Updates from August, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:39 on 2017/08/17 Permalink | Reply  

    Getting a lot of PR for Saturday evening’s event at the foot of Mount Royal featuring three symphony orchestras and guest performers. I don’t know where they’ll fit everybody in. Radio-Canada has a piece examining how it’s going to be done.

  • Kate 13:01 on 2017/08/17 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre admitted on radio Thursday that police in Montreal still ascertain detainees’ immigration status, but that when Montreal gets metropolitan status next month he will direct them to stop doing that.

    It will be interesting to see this play out.

    Also: party for metropolitan status? More free weekend transit?

  • Kate 12:43 on 2017/08/17 Permalink | Reply  

    Thank goodness, it turns out anglo numbers are actually down. Sorry, J-F.

  • Kate 07:05 on 2017/08/17 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is boasting of concessions it got from the police brotherhood in return for the terms of that recent contract.

  • Kate 07:03 on 2017/08/17 Permalink | Reply  

    CP has spoken up on the city’s desire for crossings of its tracks and its answer is basically no.

    • Ephraim 08:54 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      Maybe the province (or city) should set up new safety rules for level crossings that required the companies to fix them.

    • ant6n 09:21 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      “Creel said these would not compromise public safety or hinder the commerce of local merchants or the broader Canadian economy. He said CP offered to help the city financially with the construction of fully accessible grade-separated crossings.”

      Wow, let’s do that then.

      I agree with CP that grade separated crossings are better. Pedestrian underpasses don’t have to be as terrible as the existing road underpasses, and they only need to be 2.2m high or so (compared to 4m for cars).

      In an ideal world, the track between Rosemont and the Plateau would be raised by 1.5m or so on an embankment, making future pedestrian underpasses nearly level with the neighborhoods.

    • Matt G 10:15 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      ant6n, I always look forward to reading your technical input on this blog. Cheers.

    • ant6n 10:27 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      I’m just afraid what CP really means is overpasses like this one in NDG. While technically for pedestrians, they still represent a big detour and delays of 4-5 minutes because you have to go up 7meters.

    • Blork 10:58 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      FYI, that NDG overpass is about a 250 metre diversion to cross a 60 metre span. The reason it’s so long is because it’s a ramp, so it has to zigzag (switchback) in order to cover the short distance without the grade being too steep. Presumably this is for wheelchair access (and also bicycles, but some bicycle overpasses use stairs).

      Most healthy adults walk 250 metres in about three minutes. Three-and-a-half in this case because of the grade.

      But what’s the alternative? There is zero chance of a level crossing there because the trains along that stretch can go fairly fast, unlike the Plateau-Rosemont trains, which AFAIK go a lot slower. Also, with all that greenery (foliage) the sound of approaching trains can be muffled.

      Train companies will always resist level crossings because they don’t like it when their trains kill people. And trains kill a lot of people because people are largely ignorant about safety around train tracks. In the US, about 500 people are killed every year by trains, and another 7000 or so are injured.

      Despite what you see in the movies, trains can be remarkably quiet when they are approaching. Their size makes their velocity seem slower. There’s no “clickety clack” like you see on TV. It’s a bit like when you see a large airliner coming in for a landing; the plane is going about 200 kph, but if it’s coming straight at you it looks like it’s barely moving.

      Side note: one of the contributors to train deaths is people posing for photos on train tracks. Dozens of people die from this every year in the US. You get all caught up in posing and whatnot and the next thing you know there’s a train 50 feet away coming at you doing 100 kph.

      Here’s a Popular Mechanics article that touches on some of this:


    • ant6n 11:18 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      The alternative is the first thing I said: underpasses.

      I think you underestimate the impact of the 250m _ramped_ detour. According to Naismith’s rule, a 250m ramp including 14m of elevation difference means 4:24 minutes – and presumably that’s for healthy adults.

      We should design our cities not just for healthy adults.

      I’m not even sure the overpass is even wheelchair accessible strictly speaking, because it’s supposed to have a landing every 9m. And bicycles aren’t supposed to ride on this thing either.

    • Jack 11:24 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      Can somebody tell me why this can’t work? Jarry Park, busy ,two schools use this crossing one an elementary. https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Jarry+Park/@45.5323092,-73.6311341,47a,35y,39.58t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x494859493c9dc733!8m2!3d45.5353481!4d-73.6282682

    • ant6n 11:35 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      One question is whether this would get approval today. In general the desire is to decrease the number of level crossings, not increase them.

      Also note this is a very long straight stretch, so you see trains coming from far away.

    • Kevin 11:36 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      In NDG, there is an underpass a couple blocks east of the bridge pointed out by @Ant6n.

      It’s inaccessible to wheelchairs, is poorly lit, and smells like a sewer.

    • ant6n 12:09 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      The Melrose underpass is a shitty underpass. It’s tiny, poorly lit, and doesn’t have ramp access. I’m not sure it shows anything except that you can design bad underpasses.

      But. Despite being shitty, it’s still less of a barrier than the adjacent overpass. The stairs only go a couple of meters down.

      There’s a better underpass further out in St-Pierre, which I think would be a better example.

      And there are lots of good examples all over the world, generally good ones are wider, and the ramps are before and after (outside) so that when you enter you can see the light on the other side. example1, example2.

