Updates from June, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:21 on 2017/06/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Marvin Rotrand has found out that, with no warning, he’s been canned as vice-chair of the STM. Coderre also just sacked Benoit Dorais as president of the agglomeration council, presumably because Dorais opted to join Projet.

    Coderre is consolidating his position well in advance of the election. I did not want to think Coderre is like Trump, but it looks like this election will be all about loyalty to the leader.

     
    • Chris 08:30 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Totally fits Coderre’s MO. :(

  • Kate 21:02 on 2017/06/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre wants downtown schools built and is blaming the CSDM for dragging its feet on this.

     
    • ste.ph 22:41 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      That idiot better stay away from the schools. Sounds like political posturing though.

    • Kate 10:08 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Coderre has some kind of case based on the CSDM’s long-term neglect of its own buildings. I’m not sure it’s smart for him to want the city to manage the commission’s physical plant, though.

    • Bill Binns 14:07 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Coderre’s Montreal Weblog approval ratings have slumped to an all time low. Personally, I wrote him off after the ridiculous Haiti trip a few weeks into his term. I hope we have a Melanie Joly type fresh-faced outsider to run against him next year.

    • Kate 14:27 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Bill Binns, the election is this year, in early November, and Valérie Plante is the only opponent in the ring so far. Someone else could still turn up, but they have only four and a half months to get organized.

      I don’t think you’ve read closely if you think Denis Coderre had a high rating here. Initially I did hope he’d be stronger than Tremblay in standing up to Quebec, but in the end he’s simply shown himself drunk on power rather than stupefied by it. Not necessarily an improvement.

    • Bill Binns 14:49 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Woops – was thinking of the provincial elections. I know nothing about Plante. Time to get educated.

    • Frederic Cardin 16:50 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Bill, Melanie Joly is pretty much a deception as a federal minister. Not sure this is a good example…

    • Bill Binns 17:10 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      I like her. She appears to be making the most out of the Heritage Minister position according to her Twitter activity. She’s young, she has a law degree, Oxford educated, most importantly, she has clean hands. I expect to see big things from her.

    • ant6n 17:20 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Plante is a fresh-faced outsider, young and energetic, in some sense like Melanie Joly (who actually turned out to be an opportunist who apparently used the municipal election to help herself rather than Montreal).

    • Tim 21:31 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      I have to agree with ant6n again, this time on Joly. Her step mom was a Liberal MP and her dad sat on the finance committee according to this Globe article:

      https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/arts/melanie-joly-to-reset-symbols-of-progressiveness-as-heritage-minister/article27156035/?ref=https://www.theglobeandmail.com&service=mobile

      She had some high powered help and I doubt that the mayorship was the end goal. Losing to Coderre turned out to be great thing for her.

  • Kate 12:54 on 2017/06/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Hydro-Quebec’s Montreal headquarters will be named for Jean Lesage even though it was René Lévesque, then a minister in Lesage’s government, who oversaw the nationalization of electrical power generation here.

    I’m not against naming something for Lesage, but that building has stood there for 55 years and never needed a name before.

     
    • DeWolf 16:53 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      Jean Lesage already has an international airport! It’s a bit “platte” naming everything after men in politics. How about some underrepresented people?

    • Blork 17:39 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      He also has an autoroute.

    • LJ 18:07 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      Funny how two of the noisiest places (airport and highway) are named after a guy known for his role in the quiet revolution.

    • carswell 20:27 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      Lesage was a lifelong Liberal, Lévesque a Liberal apostate. The Liberals are currently in power. There’s probably a little “History is written by the victors” in this. And maybe the desire to preempt an eventual René Lévesque building on René Lévesque Boulevard.

    • Kate 00:56 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Lesage didn’t have anything significant named for him in Montreal, though. (And Paul Sauvé doesn’t any more.)

      LJ: good point!

    • Bill Binns 09:06 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      I just had a read through the story of the grid nationalization on the Hydro Quebec website. Hell of a story I was largely unaware of.

