Updates from August, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 10:52 on 2017/08/01 Permalink | Reply  

    I've been working in St-Henri, and from curiosity have been taking the 36 bus a few stops in the morning because it's the route on which all-electric buses are being tested. I've caught that bus a few times now.

    What's most striking is how incredibly quiet the bus is. It springs into action from a stop and the braking is smooth. As such a new bus, the interior smells of plastic, but that will wear off.

    The bus is air conditioned, too.

    A second observation from Tuesday morning: the new arrivals board at St-Henri metro is lying. These boards are supposed to give the real time of arrival of various buses, based on GPS data. The 36 bus it claimed would arrive in 3 minutes did not show up in 15. I can only assume they're showing data from the schedule – which anyone can get on their phone from Transit app or from the STM's own app – or from the sign on the pole or the printed schedule, for that matter – and not from live data, yet. But it's annoying to find it out when your punctuality is depending on it.

    • Ian 14:47 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      They are running a few on the 51 line, too, and while I do like the air conditioning, the off-gassing is off-putting. They are pretty comfy, though.

    • EmilyG 18:46 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      I got an air-conditioned 105 bus today. I don’t know how often they have air-conditioned buses on that line because it’s not a bus line I take often.

    • Michael Black 21:34 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      I was on a 105 a few weeks ago, and it had USB charging jacks. I’ve not seen that before. But I never looked beyond that.


    • Joey 22:19 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      I passed by one of the electronic billboards they’ve installed (Queen-Mary at Cote-Des-Neiges) the other day. I didn’t know they still made electronic notice boards that ugly.

    • carswell 00:47 on 2017/08/02 Permalink

      The air-conditioned buses on the 51 line are hybrids, not all-electric. While there are a few days when it’s frustrating not to be able to open a window, for the most part it’s a more pleasant ride: cooler, quieter and freer of exhaust.

    • carswell 01:03 on 2017/08/02 Permalink

      @Kate I too have noticed a discrepancy between the times posted on boards and reality. Last Friday, I just missed the southbound 165 on Côte-des-Neiges and Queen Mary. The board said the next bus would arrive in 10 minutes; it showed up in four or five. Obviously not real time.

      The hardware is pretty pretty ugly too: the bases big and klunky and in some places with a big box attached, the poles ungraceful, the screens low rez, the text orange, the paint brown. Not a great addition to the streetscape.

      Also, the screens almost never display the current time. And the only user feedback mechanism mentioned is texting, which a number of people, myself included, don’t do.

    • ant6n 06:10 on 2017/08/02 Permalink

      The really like the electronic notice boards, yellow on black. One alternative (for example the RTM/metro) is to use big LCD screens, but they have bad contrast, and because they’re so big there’s the temptation to show ads or news, so the transit info becomes a ring afterthought. The bus electronic board are more visible, and are more likely to only show the bus info.

  • Kate 07:16 on 2017/08/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre is trumpeting that the Formula E race was a big success. Brian Myles takes a more reasoned view.

    • EmilyG 09:29 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      Thank you for sharing the Brian Myles article. I enjoyed it. Especially good points are brought up in the last couple of paragraphs.

    • ste.ph 10:12 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      Sales were so lack-luster, that to avoid the bleachers looking empty, the bleachers were built with fewer rows than originally planned. In the days before the site was locked down I saw a video on Facebook where a man had a ticket for row 34, but his bleacher only went up to 24. I wouldn’t mind knowing a followup to that story.

    • steph 14:26 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      I’d also like to know who paid >150,000$ for Kate Upton to show up.

  • Kate 07:10 on 2017/08/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Interesting history of Lafontaine Park as well as of Sir William Logan, geologist, whose family once owned and farmed a huge piece of land that encompassed the park. An exhibit about this history is opening at the park chalet.

    • Clément 09:14 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      Somewhat related, a letter this morning in La Presse about what Parc Lafontaine is becoming.

    • Viviane 09:35 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      The La Presse letter writer sounds like grumpy party pooper to me. And it takes one to know one.

    • Bill Binns 10:56 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      Whatever city functionary is responsible for adding “features” to our parks would do well to hang around Lafontaine park and see how it is really used. The most popular features are grasss and trees. Aside from the busy tennis courts, the fenced off and paved over areas tend to be deserted while the grassy areas look like Woodstock even on weekday afternoons. On weekends an intoxicating barbecue fog hangs over the park.

      I have come to really love Lafontaine over the last year or so, preferring it even to Mount Royal park. There are no tourists in Lafontaine and it’s a great place to see Montrealers at their best, doing their own thing and getting along. It is sad to see how the edges of the park have been chipped away at over the years by roads and parking and various lightly used buildings. We really need a way to protect every single blade of grass in our parks from the whims of various mayors and city councilors.

    • Kate 11:46 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      Bill Binns, I agree with you on features. But this show is up inside the park chalet, which has been there for decades.