    • Patrick 13:32 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      I agree with Kevin that underpasses have their downsides, including potential safety issues, and of course graffiti. Unfortunately, this is more true of pedestrian-only underpasses than of one that also allow vehicular traffic (i.e. the possibility of cars passing through at any moment with their lights and driver-witnesses). How many people would find it too creepy to walk a narrow underpass at night? Raising the tracks to put the underpass at ground level, as ant6n suggests above, would be better though of course less convenient to CP.

    • Blork 14:16 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      There is no way they are going to raise the tracks. Raising railroad tracks is not like raising regular vehicle roadbeds. Trains are often several kilometres long, and you can’t have a “hump” in the middle of the train. You would have to raise the tracks for a dozens of kilometres on either side in order for the grade to be small enough to not create a huge drag on the train (a 1% grade requires ten times the energy to pull a long train, and cuts in half the allowable load that the train can pull), and nobody is going to pay for that.

      That underpass at de Maisonneuve and Melrose is cold, stinky, and creepy. (And BTW, it is seven blocks east of the bridge, not “a couple” of blocks.) However, I think an underpass *could* work if it was much larger (wider), well-lit, had security cameras, etc.

    • ant6n 15:15 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      Most railroad tracks through most cities in the world have been raised on embankments as a way to mitigate their impact. I’d go so far as to say it’s the standard / industry-best-practice to deal with the conflict between urban areas and tracks. I’d argue the cost isn’t even the main concern, but ownership of the infrastructure.

      Secondly, if we want, say, a 2m increase, and spread that over a 500m distance, that’s an extra grade of merely 0.4%. Note that the track goes up 50m-60m between the Port of Montreal to the Rosemont metro station (with ~2% steepness south of St-Joseph and 1% West of it), and then falls 20m to Canora. Adding another 2m of height around Rosemont is negligible. Further, this isn’t a mainline, it’s just the connection between the Port of Montreal and the Cote-St-Luc yard.

      Further, raising the tracks around the Van Horne area means that the Van Horne Viaduct could be replaced by restoring the street grid below the tracks, i.e. connecting Bellechase-Van Horne and Rosemont-Bernard. Given that the Van Horne viaduct replacement is probably going to cost 75M$-100M$, I’d say raising the tracks, restoring the street-grid and making the area permeable to pedestrians may end up being much better and cost the same.

      (I think you should work on your tone, you appear unnecessarily confrontational)

    • Kate 15:17 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      ant6n, Blork’s tone is fine. I’ve seen confrontational and that isn’t it. We’re all good.

    • Joey 15:44 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      Any idea how long the wait would be at a level crossing, given that the trains there tend to move slowly?

    • DeePs 16:04 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      Why can we build a level crossing that prevents access to the tracks when the trains aren’t passing?
      A scaled up and more robust version of the gate shown in the link. No matter the cost overun’s it would have to be be cheaper then any tunnel or overpass.

    • ant6n 16:33 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      Somebody should set up a webcam and record what trains pass there when.

    • dominic 18:05 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      Railroads are governed by the Federal government. Neither the province, nor the city, has any authority in this case.

    • Blork 18:17 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      Joey, the wait can be long, but it’s highly variable depending on the length of the train and its speed.

      I used to live near the level crossing in St-Henri, at Courcelle. OMG, sometimes the wait was long, and it seemed like the colder the day the longer the wait. Sometimes I’d be walking home from the Metro and not quite make the crossing before a train would come. It would be chugging along at about 5 kph. After 80 or 90 cars passed 10 minutes or so) the train would stop. And it would sit there for 5 minutes. Then it would back up, so I’d have to wait for all those cars to pass going the other way. Sometimes it felt like I was standing there (in -20 weather!) for 15 or 20 minutes.

    • ant6n 19:06 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      …maybe that’s one of the big reasons CP doesn’t want level crossings: they’re using the spur as a yard.

    • Nicolas Kruchten 20:19 on 2017/08/17 Permalink

      How often do trains actually pass on the Plateau/Rosemont line/how long are they? I bike/walk by there a few times a week and I’ve seen hundreds of pedestrians cross and maybe 2 locomotives trundle by all summer.

    • dwgs 10:36 on 2017/08/18 Permalink

      While I agree it’s not ideal we have to remember that the Melrose underpass is at least 80 years old and actually functions pretty well for the most part. My elementary school age son passes through it unaccompanied twice a day to and from school without any problems. Ditto assorted older folks from south of the tracks who do their shopping on Sherbrooke. The city actually comes to clean and paint over the graffiti three or four times a month. Handicap access would be nice but I don’t know that it’s possible with the existing dimensions of the tunnel.

  • Kate 06:55 on 2017/08/17 Permalink | Reply  

    The small Lachine market, which La Presse says is the oldest public market in town, has lost its last tenant as a branch of Fromagerie Atwater has closed. Farmers will sell a few veg there till the end of the season and then nobody knows what will happen to it.

  • Kate 06:49 on 2017/08/17 Permalink | Reply  

    A man standing in a park in St-Léonard Wednesday evening was shot dead from inside a car. A soccer game was going on nearby but nobody else was hurt. In La Presse, Daniel Renaud names the man, calls him a mafia executioner and gives other background to the story. It’s the year’s 15th homicide. TVA link plays raw video.

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