  • Kate 12:05 on 2017/06/12 Permalink | Reply  

    The Griffintown Horse Palace is to be demolished this week but a new stable should replace it, not another cookie cutter condo building. We’ll see.

     
    • Bill Binns 13:48 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      That’s too bad. I would have liked to have seen the inside of that place. I’m fascinated by places that have been in constant use for that long. I took a tour of a 150 year old dairy farm in upstate NY years ago and these huge timber beams had been worn down and polished smooth by over a century of cows scratching themselves on them.

    • Kate 14:18 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      There are some photos of the interior around if you look, Bill Binns. I’ve seen it. It’s no exaggeration to say it is indeed very decrepit.

    • Alex L 18:52 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      Too bad they can’t keep any of it. Have you got any photos of the interior, Kate? I’d be curious to see it.

    • Kate 00:58 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Alex L, I don’t, but I’m asking a friend who I think has some.

  • Kate 10:41 on 2017/06/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Le Devoir looks at the hopeless business of putting a stop sign on the Berri bike path near the Grande bibliothèque. This follows from an incident last year when a cyclist was smacked down by a vehicle entering the library parking, which involves cutting across the path. The parking entrance isn’t a road, so people have not been stopping for it, especially since at that spot a cyclist is often benefiting from the momentum built up from the slope north of Ontario.

     
    • John B 11:23 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      There should be a stop sign for vehicles, if anything. As you say, the entrance isn’t a road, so there should be no stop sign.

      I’m tired of bikes always getting the short end of the stick. There’s a place on the Maisonneuve bike path in Westmount where there’s a stop sign on the bike path for the drop-off driveway, (not even the parking), of an apartment building. Nobody would ever think about asking cars to stop because there’s a driveway joining the road. If bicyclists are to be expected to respect the same laws as other vehicles, then they should be treated with the same respect as other vehicles.

    • Blork 11:37 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      (Story link: http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/actualites-en-societe/500997/cyclisme-une-signalisation-infructueuse)

      That bicycle stop sign makes no sense and should be removed immediately.

      A stop sign for vehicles makes little sense also. That’s a wide boulevard with no intersection, so a stop sign there would be random and weird. Given that maybe one in 10,000 passing vehicles actually turns into that alley, there’s no way it justifies a stop sign for traffic.

      My opinion: some kind of speed-bump type barrier for vehicles making that turn that ensures they have to slow down and take the turn very deliberately instead of just whipping into it.

      Signage could be improved too. A honking big sign that warns both vehicles and bicycles to be on alert at that intersection.

    • ste.ph 12:50 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      If drivers were more severely punished for “accidents”, they’d probably be more careful.

    • Blork 13:15 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      Perspective: literally millions of drivers and cyclists have negotiated that area over the past decade, with no problems. Then along comes one idiot driver.

      I agree that this driver should be severely punished, because this accident was clearly his fault and he was clearly driving dangerously. But I don’t think there’s much sense in trying awkward configurations (like that bike path stop sign) because of one rare incident. The suggestions I mention above — along with severe punishments for dangerous driving — would be more effective.

    • Bill Binns 13:38 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      Unless the cops are doing some rare non-pedestrian enforcement, I doubt that sign is bothering anybody as it’s likely ignored by 99.9999% of cyclists just like all the other traffic control signage. Seriously, next time you visit the library, stand there and wait for a bike to stop at that sign. I bet you will give up before you see one.

    • Blork 13:55 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      I agree. But it’s not about who is being bothered. It’s about (a) preventing another accident, and (b) keeping the responsibility on the driver in this case.

      As it is, we all know that 99.9999$ of cyclists will ignore the stop sign, but if another accident happens there, the official blame will be on the cyclist for ignoring the stop sign.

      That’s backwards. The onus is on the driver, because (a) the driver is cutting across another vehicle path, so it’s the vehicle that is crossing that must ensure the way is clear before crossing (this is universal), and (b) in all transportation scenarios, the heavier vehicle must yield to the lighter vehicle.

