Updates from October, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:57 on 2017/10/05 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s linked below by Alex L, but I think it’s worth emphasizing this item on how cyclist deaths are reported. Example: the Gazette account of the death of Clément Ouimet on Wednesday: Ouimet was “struck by a car that made a sudden U-turn near the Camillien-Houde Belvedere.”

    The car did not suddenly make a U-turn. The driver did.

    The Gazette story goes on about political promises to make the road safer but nothing is said about dealing with drivers whose delinquency causes injury and death.

    • Kevin 23:30 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      My preferred terminology is to say that drivers strike and kill, not the vehicle.
      I get quite a few complaints about that.

    • Chris 09:48 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      And the use of the word “accident” is a pet peeve of mine too. One does not “accidentally” make an illegal u turn, and the result is not an “accident”.

    • Blork 11:27 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      As someone who writes technical information for a living, I’m going to call bullshit on much (but not all) of this.

      Regarding “The car did not suddenly make a U-turn. The driver did.” The car most definitely made the U-turn, even though it was the driver who made the decision and controlled the car.

      When the Costa Concordia cruise ship bottomed-out and capsized off the coast of Italy a few years ago, we didn’t say “the captain of a ship capsized off the coast of Italy,” we said “a cruise ship capsized off the coast of Italy.” Yes, it was the captain’s fault, but it’s the vehicle that capsized, just as it was the vehicle that made the U-turn. (Ditto when a plane crashes; we don’t say “a pilot crashed into the lake” we say “a plane crashed into the lake.”)

      I understand that this point-of-view comes out of frustration with issues around motor vehicles, but the press is supposed to be neutral. They’re not supposed to write nonsensical headlines just to assuage the outrage of people who don’t like cars. (That said, there are cases where the headlines do go too easy on the vehicles, but I’m just talking about the examples discussed here.)

      The same applies to “accident.” It is true that one does not “accidentally” pull a U-turn. But the “accident” wasn’t the U-turn, the accident was the collision that resulted from the U-turn. The driver did not intentionally cause the collision, so it was an accident, even if it was caused by carelessness or negligence.

      By way of example, imagine if you were carrying ten glasses of water from the kitchen to the dining room and you dropped three of them. You would say that was an accident, even though it is irresponsible to try to carry that many glasses of water. So if you said “whoops, I accidentally dropped some glasses” and I came at you and said “THAT WAS NO ACCIDENT!” you’d think I was nuts.

      So forgive me for wanting the media to be precise when they describe things, instead of being emotional or political. Muddling the language and being imprecise does not advance the discussion or bring about changes. It just muddles things. But hey, that’s just me.

    • Kevin 11:49 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      I don’t use the word accident because it implies that whatever happened was the fault of mystical fairy god creatures instead of being the direct and foreseeable result of someone’s incompetence.

      When it comes to driving, too many people forget they’re piloting a huge, heavy vehicle because they’re wrapped in cotton batting. It’s past time for it to stop.

    • Yves 12:49 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      Definition of ACCIDENT: an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.

      The driver unexpectedly made an illegal U-Turn in front of the cyclist, he did not have the intention of hitting or being hit by the cyclist, so it is an accident… an extremely deplorable accident that could and should have been prevented, but it is an accident. What do you want to call this ? A murder ?

    • Blork 12:56 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      Kevin, I suggest you spend some time with a dictionary. “Accident” has nothing to do with mystical fairy god creatures and everything to do with whether or not the act was intentional.

    • Kate 15:33 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      Lots of things are accidents. A driver has a heart attack and loses control of a vehicle. Some debris flies off a dump truck and goes through a windshield, knocking out the driver, whose vehicle goes out of control. A driver loses traction on black ice and plows into another vehicle.

      But someone deliberately making an illegal maneuver on a road everyone knows is narrow, twisty and tricky, and killing someone, that’s not an accident. It’s a selfish and dangerous choice. Like many Montrealers I’ve done that descent on a bike. It’s exhilarating but you’re relying on motorists not to do anything unexpected, like suddenly reversing into your path.

