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  • Kate 22:26 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre has gone to Shanghai mostly to underline the first direct flights from that city to Montreal. Apparently the mayor of Shanghai is going to send a delegation here to study how we deal with old people.

    • Sofia 09:16 on 2017/02/21 Permalink

      Because we do it so well? Eh.

  • Kate 21:18 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro has sketches of the new Vendôme metro station, and Andy Riga has a few more details on the construction plans. There’s a public consultation on Tuesday.

  • Kate 19:54 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    Police are still seeking the man who carried out two murderous attacks earlier this month in the east end. It was only by luck that both victims survived. There’s a detailed description and a pretty good photo of the suspect, also video.

    Cops have a command post set up Tuesday at Place Frontenac in the hope somebody will identify the suspect or provide information helping them to do so.

  • Kate 19:43 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    Sud-Ouest borough is sending in its own blue collar workers to clean up the remaining snow that Pavages d’Amour has been incapable of dealing with.

    I was in various parts of town Monday and in a lot of spots the sidewalks are treacherously icy, after a thaw and a freeze, particularly tricky at corners or wherever there’s been runoff, and they badly need a gravelling and salting they’re not getting.

  • Kate 19:37 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    City council voted unanimously Monday to declare Montreal a sanctuary city. Critics on the left are concerned the label is merely a gesture, without concrete guarantees to back it up. The Gazette has found a critic to condemn the move from the right.

    Denis Coderre is now challenging Quebec to back it up, which could be criticized as going about this the wrong way around.

    • Tim S. 20:01 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      Yeah, I worry about this a little. Without knowing too much about immigration policy and what it means to be an undocumented/illegal immigrant, I just hope that in our haste to show how un-Trump like we are we don’t end up creating the same resentments that allowed Trump to succeed in the first place.

    • Bill Binns 11:29 on 2017/02/21 Permalink

      Too late for poor Randy Quaid unfortunately. He had is front door knocked down and was dragged out of Canada kicking and screaming.

    • Kate 14:19 on 2017/02/21 Permalink

      It won’t mean the city can overrule federal immigration law. It means the city will (or intends to) provide services and aid without asking people about their immigration status. How far this can go remains to be seen.

    • Robert J 17:58 on 2017/02/21 Permalink

      This is good news. Sanctuary city status just means that the City won’t alert federal immigration authorities to irregular status. They won’t impede those services in doing their job. It just means that a transit or parking cop won’t ask for your papers—they’ll just give you a fine.

      I don’t want to live in a city where every type of authority is asking for every type of ID and communicating with each other about everything. Most people have skeletons in the closet of some sort, and while immigration status may seem like a major one, people generally try and stay in places for pretty decent reasons. Like, “my country isn’t safe” or “I’m in love/have children/good friends/a job that meets my needs.”

  • Kate 19:25 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre wants to bring an end to municipal referendums. He gives two examples of contentious projects blocked by such votes, as if it’s self-evident this should not have been allowed to happen – when that’s the whole point. A referendum is one way of putting the brakes on developers having free rein over the city. I’m not saying it’s always beneficial – certainly it can open the door to NIMBY impulses – but it’s not something that should just simply be scrapped.

    Valérie Plante is dead set against such a change.

    Amusingly, in the light of recent news stories, a “referendum” cited several times Monday by Coderre never actually took place.

    Update: Tuesday, François Cardinal also condemns this change, saying it would give developers a blank cheque. The possibility of referendums is the main reason developers will hold public consultations. It’s an important check and balance in the development of the city.

    “Le désabusement est à son comble. Les citoyens sentent qu’ils ont de moins en moins de prise sur leurs gouvernants. Et c’est le moment que choisit le gouvernement pour leur retirer le peu de pouvoirs dont ils jouissent sur la scène locale, comme si la démocratie se résumait à un vote tous les quatre ans.”

    What he said.

    • Ephraim 19:44 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      We should have a referndum about it…

    • GC 20:57 on 2017/02/20 Permalink


  • Kate 17:34 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    A woman was found dead Monday in a CHSLD in Centre-Sud and it’s being called homicide #4 of the year. TVA says it seems to have been a mercy killing, as the woman was not well, and a man is in custody. TVA link plays video report.

  • Kate 17:25 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC summarizes the history of the Glatt’s Kosher building: at least the sign is going to the Museum of Jewish Montreal.

