Updates from July, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:27 on 2017/07/08 Permalink | Reply  

    This weekend’s Gilles Proulx piece looks at Pierre Trudeau at the 1968 St-Jean parade. tl,dr: not a fan.

    Radio-Canada looks 165 years back to a massive fire that consumed one fifth of the city, as it was then.

  • Kate 20:25 on 2017/07/08 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC inquires into why we’ve had such a rainy spring and start to summer coupled with few really hot days. And there’s no obvious answer.

  • Kate 10:16 on 2017/07/08 Permalink | Reply  

    Lachine is almost as old as Montreal itself, celebrating 350 years this year. Radio-Canada has some items about its history.

  • Kate 10:12 on 2017/07/08 Permalink | Reply  

    A cyclist was badly hurt early Saturday in a collision with a car, and please, let’s not have another chorus of how terrible cyclists are. TVA link plays raw video.

    Some guys got into a scrap in a park in Pointe-aux-Trembles Friday evening and one guy got stabbed. Nobody got killed. More raw video from TVA.

    (Update on that story: the stabbing victim died later in hospital.)

    Two people in their 70s were struck by a vehicle in Montreal North Friday. They were on a crosswalk, but that says nothing about whether they had the right of way.

    • Blork 12:19 on 2017/07/08 Permalink

      Regarding the pedestrian knock-down in Montreal North, a cursory review of the location shows that visibility should have been high, with very low risk if the driver had been driving responsibly–even if the pedestrians were crossing illegally. Because regardless of the signals, a driver has the responsibility to ensure the path is clear before going through an intersection.

      If I were to guess–and this is just a guess, based on very little information and an assumption that there were no other factors involved–I’d say the driver was going too fast, probably trying to beat the light, and was focused more on the signal than on the path in front of him.

    • Ephraim 13:14 on 2017/07/08 Permalink

      We don’t pay enough attention to pedestrian crosswalks in this city. They should be inviolate.. by any vehicle with wheels (bus, car, truck, skateboard, bicycle, unicycle, etc.) while a pedestrian is crossing. The fines can’t be high enough.

    • ant6n 15:55 on 2017/07/08 Permalink

      Skateboards, unicycles and bicycles are close to pedestrians in weight and momentum. Asking them to stop and wait until a pedestrian has completely crossed a street is neither sensible nor realistic.

      I don’t think it makes sense put vehicles that are 10x-100x the weight of people, which are usually mortal, in the same way as muscle-powered vehicles, wich weigh a fraction of people and which create mortal collisions only in extreme exceptions.

    • Bert 16:40 on 2017/07/08 Permalink

      ant6n, I would think that a certain I. Newton would beg to differ in some respect. Momentum is a factor of mass and velocity, specifically p=mv. So doubling mass or doubling velocity have the same result. So, a cyclist or a skateboarder would presumably have a higher average speed compared to a unicyclist, Granted, the vechicle (motor I assume) would have an even higher momentum, due to both mass and velocity.

      Are you arguing that muscle-power over-rides any requirement to be responsible? Because it’s hard and it makes one sweat, one should get a break?

    • ant6n 17:45 on 2017/07/08 Permalink

      I’m arguing that a cyclist doesn’t have to leave 10m clearance from pedestrians in order to be responsible, because their momentum is similar to a runner. Similar in this case means usually not more than 2x more, compared to a motorized vehicle, which may have 100x the momentum.

    • Ephraim 20:23 on 2017/07/08 Permalink

      @ant6n – They need to be outside of the crosswalk signs. A handicapped person cannot handle their momentum or weight if they make a mistake. Having walked for months with a cane, that cyclists is VERY scary. You only start to understand this when you have to walk with a cane yourself.

    • Ephraim 20:27 on 2017/07/08 Permalink

      PS: CrossWALK, in fact PEDESTRIAN crossWALK. Doesn’t say cross drive, cross skate, cross unicycle. And frankly the unicycle is likely the least balanced of all those people. Imagine a 75 year old hunched 90 pound woman slowly making her way across the crosswalk. Someone falling to their side and hitting her could likely leave her in hospital. It’s a minor thing… if you want to use a crosswalk, get off the wheels, or get outside of those lines. The aged, handicapped and all pedestrians need to feel safe in those lines.

    • ant6n 05:21 on 2017/07/09 Permalink

      Asking drivers to walk their car across cross-walks because it’s called a crossWALK is going to be an interesting campaign.

