Updates from October, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:25 on 2017/10/02 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC reports on Denis Coderre’s launch of his election platform and examines Valérie Plante’s effort to seize his job.

  • Kate 21:00 on 2017/10/02 Permalink | Reply  

    The coroner’s report on the death of Christiane Vadnais from a dog attack says there should be a centralized registry for dog bites and that the breed-specific law misses the point because it was the poor socialization of the dog in the Vadnais case, not its breed, which caused it to become aggressive. Other recommendations include mandatory sterilization and PR campaigns about dog behaviour.

  • Kate 20:51 on 2017/10/02 Permalink | Reply  

    The city of Montreal has a budget of more than $5 billion. Where does it all go?

    • Raymond Lutz 09:26 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      concernant la page de Radio-can:

      A- OK, j’ai compris: la couleur jaune c’est la couleur du loonie… mais encore, a pie chart without colours! Calling Edward Tufte!

      B- J’aurais aimé que “Sécurité Publique” soit séparée en “Police” et “Pompiers”…

      C- Le remboursement de la dette est le poste le plus coûteux! Alors que les services publics pourraient être financés par la banque centrale.

      D- 0.8 G$ de “Frais pour gérer la Ville” sur un budget de 5 G$, c’est un peu gros (1/6 d’overhead).

  • Kate 07:15 on 2017/10/02 Permalink | Reply  

    Commenters may notice a delay these days between hitting “post” and the acceptance of their comment. The site’s under barrage at the moment so the server’s constantly busy sorting and chucking those spams. Thanks for your patience.

  • Kate 06:56 on 2017/10/02 Permalink | Reply  

    Valérie Plante is promising better traffic lights for cyclists and pedestrians as the second week of the mayoral campaign proceeds. Cycling groups have been asking for more attention to be paid to their safety on the road.

    • Blork 09:37 on 2017/10/02 Permalink

      I’m all for more attention to safety for pedestrians and cyclists, but I’m not sure what they’re getting at here. In my experience there are few things on Earth that are as readily ignored as traffic lights for pedestrians and cyclists. Perhaps what they mean is better traffic lights for cars; as in, traffic lights that better account for the presence of cyclists and pedestrians.

      Side note (cycling related), I want to put in a plug for the newly improved bicycle path that runs along the river from Longueuil to Boucherville. That route has always had one big flaw; when you arrived at the Lafontaine Tunnel you had to take a big diversion around the cloverleaf where the 20 meets the 132. It involved a passerelle, some not-well-indicated directions, a few places where there was only a line of paint separating you from the traffic on Marie-Victorin, and the last stretch into Boucherville barely qualified as a dedicated bike lane (only some floppy poles separating you from traffic).

      All summer long they’ve been building a new dedicated path that bypasses all that. It goes under the 20 and hugs the shoreline all the way into Boucherville, trimming 1 km off the route. Much of it is on an elevated platform (there was not enough shoreline between the 132 and the river to make a path, so they built a platform), and the entire way is separated from car traffic. It must have been very expensive, but it is spectacular. It opened a week or two ago and I rode it yesterday. Four metres wide, railings on either side, beautiful views of the shoreline the whole way, including views I had never seen before. The only problem (inescapable) is the constant roar of motor traffic.

      I bring this up because (a) wow, and (b) it’s nice to see things actually happening with regard to improving bicycle use. Oddly, there seems to be no big announcements about this, and no signs talking about how much it cost and what governments were responsible for it.

    • Daniel 09:46 on 2017/10/02 Permalink

      Thanks for that review Blork, I am keen to go give it a try!

    • mare 14:33 on 2017/10/02 Permalink

      @blork It is probably part of the Trame Verte et Bleue project:


      Advertised as a Montreal 375 project, but probably made with some Canada 150 and other money as well, since it’s a project started in 2010:


    • Ian 14:36 on 2017/10/02 Permalink

      I have a friend who’s been biking to work from Lasalle to downtown through the summer as it’s actually faster than driving what with the Festival of Construction. She has been complaining about the bike path diversions on her route – hopefully this kind of work will take place there, too.

    • TC 14:57 on 2017/10/02 Permalink

      What about bus lanes? And giving buses priority at traffic lights? Is it the city, STM or some combination of the two that establish them? So many cities are focused on bike lanes, which serve relatively few people, compared to bus lanes, which serve many.

    • Alex 15:21 on 2017/10/02 Permalink

      @Blork I think one example might be the recent change at the intersection of du Fort and Maisonneuve. Before (and really, all along Maisonneuve…) drivers would try to turn their heads almost 180 degrees to check for cyclists before turning left onto du Fort, but now they added a red arrow (green bicycle light) / green arrow (red bicycle light) cycle. It’s really helpful for both drivers and cyclists.

    • Blork 16:13 on 2017/10/02 Permalink

      @Alex, I hadn’t noticed that change. I can see how it would be useful in an ideal world. It remains to be seen how it works in the real world (hazards = cyclists ignoring red bicycle light; motorists trusting the light instead of actually looking for hazards, etc.).

    • Kevin 17:14 on 2017/10/02 Permalink

      CDN-NDG has been steadily adding advance lights for buses in the past 18 months. Although not everyone realizes that a white vertical line means only buses can proceed.

    • ste.ph 17:53 on 2017/10/02 Permalink

      @Blork, do you know if they have any plans to continue the bike path from Longueuil to Sainte-Catherine (which is currently awkward bits and pieces).

