Found this article over at Jim’s Bike Blog that discusses turning highways into solar panels that provide electricity for everyone.
“We can’t keep building asphalt roads, doing the same thing we’ve been doing since Eisenhower opened the federal highway system in the 1950s. It’s an antiquated system we’ve been using far too long. It’s time to move on. We can make better roads. We can make intelligent, electric roads which enable all-electric vehicles.”
The biggest obstacle to his project?: “Change. It scares people, I think.”
Archive for the ‘transportation’ Category
Found this article over at Jim’s Bike Blog that discusses turning highways into solar panels that provide electricity for everyone.
Pierre Brisset, architecte et directeur du Groupe de Recherche en Urbaine d’Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (GRUHM) est l’invité de la prochaine assemblée de Mobilisation Turcot. Son analyse de la situation nous permet de continuer à croire qu’un meilleur Turcot est possible.
Mardi, 18 janvier à 18h00 au CEDA, 2515, Delisle, Métro Lionel-Groulx.
A la demande de l’Arrondissement du Sud-Ouest, le MTQ devrait organiser une séance d’information sur leur projet. Une occasion de leur démontrer une fois de plus que cela ne fait pas notre affaire…Cela pourrait être le lundi 31 janvier. Date à confirmer, on s’en reparle.
Pour rappel, alternatives et principes par lesquels nous revendiquons depuis 3 ans un meilleur Turcot :
Richard Bergeron, urbaniste et chef de Projet Montréal proposait à la veille des fêtes Turcot 50-50. Les 3 milliards de dépenses annoncés par le ministre des transports ne sont pas justifiés. Tant qu’à dépenser autant, 1.5 milliard dans le transport collectif permettrait d’accueillir 35 000 habitants dans la cour Turcot et dans l’est de Lachine, limitant ainsi entre autre l’étalement urbain et ses impacts environnementaux. http://www.projetmontreal.org/article/93
Une nouvelle vidéo de 9mn rappelle les principes par lesquels Pierre Gauthier et Pierre Brisset proposent depuis le printemps 2010 la reconstruction de l’échangeur (Turcot 375).
Sounds like a bargain at 110 million. And remember that the Decarie Circle was rebuilt during 2000-2003 at a cost of plus 33 million. More evidence of the lack of a coordinated vision here that is constantly forcing us to re-spend a fortune forcing older work to conform to new plans that are outdated/inadequate when the shovel hits the ground.
Just add that to your traffic nightmare list of places to avoid driving in the coming years.
June 30 is the day the last train from downtown to Rigaud will run. But it only runs once each way daily so if you want to do the trip you need to make arrangements to get a ride back, stay overnight, or drive there very early to catch the inbound morning run. It is certainly weird to see a commuter run being closed in this day and age, but I would never suggest that the transportation powers that be are any better organized than other areas of government. My good friends Avrom Shtern and Andrew Dawson and some friends made the trip earlier this month.
Leaving the Island of Montreal over Lake Of Two Mountains.
Former water tower from steam era.
Old right of way.
Bridge over the Rigaud River.
And some old timey pictures in nearby restaurant, L’Etoile de Rigaud.
And here is a letter written to the Editor.
The MTQ and the AMT should be ashamed of themselves.
They talk green but they pray at the alter of the automobile.
Buses will not cut it. Many people have been moving out to the Rigaud area with the
promise of improved commuter rail service. They will revert to old habits and will take their cars once the train ceases operation.
Most will avoid the alternative bus service like the plague as it is not as comfortable as the train.
Bus lines with large passenger loads are not as economic as a comparable train service.
While Quebec is pondering a revised development law encouraging Transit Oriented Development, (Bill 58), it is simultaneously
spending billions on highways like Autoroute 30 which encourages geometric sprawl in the Rigaud area.
Why is it that Quebec pays 100% of the cost for highways but asks local municipalities to pay an ever increasing share for commuter rail?
Should the single daily Rigaud train stop running it is imperative that the corridor be rail-banked for future rail use.