    • Ephraim 07:44 on 2017/07/09 Permalink

      Ad absurdum doesn’t prove your point at all. The point is that when used by pedestrians, it should be inviolate.


    • Kate 09:04 on 2017/07/09 Permalink

      Couple of recent observations I’ve made: much to my surprise Saturday I was able to cross a street on a newly painted crosswalk (with no traffic light) when two drivers voluntarily stopped, and this, right in the middle of town. I was startled – I was like what, have I been transported to Toronto? But, like our pedestrians gradually becoming more obedient to red lights, maybe drivers are gradually beginning to respect crosswalks.

      I’ve been down by the Lachine Canal in St-Henri recently, and have noticed the cohabitation of certain bridges by cyclists and pedestrians. A lot of cyclists use paths on both sides, as most readers will know, as well as crossing back and forth, and somehow a pedestrian can walk through this and use the bridges and not get hit. You don’t hear about pedestrians getting smacked down along there – I can see that a wise pedestrian keeps to the right on the bridges so cyclists coming up behind can see where you are and know that it’s safe to deke around you: you’re not going to suddenly leap to the left. Anyway, the thing works.

    • ant6n 09:14 on 2017/07/09 Permalink

      Ephraim: you’re making absurd claims. You’re using the word cross-walk to prove cyclists should walk across them (absurd). You’re saying because you walk a cane, you only feel safe if cyclists leave 10m clearance (absurd). You imply cyclists are just as dangerous to pedestrians as cars and trucks (absurd).

    • Ephraim 11:43 on 2017/07/09 Permalink

      Again with the ad absurdum… 10m. There is no crosswalk that wide. People on wheels need to be more conscious of those on two feet, especially the elderly and handicapped. And here’s the secret part of handicapped people… they don’t wear signs on them. You make it sound like it’s extremely difficult for cyclists to stay outside of the crosswalk and off the sidewalks. It’s a choice. Not only a choice, cyclists in Quebec are not allowed to drive their bicycles on sidewalks (with some small exceptions).

      Go to Sherbrooke street and Hotel de Ville and have a discussion with the people in the readaptation centre there about what it feels like to walk around (and many of them walk up to Prince Arthur and Square St-Louis) and the intimidation they feel from cyclists. Laurier at Fullum, Darlington and Van Horne are two more, where you can see what it is like. I’ll give you a hint, my mother stayed at one of them for her rehab. You are talking from the standpoint of someone who’s able. Remember that there are MANY people on that sidewalk who aren’t. And we aren’t about to put through a law to make them wear signs or high-visibility clothing.

      I’ve said it before, it’s a cooperative system. The cars and trucks, the cyclists and the pedestrians. The most fragile in the system are the pedestrians.

    • Ephraim 11:59 on 2017/07/09 Permalink

      And again with putting words in my mouth, so WHERE did I ever say cyclists are just as dangerous? I didn’t.

      Pedestrians should have to deal with cars and bicycles only when they cross the streets or the bike paths. Rarely, other than accidents and movies have I seen a car on a sidewalk. The trees at the side of the road, the parking meters and other signs seem to impede them.

      The same is true for cyclists, the bike paths should be free of cars and pedestrians, other than when people need to cross them. That’s the point. Hence the CROSS part of it. The cyclists can go to the right or the left of the crosswalk, but not drive right through (when in the direction of the crosswalk)

      So, let’s try this again. Sidewalks and crosswalks for pedestrians. Bike paths and streets for cyclists. Streets for cars. We are all careful at the corners where we meet and we will minimize deaths and hospitalizations. It’s a pretty simple mix.

    • Blork 17:34 on 2017/07/09 Permalink

      Kate, I’ve made similar observations. As much as we like to rant about how oblivious cyclists and pedestrians are, or how self-entitled and dangerous drivers are, the truth is that most of the time we all co-habitate the streets rather well. If not there would be hundreds of collisions every day.

      The problem is the occasional pedestrian/cyclist/driver. The bad ones. They are not the majority. And all the humming and hawing about barriers and law changes and the inviolatility of crosswalks or cycle paths, etc., misses the broader point that in a system that basically works there will always be the loose cannons, and maybe what we need to be doing is focusing on tightening up those loose cannons instead of making laws and rules that would otherwise be largely ignored by said loose cannons.