    • Mathieu 09:23 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      @st.ph, La Prairie and Brossard announced a few weeks ago that they’ll build a new link next to the river from Matte to La Prairie’s water treatment plant. This would make it pretty direct to Ste-Catherine.

    • Blork 09:45 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      @ste.ph, I have no idea if there’s work planned for that area. I suspect not, as there are currently two options; the awkward bit that more or less follows the 132 and the long stretch along that spit of land that forms the riverside edge of the seaway channel (I always forget what that’s called).

      The only other ongoing project I know of is the rebuilding of the passerelle over the 132 at rue de Normandie; that’s the one that got knocked down by a snow truck a couple of years ago. The re-build is almost finished (but the work is going slowly). It too will be pretty spectacular. It’s huge! You could drive a tank across it. The landscape and ramp reconfigurations on either side of the 132 are impressive too. And it’s going to have an observation tower on the river side that AFAIK will be higher than the trees.


    • jaddle 13:34 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      The Fort/Maisonneuve lights are a welcome change at a busy intersection. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well it seems to work – almost nobody goes through when they aren’t supposed to. St-Urbain and Pins has a similar arrangement.

    • Blork 14:06 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      @jaddle, I have a different experience. I just spent about 15 minutes there, observing. At least 10 cyclists went through the red cycling light, including one who went around people who were stopped so he could go through it. About a third of those went through the red when the motor traffic had a green light for a left turn. One almost caused an accident, and the cyclist yelled at the motorist, which implies she did not even see that she had a red light.

      That said, most people DID stop at the red.

      If it were up to me, I’d paint an image of a traffic light (with bicycles for the red, yellow, and green) right on the bike path as it approaches the intersection, to remind cyclists that they have cycle-lane traffic lights up ahead.

    • ant6n 14:48 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      I think we could tone down the trope that no single cyclists ever obeys any street signs.

    • Blork 15:21 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      What are you talking about? There’s no trope here, and nobody said anything about “no single cyclist.” I’m just relaying what I saw, and what I see almost every day, which is that a lot of cyclists disobey street signs. This is indisputable to anyone who has ever observed the bicycle paths (or ridden on them).

      That doesn’t mean they all do, or even that most do. But I saw cyclists blowing that red light at about a rate of about one every two minutes. That’s 30 an hour. Several hundred a day.

      If you base your signage and your behaviour on the idea that nobody disobeys the rules, yet we see it happen several hundred times a day at just this one intersection, then you’re asking for trouble. All I’m saying is we need to consider how people actually behave, not how we want them to behave in some utopia.

      In this particular case, my worry is that the green turning light for motorists will embolden more motorists to turn WITHOUT LOOKING. In my observation today I can say with assurance that quite a few did exactly that; they turned based only on their right of way according to the green light, without looking to see if a cyclist was coming along who was ignoring their red light. I saw one near miss in just the few minutes I was there, and that woman didn’t even know there was a red light for the bicycle lane. (Some intersections have them; most don’t. So most cyclists aren’t accustomed to watching for them.)

    • ant6n 15:30 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      “In my experience there are few things on Earth that are as readily ignored as traffic lights for pedestrians and cyclists.”

      That’s the trope. And it’s not true. Most cyclists obey traffic signs most of the time.

      The rate of following rules is probably lower than for drivers, but cycling is still less common, cyclists pose much less of a threat to others compared to drivers, and the street is often designed against cyclists.

    • Blork 15:47 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      I’m not worried about the threat *by* cyclists and pedestrians, I’m worried about the threat *to* cyclists and pedestrians. I am not convinced that the new lights at Fort/de Maisonneuve make cyclists safer, because it is possible it makes drivers less vigilant. And when you combine less vigilant drivers with hundreds of cyclists a day ignoring the light, it’s a recipe for disaster. How many times do I need to say that?

    • ant6n 15:54 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      You can see that as often as you want.

      I just don’t see why it’s necessary to drag out the trope of the eternally lawless cyclist.

    • mare 17:36 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      I proposed this ‘green cycle for cars on Maisonneuve’ here many times and I’m glad it has finally been implemente. It’s an obvious design, and it should be on all intersections with Southbound traffic on that stretch (it might, I’m unable to cycle at the moment so haven’t seen it firsthand).
      What I don’t get is the blinking arrow for cars. Many other intersections in town have pedestrian lights that turn red earlier than the main ‘big’ traffic light, so cars have some time to turn even with lots of pedestrians. I wish they had kept the normal green light, without blinking or an arrow, it would force drivers to still be vigilant. It would also have been cheaper.

      I learned (in Europe) that as a driver and as a cyclist having a green light doesn’t automatically mean you can just cross an intersection without looking; there might be an ambulance/police/fire truck approaching, or someone that accidentally or intentionally goes through the red light. Just because you have the right of way doesn’t mean you don’t have to try to avoid a collision.

    • Blork 21:06 on 2017/10/03 Permalink

      “Just because you have the right of way doesn’t mean you don’t have to try to avoid a collision.” Sadly, that is not a universally held concept. I see many drivers who seem utterly oblivious to that idea (mostly, but not exclusively, young men it seems).

  • Kate 06:52 on 2017/10/02 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC reports on a new green street in the Plateau, although Poitevin Street isn’t exactly well known, being a semi-alleyway.

    • Ian 14:38 on 2017/10/02 Permalink

      There’s a lot funny little streets like this in that area, nice reworking of the space!

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