The MTQ or AMT should follow the lead of the State of New South Wales, Australia where removal of a rail line requires an Act of Parliament. As the adage says “once the track is gone it is gone forever”.
Avrom David Shtern,
Green Coalition Transportation Critic
They are making the trip again next week and I hope to join them!
John Gomery will host a special meeting after the presentation of Sexy Beton 2 (playing at the Segal Centre until December 1) on Monday, November 30. The discussion will focus on issues surrounding transportation infrastructure, political motives, corruption, and, of course, justice!
Should be an excellent event!
More info at the Porte Parole web site.
US Freight transportation
|Transportation mode||Fuel consumption|
|BTU per short ton mile||kJ per tonne kilometre|
|Class 1 Railroads||341||246|
|Air freight (aprox)||9,600||6,900|
Excellent documentary by Jim Kleina and Martha Olson that shows how the automobile industry killed trolleys in North American cities and rail travel in general. It is the historical backdrop for all mass transit issues today.
“I find tremendous beauty and energy in the grit and rust of these forgotten industrial areas of New York City.
The High Line Series explores the architectural landscapes of the last remaining industrial region along the far west side of Chelsea and 10th Avenue, now becoming galleries and condominiums.
These large figurative cityscapes are painted in strong watercolor on rough paper. By exploring the tension between carefully drawn linear perspective and the freedom of watermarks, paint runs and spatters, I’m capturing the weathered patina of old steel and concrete that is the texture of the city.”
Images courtesy of George Billis Gallery
©2008 Tim Saternow]
You can check out the rest of the series on Tim Saternow’s website.
One of the options Transports Quebec had on the table with the Turcot Interchange was to simply renovate and strengthen the current interchange. It was estimated that this would cost half of what the current rebuild-it-alltogether plan would cost - estimation, 1.5 Billion, 6 years work.
I tend to think that renovation is what they should be doing. The current plan assumes that the world will continue to function as it always has, that cars and trucks will come and go, and there will always be young people who will choose to live in the suburbs but will also choose to have a career downtown. It’s as if there is an infinite supply of harmless oil and gasoline to sustain all possibilities. Many of us know that that dream has never been long term useful and the rest that don’t are beginning to suspect that maybe there is something to all this climate change/peak oil talk.
So they should simply renovate Turcot as part of a 10-15 year transportation plan that will end with Turcot and the Ville Marie Expressway being torn down for good (though I would still like to see some parts of Turcot remain as useful structures). That’s right. No more freeways or interchanges for the city core. The transportation plan could focus on various light rail systems and expanding parking facilities at train stations as well as using the old highways for, among other things, electric bus routes. We won’t need all that big infrastructure for a dedicated public transportation system.
It may be as soon as 10 years before one will no longer be able to buy a brand new gasoline only automobile in North America. The future is coming towards us faster and faster, perhaps even faster than we are going to be prepared for it. Change is coming. That is the one thing that is absolutely certain. The whole game is going to be different in a generation or two.
It’s time to stop rebuilding the past with soon to be obsolete concepts.
This city of 1.8 million people is world renowned as a model of sustainable urban planning, and has been referred to as one of the most innovative cities in the world. While Curitiba has opened eyes globally with all kinds of interesting planning strategies – such as turning a floodplain into a park rather than spend billions on a levee (that may not necessarily work, as eventually happened in New Orleans)- it is their public transit system that has been very inspirational. From wiki, ” The system, used by 85% of Curitiba’s population, is the source of inspiration for the TransMilenio in Bogotá, Colombia, Metrovia in Guayaquil, Ecuador,as well as the Orange Line of Los Angeles, California, and for a future transportation system in Panama City, Panama.” And that despite the fact that Curitiba has one of the highest car ownership ratios in the country!
But it took a leader with the courage to go against the grain to get Curitiba doing things efficiently in a different way. Jaime Lerner became mayor in 1988 and was given money to build a subway system. But the overall cost seemed too high – even “light rail” was deemed expensive – so they decided to go with a bus system that maximized availabilty to all districts and neighborhoods.
