a tramway. Labeaume loves tramways. Let’s commission a study.

      5 years ago: Study says tramways are expensive. Who would have thought? Labeaume hates tramways.

      4 years ago: We should go with Rapid Bus Transit (SRB) linking Quebec city CBD with Levis CBD through the old bridge (so 10km east-west route on both the north and south shore). Labeaume loves the SRB. MTQ and Levis are lukewarm. Let’s commission a study.

      In the last few years: SRB route in Quebec city should travel east-west in la “haute-ville” on René-Lévesque. No it should travel in la “basse-ville” on Charest. Let’s commission a study to help us decide.

      Final route will be through basse-ville.

      1 year ago: The route through la basse-ville is stupid.

      In the last year: Someone comes up with the idea of a 3e lien (new bridge or tunnel). The CAQ, always looking for some stupid yet popular cause to latch unto supports it. Suddenly, the 3e lien is the holy grail of transport solutions. Everyone knows (except transport experts and scientists…) that increased road capacity ALWAYS solves all traffic problems. Anyone opposed to this idea is obviously a Montreal communist. If you’re an ex-Montrealer cyclist now living in Quebec city like myself, you’re extra communist.

      Radio-Poubelle decides they love the 3e lien and they hate the SRB. Who buys the most publicity on these radio stations? Car dealerships…

      Public opinion suddenly shifts. The liberals, always looking to keep their seats in the region, become lukewarm towards the SRB.

      The mayor of Levis decides the SRB is a terrible idea and his “opinion” is that NOBODY want to use public transit. He drops support for the SRB (for which they were paying close to nothing, mostly provincial money).

      Suddenly, everyone abandons the SRB. Labeaume announces he no longer wants the SRB. Also, he’s up for re-election this year, but this has nothing to do with all this.

      As of today, almost every politician around here opposes the SRB. Everyone wants a new bridge. Also, all Quebec taxpayers should pay for the new bridge because Champlain.

      Labeaume says we need better public transport. Let’s commission a study.

      Back to the beginning of this list.

    • Clément 15:58 on 2017/05/01 Permalink

      TL;DR: Radio-poubelle loves cars. Politicians are afraid of radio-poubelle.

    • ant6n 18:22 on 2017/05/01 Permalink

      The SRB always seemed stupid. Reading over the study, it kind of reads like a subtle ad for those double-articulated Van Hool buses that have covers over their wheels.

    • Clément 20:51 on 2017/05/01 Permalink

      I don’t think the SRB was stupid.

      Quebec city needs better public transit that just regular bus service. They do have “Metrobus” (higher capacity, articulated buses running at high frequency on reserved bus lanes), but since they use regular roads, they hit all the traffic lights and drivers here have zero respect for reserved bus lanes.

      Quebec city doesn’t have the density for a subway or even something like the REM, so the SRB was seen as a good compromise to increase capacity and improve service. You’re right, they did seem to put a lot of emphasis on the buses themselves, as they are quite photogenic. They never did manage to explain what Rapid Bus Transit really is and how well it can work. I’ve seen them in action in Lima, Peru and somewhere in Europe I can’t remember. Ottawa has a sort of hybrid version which works well.

      The weak part of the proposed SRB was a 5-10 km stretch on the south shore, between the bridges and the centre of Levis, around St-Romuald, which has a very low density when an SRB doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      What the project should have been (in my opinion):

      One east-west axis in haute-ville, from the National Assembly to Henri-IV (the highway connecting to the bridges) in Sainte-Foy, running along René-Lévesque or Laurier. This is a stretch with many office buildings (government, insurance companies), high population density (Montcalm, St-Sacrement), a few CEGEP, the university campus and shopping malls.
      Another east-west axis in basse-ville, from the National Assembly down Côte d’Abraham, to St-Roch west along Charest, then back up to the Campus and join the other axix. This stretch also has office buildings and high density population in St-Roch and St-Sauveur, and industrial park an again, the university campus.

      However, in order to make the project “acceptable”, they proposed to implement only one axis (Charest) and include the south Shore with that empty stretch in St-Romuald. They figured if they could get the support of people living on both sides of the St-Laurent, it wouldn’t perceived as a project FOR Québec and AGAINST Lévis. That part was stupid.

    • ant6n 22:52 on 2017/05/01 Permalink

      The project is Stupid, .. Well, badly designed because it combines the disadvantages of trams with the disadvantages of buses. The routing is bad, its super expensive, the cost accounting seems to ignore the higher operating cost of buses, there’s all sorts of extra transfers for everybody.

      If it was a busway (like Ottawa built 40 years ago) I would understand it (I.e. a fast connection for the various bus lines through downtown). If they planned a proper tram that will be used in 40 years I’d understand it as well.

      At the cost per km they’re proposing, they should just implement the 2003 tram. Then the third link could simply be a tram tunnel from downtown Levis to downtown Quebec.

  • Kate 09:56 on 2017/05/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Neighbours in the Plateau are squabbling over one owner who’s taken over part of an alley with a private terrasse, blocking it to the other users, but it seems the alley doesn’t actually belong to anyone.

    • Ephraim 01:00 on 2017/05/02 Permalink

      City should verify that it’s their land and send him the bill for the rental. Watch how quickly it will disappear… it’s expensive to occupy city land.

  • Kate 09:45 on 2017/05/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Gérald Tremblay is expected to testify Monday at the Faubourg Contrecœur trial. TVA link plays video.

    Linda Gyulai and Shuyee Lee are both tweeting the testimony.

    In other news of ex-mayors, Michael Applebaum is not going to appeal his sentence.

  • Kate 01:00 on 2017/05/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Plans for Esplanade Clark, to be a terrasse in the summer and a skating rink in the winter, have been unveiled. The original notion to construct parking under the lot has been omitted from the current plan.

    When this idea was floated previously, Blork had an amusing comment.

    • Chris 19:55 on 2017/05/01 Permalink

      Of course the parking was deemed “too expensive” to build. Underground parking *is* expensive to build. Renting it out at market rates should be doable, except of course the market is distorted/subsidized by the City providing free parking all over the place, so motorists aren’t at all accustomed to paying market rates.

    • SMD 09:08 on 2017/05/02 Permalink

      And when motorists do have to pay market rates, as in the PPP-built MUCH and CUSM hospitals, there is general outcry (La Presse today reports that parking at the CHUM for four hours will cost $24).

    • ant6n 10:13 on 2017/05/02 Permalink

      People on Reddit are saying stuff like “we really need this green space”.

      To me it looks like a giant concrete lot where they put large pots with trees in the summer. It looks like the only patch of grass are the roofs of the buildings they’re putting here. This is an “event space”, not a “green space”. But it’s paid with federal money, so I guess the 67M price tag doesn’t really matter, eh.

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