    • dwgs 16:41 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      And the story on the radio this morning mentioned that it wasn’t known if he was wearing a helmet. Because that makes a difference. Because if he wasn’t then I guess he must have deserved what happened. Arseholes.

    • Kevin 17:01 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      @Yves and Blork

      Again, the driver intended to make a U-turn. The collision was the direct result of this choice. It was completely foreseeable.

      There’s nothing accidental about driving and controlling a car. The driver is in charge and is presumed to be responsible for all of their actions.

      If any driver contemplating such an action such as a U-turn cannot imagine that this could in injury, death, or damage, then that driver is incompetent and should not have a licence.

      In this particular case it’s not murder, because the legal definition of that requires an intent to harm, but I’d be fine calling it criminal negligence.

      From the Criminal Code:
      219 (1) Every one is criminally negligent who
      (a) in doing anything, or
      (b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do,
      shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.

      The driver killed someone. Calling it an accident absolves them of responsibility. That just ain’t right.

    • Ephraim 17:29 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      The U-Turn was intentional, doesn’t make hitting the cyclist intentional. That part was still accidental.

      As I said before, we live in a province that can’t manage to find anyone responsible for anything.

    • Chris 18:08 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      @Yves: I would call it a “collision”. “Accidents” are a subset of collisions. To know if a collision is an accident requires some investigation. In the extreme case, a collision could be deliberate (like recent terrorist attacks).

      @Blork: I see your point of view, though I mostly disagree. Anyway, it seems to me articles are always saying that “cars” did things to “cyclists”, not to “bikes”. In articles that rant against cyclists, they rant against “cyclists”, not against “bikes”. Always seems lopsided.

    • ant6n 01:06 on 2017/10/07 Permalink

      “There are two broad categories of manslaughter: unlawful act and criminal negligence.

      Unlawful act is when a person commits a crime that unintentionally results in the death of another person.

      Criminal negligence is when the homicide was the result of an act that showed wanton or reckless disregard for the lives of others.”


    • Blork 14:42 on 2017/10/07 Permalink

      I think our only disagreement here is on the definition and use of the word “accident.” In my case, I don’t think that word is mutually exclusive with the concept of criminal negligence (as described by ant6n, above).

      The way I see it, the word “accident” is neutral in terms of whether or not the person who caused it was acting carefully or acting recklessly; it only describes whether or not the thing was intentional.

      That said, Chris does make a good point, that “collision” is a better word, because it covers both possibilities (intentional or not) and it is also more descriptive — at least in the case of an actual collision. (Question: is there a kind of “accident” that does not involve a “collision,” at least in the context of moving vehicles?)

    • Blork 14:45 on 2017/10/07 Permalink

      …answering my own question, I can think of an example of an “accident” that was not a “collision.” I know someone who lost control of their car on a country road, and the car rolled over several times onto a field (no serious injuries, but the car was wrecked). That was “an accident” but there was no “collision” per-se. (You could say the car collided with the field, but that’s a bit silly.)

    • mare 16:39 on 2017/10/07 Permalink

      @Blork: according to the SAAQ, if there is no car involved it’s no accident. Two bikes that collide with each other? No accident. Bike vs pedestrian? No accident, even if all parties have a driver’s license.
      No idea if this is also the rule with accident statistics in Quebec.

  • Kate 21:37 on 2017/10/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Possibly useful list of what’s open and closed around the long weekend. It’s going to be a warmish weekend, but with some rain. CBC’s list of road closures and related stuff and open-and-closed list.

  • Kate 21:31 on 2017/10/05 Permalink | Reply  

    The Globe previews Return to Park Ex, to be shown on CBC Sunday night.

  • Kate 06:30 on 2017/10/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro reveals that guests invited to city hall by Denis Coderre don’t have to sign in, meaning there’s no record of who’s been visiting him over the last four years.