    • Bill Binns 13:45 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      The park chalet is fine. I’m thinking more of the puppet theater which I have never seen any activity around (maybe they do shows at night?) and that other facility near it that does lots of wine and cheese tasting type stuff which is fine but doesn’t really need to be in the middle of the park. There is also an (unused?) medical building along Sherbrook and the fenced and locked baseball diamond that gets light use at best. Then there is that sad chunk of park that is cut off from the rest of Lafontaine by whatever that street is that is one street west of Papineau. It feels like that street was a late addition that cut through the original park but I’m not sure. It could be a whole separate park but it has some of the nicest trees anywhere in Lafontaine. This area also has one of the park’s original public restrooms from back in the day when we could still have public restrooms.

      Again, ALL of the trees and grass are in near constant use when the weather is good. The problem is that trees and grass just aren’t sexy. It’s not the kind of thing a politician can point to as an accomplishment when trying to get reelected.

    • Kate 22:06 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      The theatre de la Verdure, near where Duluth meets the park, is OK. There were plans a few years ago to aggrandize it to a ridiculous extent, but they didn’t happen. It can be a nice place to see light theatre on a summer night, although since it’s adjacent to some of the marshier parts of the pond, you’re wise to bring along mosquito repellent.

      What Bill Binns describes as a disused medical building actually belongs to the CSDM and normally houses hundreds of school board fonctionnaires, but it was discovered to be full of mould and closed down. I don’t know what’s happening to it now. I think the city should consider demolishing any disused building in the park and returning it to green space, but the CSDM may have a claim on this area.

      On the central street is a building that was once a school, and which comes into why the whole area is called the Plateau. The auditorium of the school was a music venue years ago, but I don’t know how it’s used now.

      Don’t forget, the park used to house a fairly large zoo, so it hasn’t always been even as idyllic as it is now.

    • DeWolf 01:44 on 2017/08/02 Permalink

      It makes me sad to read letters like the one in La Presse. Montreal already feels more buttoned-up than it used to. The edges are being smoothed away. We have an island that consists mostly of quiet suburban areas. Let us keep at least a few festive environments to enjoy in what little summer we have.

    • ant6n 06:19 on 2017/08/02 Permalink

      Festive areas?
      Half the plateau and ville-marie are just a tourist playground / pointless student party area (which I think is mostly this way because these kids don’t know what to do..)
      I think it’s nice if grown-ups and actual kids can take back some of the areas closer to downtown.

  • Kate 07:04 on 2017/08/01 Permalink | Reply  

    It costs society upwards of $50,000 annually to look after a homeless person in a big city, but even so, homelessness is not being solved.

    • Blork 10:19 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      To be precise, that figure is based on homeless people with mental illness who receive services. It doesn’t mean every time a homeless person shows up society has to cough up another $50k.

      I’m not saying this in order to diminish the need to find solutions, etc. Just being precise on what the numbers say and mean.

    • Bill Binns 11:06 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      Advocates do their cause no favors by continuously using these cooked up numbers. Remember the “25,000 HOMELESS WOMEN IN MONTREAL!” story of a few years ago? Right before they counted and found something like 3500 homeless total of either gender?

      Point these things out and the goal posts leap over the horizon with discussions about how people who are not homeless but worry about maybe being homeless someday should count as being homeless.

  • Kate 06:59 on 2017/08/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Montreal anglos are bigger drinkers than francophones, at least in this study of how much people admit to drinking.

    • Ian 15:41 on 2017/08/01 Permalink

      That’s a bit of a weird standard for “over drinking”, though, you drank more than 4 drinks in one “sitting” once or more in the previous year? I find it difficult to believe that fewer than half the respondents from either linguistic group didn’t.

      I do know quite a few anglos that think if you have a glass of wine every day even with a meal, you’re an alcoholic. There are definitely cultural differences in attitudes towards alcohol consumption.

      I don’t think it helps that the definition of over-drinking keeps changing – for a while we were told not to drink before noon, then not every day, then we were told there was a weekly limit, now we’re being told it’s okay to drink every day but never more than 4 at a go even if it’s only once a year…

      Telling people that if you get drunk once a year you have a drinking problem is a bit silly, IMO. It’s also interesting to note that Educ’Alcool is partially funded by the alcohol industry, so it’s maybe unsurprising they encourage daily drinking (in moderation) in the guise of “debunking myths”.

    • Kevin 18:15 on 2017/08/02 Permalink

      We’ve got a bit of a bimodal distribution going on here.
      The largest groups are in the 2-3 drinks per month (34% of francos,11% anglos) or one drink a week (29% anglos, 17% francos).
      The numbers then drop significantly for people who have 2-3-4-5 drinks per week (down to 1 percent for all ethnic groups).
      Then there’s a rebound, and it’s 3% of francos, 6% of allos, and 13% of anglos having 7 drinks a week.
      When it comes to binging, allo and francophones don’t admit to doing it more than once a month, while significant numbers of anglophones do– but the margin of error in those small samples is very large- larger than the reported numbers.

  • Kate 06:27 on 2017/08/01 Permalink | Reply  

    The tourism season looks like breaking records.

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