      I’m not sure how to be more precise. I don’t know if education campaigns are very effective, but maybe. I certainly remember some of the “safety” things I learned as a kid in school, and when I learned to drive there was a strong focus on “defensive driving” (based on the idea that you should always be ready for the unexpected), which I still use as my basic driving principle.

    • ant6n 09:15 on 2017/07/10 Permalink

      You wrote “…crosswalks in this city should be (…) inviolate.. by any vehicle with wheels (bus, car, truck, skateboard, bicycle, unicycle, etc.) while a pedestrian is crossing. ”

      A street like Sherbrooke is 20m wide. You won’t get a cyclist to not cross across a sidewalk on the right-most lane if a person 20m away on the opposite side starts crossing.

      Yes a lot of cyclists are jerks, and a lot don’t respect clearances sufficiently, passing by people too quickly and too closely. But cyclists do need less clearance than cars. I’d also say lots of people overestimate the danger from cyclists and underestimate the danger from cars (I say that as somebody who actually got physically bumped/pushed away by a car on a crosswalk).

    • ant6n 09:16 on 2017/07/10 Permalink

      *the above should be read “yo won’t get a cyclist to not cross across a cross-walk”

    • Ephraim 11:07 on 2017/07/10 Permalink

      @ant6n – Just because things are in the same sentence, doesn’t make them equal.

      If you didn’t realize I meant a bicycle in the direction of the crosswalk, not across the crosswalk. A cyclist should to the right or the left of the crosswalk if not actually walking when in the direction of the crosswalk. A crosswalk is normally 2 metres wide. That’s not a lot of space for someone with a cane and some cyclists go barrelling through that space.

      Yes, some people overestimate the danger from cyclists, but people really don’t understand what it feels like to someone who is walking with an aid, handicapped, has back pain, etc. when they need to make sudden movements or worse, get hit, even by minor things. That’s why they need to stay off the sidewalks and the crosswalks, it’s pedestrian space.

    • Bill Binns 11:09 on 2017/07/10 Permalink

      @Ephraim – I’m with you. I have been to places with draconian laws ($1000 fines) for any vehicle entering an occupied crosswalk. Everything works better and appears to be safer.

      The people on bikes, skateboards, electric scooters etc need to decide whether they are pedestrians or vehicles and obey one set of laws rather than switching between the two according to which is more convenient for them at the moment.

  • Kate 09:14 on 2017/07/08 Permalink | Reply  

    More victims of Westmount’s sex predator hockey coach have come forward: a settlement with that city has been negotiated, but would have to be reopened if enough victims speak up. The man himself died in 2012 so escaped trial.

    • Michael Black 11:36 on 2017/07/08 Permalink

      That’s one of the complications of the story. Matthew Bissonnette says he went to the police in 1993, but they dismissed it for some reason. If true, it did come before the guy died.

      It is a weird situation. For those who did play sports, it was always “Johnny”, a personal connection, so in retrospect were the kids too much in awe, or was that part of his luring technique? It was a name you couldn’t avoid hearing, even when you had no interest in sports. And that goes back to at least 1970. How do these things go on for so long?

      Do people seek out jobs for the access or does it come from having access to the kids? In 1990 someone I vaguely knew went to prison for this sort of thing, he was a teacher and lured boys in. From the stories at the time of the trial, I think I knew one of the victims, it had been some time in the past.


    • Kate 14:14 on 2017/07/08 Permalink

      Michael Black, it’s a complex issue. There was another case in town a few years ago about a male teacher who had lured boys at a private high school. I’m being generic because I don’t want to say anything potentially actionable. But the thing was, I had a friend who’d been at that school for awhile years before and who had mentioned, also long before the story broke, that this teacher was known for making moves on his students.

      It always pans out that people knew, but they didn’t want to know. Or they hear rumours, but they don’t really want to believe them possible. They think it’s sort of funny, or (in the school case) that it’s almost a British school tradition that some of the teachers have a pederastic kink. They think maybe it’s just teenage slander, people finding ways to malign a gay teacher, or some other out. And, as you say, it can go on for years, as young people grow up and get away and are replaced by fresh meat.

  • Kate 09:09 on 2017/07/08 Permalink | Reply  

    The bike path on St-Zotique in Rosemont was repainted by city workers half a day before the road was torn up. Residents are not impressed.

    • rue david 03:36 on 2017/07/09 Permalink

      incompetence at that level is pretty hard to believe.

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