    • ant6n 14:55 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      Coderre quote:” “You don’t have to worry about it – I didn’t come to Montreal’s mayoralty to play games, We’re open and transparent and there are cameras everywhere.”

    • Chris 18:43 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      and the camera footage is easily available to the public online, right? ha.

    • TC 21:15 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      Is Coderre’s schedule of meetings, and who attends, a public record? What records must he maintain and share by law?

    • Jim 23:02 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      Received a robo call from his team today. Is that even legal?

    • ant6n 02:55 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      Just don’t worry about it.

  • Kate 06:23 on 2017/10/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Restaurant owners around Prince Arthur have good words to say about recent renovations to the streetscape.

    • CharlesMtl 22:17 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      A Journal de Montréal piece that has something good to say about a decision made by the Plateau administration? I never through I’d see the day.

    • Yves 12:54 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      I personnally hate the new Prince Arthur. I thought the fact there is now only 2 narrow passages on each side would stop cyclists, but it is not the case, they make it even more dangerous than before by swerving in a narrow lane to avoid pedestrian. Montreal could make such a nice profit if they posted a few police to tickets cyclists riding illegally on Prince Arthur (and yes, there is obvious signs at each corner showing you are not allow to ride a bike on this street). I know that cyclist will hate me and insult me, but we all share the road, and the laws also apply to them.

    • ant6n 13:10 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      I was very critical of the space, and I remember sitting there one one nice afternoon, eating ice cream and complaining about it with friends; but it was still very nice; like an outside living room.

      The cyclist situation is rather frustrating. Prince Arthur is sort of a missing link in the network of Montreal (connecting Prince Arthur Bike Path and Cherrier). Cyclists can either detour via Sherbrooke or Pine+St-Denis, which have no bike paths, lots of traffic, and well, are just detours. So many just blast through Prince Arthur.

      Maybe if they add a protected bike path (Maisonneuve-Style) from Prince Arthur, along Pine and St-Denis to Cherrier, then cyclists might take the detour.

    • Blork 13:11 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      Prince-Arthur has had signs indicating you must walk your bicycle for many years, and every now and then there has been an effort to enforce it. But it was less of an issue when the street was wide and generally bereft of pedestrians.

      But as Yves points out, it’s a whole other game now. With only two narrow channels for pedestrians — and hopefully more pedestrians to fill them — there is absolutely no room to ride a bicycle.

      Unfortunately, that is (or at least was) the best choice for someone wanting to bicycle between St-Laurent and St-Denis at that level. The other options are Ave. des Pins and Sherbrooke, neither of which is very bicycle-friendly.

      I’m all for enforcing the no cycling rule on the remodelled Prince-Arthur because we don’t really have a choice; bikes and pedestrians simply cannot co-habitate that space. And that points to the biggest flaw in the design.

      Personally, I think they should have created a cycling lane right down the middle of the street, and marked it off with low barriers (concrete curbs a few inches high, along with planters, etc.) to prevent pedestrians from aimlessly wandering into the bike path. (If you have to step over the barrier you will be aware that you are crossing into a bike path.) There could be breaks in the barriers to accommodate wheelchairs, plus each intersection would be free of the barriers, making for easy go-around.

      That would leave either side free for pedestrian ambling, terraces, million-dollar concrete stumps, or whatever.

      BUT IT’S TOO LATE NOW isn’t it?

  • Kate 06:18 on 2017/10/05 Permalink | Reply  

    A new group has come up with a plan for the Empress Theatre in NDG.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 15:30 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      And without saying one word to the group that’s been quietly working on this for years, seemingly completely oblivious to our very existence.

      McQueen organizes the whole thing, doesn’t let any of us know about it, makes sure PM candidates are present, blames his opponent for ‘bungling the file.’

      I have a poor opinion of politicians to begin with; this stunt cost PM a vote and a dedicated supporter.