    • Bill Binns 14:32 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      @Blork – You could maybe put a big gnarly speed bump there for cars but I don’t see how you could place a stop sign or other control signage for cars there unless there was a dedicated turn lane. Reading about the accident it seems the van turned in front of a bike and the cyclist bailed and ended up under the van. Not exactly the same thing as a driver carelessly mowing down a cyclist. The article doesn’t say if anyone was judged at fault but it’s certainly possible the cyclist was coming down the hill too fast for his brakes. Maybe a chicane in the bike line to slow bikes down would be more effective.

      I cross Berri at Maisoneuve all the time and see bikes coming down the hill at high speed trying to look left down Maisoneuve to see if the coast is clear to blow the light. Again, stand there for 5 minutes and I guarantee you will see someone do that. The intersection of St Denis and Ontario is even more hairy. I spend many an hour at the terrasse outside Starbucks there and have lost track of how many near misses I have seen. Both cars and bikes at fault but the hill ad increased speed of the bikes seems to aggravate the issue.

    • Blork 15:34 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      @Bill Binns, I’m not proposing a stop sign for motor vehicles (I actually argued against that). Rather, some kind of speed bump that only affects vehicles turning to cross the bike path.

      The thing is, if that van turned into the bike path without stopping first and verifying that the path was clear, then he basically is mowing down a cyclist. Like I said, when you are crossing a path, whether it’s at a regular intersection or otherwise moving from one path to a perpendicular path, the onus is on you to ensure that other path is clear before you cross it.

      It’s true that there’s a chance the cyclist was moving too fast, but the cyclists’ responsibility is for their own safety when they’re simply moving forward on a designated bike path. Yes, they should be on the lookout for hazards, but the LEGAL responsibility is on the driver to not cross a path/route/piste (whatever you want to call it) without ensuring the path is clear.

      That said, I would not be opposed to some kind of mechanism to slow down cyclists along that route. On the south shore (including the route across the Jacques Cartier Bridge) you see these in a lot of places where bicycles going down hill need to slow down to be safe. Bascially, there’s an enforces zig-zag, where cyclists have to slow down and zig-zag around a metal barrier. This is to avoid unsafe cycling speeds which can be a hazard to other cyclists, and in some cases to slow down cyclists before the cycle path crosses a road.

    • Blork 15:43 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      E.g., these plastic speed control devices on the Jacques-Cartier:
      https://goo.gl/maps/Yx129VAEhY12

    • Kate 15:50 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      Bloke, I wonder if there’s resistance to putting something like that up in front of the library’s sculpture garden.

    • PO 15:51 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      Isn’t there an entrance to the parking on Savoie? Shut this one down. No need for cars crossing the bike path. No need for cars slowing down the traffic on Berri south and making the situation risky for cyclists.

      But note that at that point on Berri, southbound traffic has been reduced to one lane because the previous intersection featured a left-only lane. They could make the rest of that stretch between Ontario and the parking entrance a right-only lane, install some of those floppy plastic bollards to make it apparent, and put a big stop/yield sign for the turning traffic.

      …Or just close it.

    • John B 15:57 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      @Kate (on resistance to the speed-control devices): I sure hope there would be resistance! Why should I slow to a crawl on my bike because someone driving a car might break the law? Also, how am I supposed to wiggle my bike through one of those if I’m pulling a child on a half-bike or in a kid-trailer, (I haven’t tried in the bridge). At least on the bridge that’s a shared pathway, I think, so it makes sense to keep speeds a bit lower.

      There are already speed-control devices that are supposed to be working on the streets, they’re called police officers. If a cyclist is speeding, (cyclists have the same speed limit as cars), then they should be ticketed. If not, they shouldn’t be punished.

      I think Blork’s on the right path – some sort of speed bump – or even better, the dedicated turning lane he mentioned. Or the alley between Berri & St-Denis could be expanded to allow parking access from Ontario, where there’s no bike path.

      If Mise-o-jeux would take my bet, I would put money on this new stop sign causing more injuries than it prevents as people who stop will become traffic hasards.

    • John B 16:05 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      I just went and read Blork’s link.

      If I understand right, the sign is about to be removed, and some sort of speed bump, (a dos d’âne), is being added for the cars, and cars will no longer be allowed to turn left out of the driveway.