  • Kate 13:18 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre is still dreaming of a downtown heliport and the city’s putting out tenders for a study.

    • Max 16:06 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      I read once that a heliport was considered during the Place Bonaventure design studies back in the 60s. Can’t remember whether it was to be part of the original structure or a future expansion phase to the south.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 16:14 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      @Max – part of the original design; rooftop hotel & heliport… not sure why heliport was dropped at the time, though I have a hunch they realized having helicopters landing and taking off from the roof of a hotel may not have been ideal for guests. It was part of the overall transport hub concept integrated into the design of the complex. I can imagine they drew inspiration from the Pan Am heliport that began operations in NYC around the same time.

    • Blork 17:30 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      I’m rooting for a zipline between PVM and the St-Hubert airport. That would change everything!

    • Faiz Imam 02:37 on 2017/02/21 Permalink

      If they can put a heliport on top of existing infrastructure, I don’t particularly mind. It would be interesting if an upcoming skyscraper project would propose adding a helipad as a perk. It would probably grease some wheels with city hall if they did.

      But worst case scenario is reserving actual ground for this. It’s a very expensive and wasteful allocation of money and space and I doubt it would get any support.

    • Kate 09:19 on 2017/02/21 Permalink

      The issue isn’t space, it’s noise levels. Verdun experimented with a heliport briefly last year during the Grand Prix, but gave up because of the noise.

  • Kate 13:16 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    A new bike path will link the de Maisonneuve path to the Lachine Canal path, possibly along Robert-Bourassa, but it will take some time.

    • Daisy 17:22 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      I used to work downtown and bike to work via the Lachine Canal. I was always very nervous after I left the bike path — I went on Notre-dame and then on either Guy or Mountain. Eventually I decided to go all the way to Berri (the only north-south path) and then double back on de Maisonneuve.

      Why is this taking so long? :(

    • Chris 20:08 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      Kate, “will” is too strong. :( More like “is purportedly planned”. All greenwashing I suspect.

    • Faiz Imam 02:41 on 2017/02/21 Permalink

      The plan is to convert the southbound reserved bus lane currently used by the south shore buses. Once the REM is up and running that space is not needed anymore.

      It’s not bad, turning it into a bike lane is much better than another car lane, and it makes the park there more useful when it’s done.

      Unfortunately it’ll be an extension of the bi-directional lane that already exists till maisonneuve. I’d much prefer uni-directional lanes.

  • Kate 13:15 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    A man who owns a Bernard Street building and hoped to use part of it for a synagogue – before the new Outremont bylaw – is suing the city and Outremont borough because, he says, he had reasonable expectation of getting a permit, but the change in the law, and resulting suspension of the permit, has messed up his plans.

    • rue david 13:47 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      Pretty interesting cause of action. Will be one to watch. Given that municipalities have absolute control over use, one imagines than an estoppel argument would require the city’s having played some role in the sale of the land or at least provided an assurance of some sort.

  • Kate 13:06 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    A sort of houseboat hotel is to open this summer near Silo No. 5 at the western side of the Old Port.

  • Kate 13:04 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    A judge has denounced racial profiling by an SPVM cop in a 2011 incident, in which a young black man was charged with assault after he and friends were stopped in a car for no apparent reason. Item notes how unusual it is for a judge to rule in this way against police.

    CBC has another and more recent racial profiling story.

  • Kate 11:28 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    Nick Fontanelli, only suspect in the death and dismemberment of his partner Samantha Higgins in 2015, is in court Monday for a preliminary hearing. The Gazette’s Jesse Feith wrote in detail about Fontanelli’s deficits and tough life last summer.

  • Kate 11:17 on 2017/02/20 Permalink | Reply  

    The mayor of Montreal East has noticed that bus shelters offer little or no protection if a vehicle flies up onto the sidewalk. His daughter was hit by a vehicle while waiting for a bus last week, and has serious leg injuries. But what if she’d been at the wheel of the car? The mayor might not be so keen on building tougher bus shelters if this had been the case.

    • Blork 12:13 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      Last week someone here suggested installing bollards at bus shelters. I generally don’t jump on bandwagons that involve big changes based on isolated incidents, but maybe this one makes sense. Most likely it’s not needed at all bus shelters, but many are vulnerable, and the scary thing is that if you’re inside the shelter you’re like a fish in a barrel. You can’t even jump out of the way if you see a car coming at you. I’ve actually been in situations where I purposely stayed outside of a bus shelter on a busy street because I felt trapped when I was inside.