      I might add, McQueen always showed up to Cinema NDG events, and supported our project up until Elaine Ethier became his opponent. I asked him to leave us alone, keep out of our business as we’re not political, and haven’t been helped one iota by any politician or any party.

      McQueen has done nothing to help our effort to revive this building, and now he takes a steaming dump on the work a bunch of concerned citizens. I feel duped for having ever supported him or Projet.

    • ant6n 15:43 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      So you had a group that quietly worked on the Empress project, but apparently there wasn’t much progress. Now one of the group joined Coderre, and the “Equippe Coderre” site presents her as the Empress person (https://equipedeniscoderre.com/candidate/elaine-ethier).

      Clearly you’re very upset about this. But from an outside perspective, it seems like your group became political. And this is an election.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 15:52 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      Who’s the arbiter of progress?

      We’ve done more to move this forward than any other group. No one has $15M sitting around ready to invest. And on top of that we need to figure out a way to balance the public interest with business reality. We’ve worked our ass off, we’ve managed to bring this project forward and McQueen’s pulling a stunt for his own benefit.

      Ms. Ethier is not part of our board (she rightfully resigned); on top of that, Cinema NDG and the Empress theatre Foundation are two distinct groups.

      Who she runs with is her business. The board and the associated committees represent many other people, none of whom are involved in her campaign.

      We’re all Coderre supporters now?

    • suz 19:01 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      Certainly sounds like a good plan- creating a pleasant albeit transitionary space where the community can start experiencing the building as something with potential rather than a crumbling eyesore.

    • dwgs 19:28 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      McQueen is an empty vessel driven solely by self preservation.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 19:32 on 2017/10/05 Permalink


      Sure it’s not a bad idea per se, but it would have been nice to have been consulted.

      Also, I’m not entirely sure (and it wasn’t clear from the presentation) a) how it’ll be paid for, and b) who will pay the insurance.

    • suz 09:43 on 2017/10/06 Permalink

      Taylor. Yes the funding is unclear. The funding for the $9 000 000 revised edition of Empress Theatre Foundation’s plan is also unclear ( there are no financials on the website). A fundraising thermometer display on the infrastructure in question as well as plaquards informing passersby of what is going on would be engaging.
      Not criticising you, just giving perspective as a passerby

  • Kate 06:16 on 2017/10/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada has a series of short audio interview with Montrealers, Chacun son Montréal.

  • Kate 06:14 on 2017/10/05 Permalink | Reply  

    A cyclist has died on the Camillien-Houde descent on Mount Royal because an SUV driver made a sudden illegal U-turn.

    • Seb 06:43 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      This is sad and unfortunate story. I see cars pulling illegal u-turns almost daily and it drives me insane. When did this become acceptable? Realize you are going the wrong way? Too fucking bad! Put your big boy pants on and DON’T recklessly put others in danger!

    • Jack 11:57 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      I really hate this lede.”An 18-year-old cyclist has died of his injuries after colliding with an SUV on Mount Royal, Montreal police confirmed.” Seriously someone driving a car tank makes an illegal u turn at high speed and kills this 18 year old kid….this sentence makes it sound so innocuous, banal.

    • Blork 13:01 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      Well, the headline is “Young cyclist dies after SUV makes illegal U-turn on Mount Royal,” which isn’t very banal.

    • Alex L 14:43 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

    • ant6n 15:27 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      Block driving on that road.

      cycle race track in summer, ski piste in winter. :D

    • Chris 18:55 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      And as usual, there will be no punishment for the driver.

    • Ephraim 20:10 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      This is Quebec, there is no responsibility for anything. The police get paid days off for anything they do. Not a single engineer is in jail for what they have done. Do we need to go through a full list? It has nothing to do with the car, the cyclist, etc. It’s a sick societal norm.

    • Jack 23:24 on 2017/10/05 Permalink

      Just found out that that kid was a friend of my daughters. She is travelling in Bolivia and is heartbroken. She said this guy was born to bike and was happiest when he was cycling, now he is dead, he was 18 years old.

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