    • Blork 16:28 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      @Kate: Bloke? Ha ha ha! :-)

      I wouldn’t propose those things be set up in the middle of the path, near the parking lot entrance. A better place is right at the bottom of the hill (where Berri meets Ontario), which is where bikes are likely to be speeding. Even if they have a green light, bikes shouldn’t be ripping through that intersection at 50KPH.

      Also, I’d recommend something less drastic and less ugly than what you see on the bridge. But there ought to be a speed reduction measure at the bottom of that hill, regardless of the situation in front of the Big Bib.

    • Chris 18:38 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      Blork, those ‘plastic speed control devices on the Jacques-Cartier’ have also injured people, because they make things so tight to maneuver. I’m not convinced that it’s a win vs the ‘literally millions of drivers and cyclists have negotiated that area over the past decade, with no problems’.

    • Kate 01:41 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Blork, sorry!! That was an autocorrect from my phone. But I’ll leave it there for the laugh.

    • Blork 07:50 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Chris, I will admit those speed control things on the bridge look a bit tight. I haven’t cycled across the bridge in a few years, and I think the earlier ones were easier to negotiate.

      There are also ones made of metal tubes, like gates, that basically make you slow down because you have to zigzag, which is more like what I had in mind. And again, I’m suggesting them for the bottom of the hill, where Berri crosses Ontario. Because regardless of the situation with the turn into the parking lot, that intersection of Berri and Ontario is a disaster just waiting to happen when you look at the way people come racing down that hill and through the intersection.

    • Chris 08:33 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Blork, they could add one of those ‘preparrez-vous a arreter’ signs half way down the hill, so that cyclists could time their descent.

    • Daisy 09:28 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      As a cyclist I hate those plastic things on the Jacques-Cartier bridge, not because I want to go fast (I don’t… and I won’t with the kind of bikes I ride) but because going through them makes me all wobbly and I’m scared I’ll fall off my bike. I really wouldn’t want to see them beside the library.

    • Blork 10:45 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Nobody is saying to put them by the library! I suggested putting something like that at the bottom of the hill, at Ontario.

      It’s true that those plastic ones on the bridge are annoying. The older ones were easier to get through. But the alternative is to have people screaming down the hill on that narrow bridge path at 80kph (because many people are idiots). I’ll take the barriers, thanks.

    • Blork 10:50 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Hmm. Quick look at historical street view shows those orange barriers have been there for decade. I thought they were different a few years ago.

      Anyway, if something were to be added to the hill on Berri, I’d prefer something on the same principle but less drastic.

  • Kate 10:30 on 2017/06/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Last year the city repaved the two roads that cut through Jean-Talon market at the north and south ends, and some people think they missed an opportunity to do something more attractive and/or pedestrian friendly with the space.

     
    • Blork 11:54 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      Side note: it kills me that both streets are called “place du Marché-du-Nord,” which is completely useless for locating anything. Presumably the name comes from a time when the market was called “Marché-du-Nord,” but FFS, that’s meaningless now.

      Proposal: rename both streets. Call the north one “place du Marché Nord” and call the south one “place du Marché Sud.” Boom. Done. Useful.

    • Kate 12:06 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      I’d buy it, Blork. Maybe send the idea it to Rosemont-La Petite patrie?

    • Blork 13:17 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      I’m not a local resident, so I have no standing. Worse, I’m an anglo who lives on the south shore. REJECT.

    • mare 18:50 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      AFAIK The North-South distinction for roads in only used for streets RUNNING North-South, just like the East-West names are only used for streets going east or west from Saint-Laurent. So naming a street surrounding a square North or South only adds to the confusion.

      They could rename the south side to ‘Avenue Shamrock’, since that’s more or less on the grid and isn’t being used in that block. But yeah, expanding streets with Anglo names is probably a nono as well.