      Mind you, it could get expensive. European streets are full of decorative bollards, but those mostly only stop cars from parking on the sidewalk. To be effective against a vehicle moving at 40kph or so, it would have to be very solid and installed quite deep. Not cheap if you’re doing hundreds of them.

    • Kate 13:34 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      I can’t picture how we’d put in bollards, most places, without partly blocking the sidewalk. I think it has to be a tradeoff.

      Since I’ve lived here, at least three bus shelters at my closest 55 stop on St‑Laurent have been totally trashed, including one that lasted a couple of weeks at most. I’ve never been sure if it’s someone losing control in the northbound lane on the Main and sliding up onto the sidewalk, or – more likely – people messing around in the adjoining Couche-Tard parking lot, maybe backing into the shelters and demolishing them. I haven’t heard of pedestrians being hurt right there (although pedestrians have been hurt and even killed by vehicles along this stretch within the last few years).

      So I tend think more injuries would happen, aggregately, if bus shelters were fortified, although normally I’m more on the pedestrian side.

    • Ephraim 14:00 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      Bollards are usuaully installed as an anti-terrorist measure. Not simply because someone loses control of their car. The reason that these cars drive into bus stops is because they are likely the only thing on the sidewalk stopping them from going further. Our parking meters are at the other side, we don’t have many planters above ground and often the trees aren’t substantial on large streets. Didn’t we have those old bus shelters that were concrete at the bottom with like pebbles around them? Like this guy.

      I can’t wait to see someone suggesting railroad crossings barriers and bollards at the crosswalks, because that’s where the ad absurdum is going to go.

    • Kate 14:47 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      Ephraim, there are bollards all over the UK and they’re not an anti-terrorist measure. They’re used for directing traffic in tricky spots, which are common on their narrow old roads.

      railroad crossings barriers and bollards at the crosswalks, because that’s where the ad absurdum is going to go.

      I doubt that very much.

      I remember those bus shelters – they were all over the place at one time. Still plenty around.

    • Ephraim 15:49 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      Bollards won’t work here, because of the snow removal. That’s why the parking meter spots are numbered next to the far edge. Though, we should just switch to the way the do it in Westmount and be done with the parking spot numbers. (And at the same time, do as they do in Quebec city and give handicapped people free parking at the meters, it’s like a tax on disability.)

      In Jerusalem, just after someone plowed into a light rail station they added to the stations.

      But the point here is that it’s supposed to be a place for people to be sheltered from the weather while they wait for a bus, not a car/truck proof box.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 16:18 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      Remember the old bus shelters that weren’t all-glass, but rather had a concrete base up to about three feet?

      Probably would’ve offered a better degree of protection to those waiting for a bus in the case of a collision.

    • Blork 16:28 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      Those old ones with the concrete low walls (such as the pic that Ephraim linked to) would offer very little protection from a moving car because the concrete was thin and not reinforced anywhere.

      I don’t think snow removal is much of an issue. After all, we’re not talking about military grade blast barriers, just a post or two. Here’s a mocku-up of what it could be like:

      This uses two bollards. Maybe one would be good enough (in which case just image the one at the corner).

    • Bill Binns 19:18 on 2017/02/20 Permalink

      Bollards are indeed expensive. A client of mine that has 1200+ convenience stores in the US once told me that a car drives through the plate glass windows of one of their stores at least once a week. They still haven’t installed bollards at all their stores. Reason: too expensive.

      As for the bus shelter situation in Montreal, I think if your goal is to save lives, the money that would need to be spent on bus shelter bollards would be more effective elsewhere. When you look at pedestrian deaths in Montreal, it’s clear we have a truck problem, not a bus shelter problem.

    • CE 00:37 on 2017/02/21 Permalink

      Here in Bogotá, the city installed thousands of bollards all over the city in the 90s because drivers seemed to think it was their right to park all over the sidewalks. They do keep people from parking on sidewalks but I’ve also seen cars run into them and they generally just fall over. They would need to be pretty heavy-duty to stop a speeding, out-of-control car. They would also definitely make snow removal more difficult and if you’re not paying attention, they’re pretty easy to run into as a pedestrian (I often have bruises on my knees as a result of those stupid things!)

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