      As an aside, there’s at least 4 big traffic signs (from the ‘de la Montagne’-exit of the Ville Marie Tunnel) still pointing to Rue University, even though that street has been renamed two years ago into Robert-Bourassa…

    • Bill Binns 09:00 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      I have never heard a single person in real life describe that street as “Robert-Bourassa” and suspect I never will. I know people who still refer to Rene Levesque Blvd as Dorchester.

    • Blork 16:58 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      I hear people calling it “Bobby B.” Ok, if you want to be precise, I hear myself calling it “Bobby B.”

  • Kate 10:26 on 2017/06/12 Permalink | Reply  

    The introductory spectacle for the bridge illuminations is going to be staged again on June 25.

     
    • EmilyG 10:39 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      Another article I found keeps saying how much of a success the first light show was, and that it’s being repeated because it was popular/a success, with no mention of Denny getting miffed over the police protest (though that’s mentioned in the article linked in this blog.)

    • Chris 18:58 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      I hope the police protest again!

    • Kevin 23:59 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      EmilyG
      That’s the press release. It is written by the people staging the event.
      I wouldn’t call it an article

    • EmilyG 10:26 on 2017/06/13 Permalink

      Good point, Kevin.

  • Kate 10:24 on 2017/06/12 Permalink | Reply  

    A brief piece in Le Devoir hints at more than it says about the Coderre administration’s attempt to fudge the city’s Conseil du patrimoine out of existence or relevance. The document under discussion is here.

     
  • Kate 09:55 on 2017/06/12 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette notes that a “giant bicycle” will be riding around collecting donations for the Children’s, without noting that this has to be the same kind of vehicle banned by the Plateau two years ago for making too much of a racket, at which time the SAAQ also said it wasn’t street legal anyway. A Dutch invention, the bierfiets isn’t even welcome in parts of Amsterdam.

     
    • John B 11:26 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      Apparently the event’s been going on for 25 years. It’s not clear if they’ve been using the giant bike the whole time, but that’s the impression that the website gives.

    • Michael Black 11:34 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      There is a huge variant of a traditional bicycle that has been used for fundraising. All the seats face forward. I glanced at one of the articles, I didn’t see an indication of the “party bike” which has some seats facing inward.

      Michael

    • ant6n 11:54 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      The douche mobile has been rolling around the plateau both last and this summer.

    • SMD 13:56 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      The fundraiser bike is different from the party bike. See pictures here: http://www.pedalez.com.

    • Kate 01:27 on 2017/06/14 Permalink

      Thanks for the clarifications, Michael Black and SMD.

  • Kate 01:05 on 2017/06/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Citizens gathered Sunday to demand the return of the promised footbridge over the Turcot and the tracks. Some further thoughts from Radio-Canada’s Marc-André Carignan.

     
  • Kate 00:57 on 2017/06/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Elsie Lefebvre, elected in Villeray in 2013 under the Coalition Montréal banner, has gone independent, leaving Marvin Rotrand the last man standing from that party. Radio-Canada sketches out Lefebvre’s previous experience as a PQ MNA earlier this century. Lefebvre says she’s pondering her political future: both the Coderre party and Projet Montréal are said to be courting her.

    Another report says Robert Poëti has turned Coderre down for the moment, but I expect he’ll change his mind. Denis Coderre learned one big lesson from his own election as mayor: to get elected to Montreal council you don’t need any history of involvement at the municipal or community level. Recognition factor is all. It doesn’t matter if your previous political career was mediocre, people won’t care, they’ll see your name on the ballot and mark their X. He’ll be recruiting more people like himself and Poëti on this basis.

     
    • Alex L 19:57 on 2017/06/12 Permalink

      As far as I know, Poëti doesn’t even live in Montréal. Can non-residents be elected?

    • Kate 01:34 on 2017/06/14 Permalink

      I would not be surprised to discover that some councillors may have maintained a Montreal address for official purposes while living, or mostly living, off island. But I have no evidence for this.

  • Kate 00:52 on 2017/06/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Despite big talk, half the “smart city” projects promised by the Coderre administration are late and some may be abandoned altogether.

    The Journal also noted on the weekend that a spiffy new “smart” sign is now obscured behind a spiffy new bus-charging plinth.

     
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