Here is a typical bus stop on the system. Passengers pay at the entrance to the tube and enter the bus on a level plane which facilitates boarding and unloading and leaves the driver with nothing more to do than just drive the bus.
It is kind of hard to picture that on Ste. Catherine street in winter isn’t it? But that doesn’t mean that the basic ideas are not usable here. Perhaps one of the most significant aspects of this system is that it actually makes a profit. That is correct. No endless government subsidization.
The system is not without it’s critics, most of whom say the it would not work in large American or European systems. But what is the difference between practical matters and just plain old political resistance to change? Most North American cities are glued in to networks of development that maximize profits for the builders of the system with an almost naive hope that when done, everyone will think it is wonderful, despite the fact that building costs will almost always create an insurmountable deficit for the system before it has even opened. We need to learn from Curitiba as part of reshaping our thinking.
Here is Jaime Lerner on sustainable cities.
Posted in Activism, Bridge, History, Infrastructure, Overpasses, Photography, Railroad, Structures, transportation, Urban, Walking, tagged Doney Spur, Photography, Railroad on July 22, 2008 | 3 Comments »
Continuing the journey with Avrom Shtern and Andrew Dawson.
Here is a map of this leg. We started at Sources and went east.
As far as I know the La Belle Province on the left is the only open 24 hours place on the entire West Island.
Trains used to go right up to that door. (right in?).
Avrom and Andrew checking out one of the countless sidings, wyes, and backtracks that have been pulled up but attest to how busy the Doney was in it’s day.
They used to load up here but the doors are bricked up.
Had to follow this one.
There was all kinds of these on the tracks. Maybe they like the warmth? This was a very hot day. It’s usually about 3-5 degrees warmer on the tracks as the steel gets hot, but the ballast also holds it in like a good old brick oven!
It s astonishing how much rust the rails can take and still be usable ( at very slow speeds I would guess).
Start of the Saint Francois Spur.
Here it splits. That is Golf Dorval (what’s left of it) due south.
I don’t think you will see a diamond crossing with a switch going into a building like that too often.
Back on the Doney, still active over in there.
Approaching the bridge that crosses the 40 otherwise known as the Trans Canada Highway.
Looking east. This was a Sunday afternoon. Traffic, what traffic?
And we called it a day up ahead at rue Douglas -B- Floreani.
We had taken the 215 bus from Cote Vertu Metro to get out to Sources and took the 215 back to Cote Vertu. While I am often critical of our (lack of) public transportation, I am quite willing to offer praise when it works so damn well as that! Cars, on the other hand, are not very good for this kind of trekking as you have to walk all the way back to where the car is parked. Was a good one.
More to come.
It was a full house last night at the Gadbois Centre for the information session presented by various community organizations that work directly with the communities that will be most affected by the rebuilding of the Turcot Interchange and it’s offshoot interchanges.
I would like to thank the presenters for their efforts as they are doing something they strongly believe in and have worked very hard to make this evening a great success. Like most people in the non profit sector they are overworked and underpaid, so their efforts are very much appreciated.
Solidarity was a constant theme than came from both the presenters and the participants with their comments and questions. There were a few people from the east end in attendance who are concerned with the proposed Notre Dame East “Decarie Style Trench” that is being planned for that street. And it was suggested that the Notre Dame, Bonaventure, and Turcot road projects be rethought as part of the same transportation plan for the city. The left hand needs to know what the right is doing and, on principle, these massive changes and their impacts should indeed be an integral part of an overall sustainable development plan for the city. Most importantly, the people who live closest to these projects need to be part of the decision making process.
Someone pointed out that the Turcot Interchange sees 280,000 fossil fuel burning vehicles per day. If you look at all highways on the island it works out that any given section will see an average of 7,700 vehicles per hour. At Turcot that hourly average jumps to about 11,000 per hour, thus making that area significantly more prone to noise and air pollution. It is very easy when you are driving through to not realize that people live there.
I would also urge people from the West Island, even the South Shore and Laval, to take a look at this project. A lot of this is all so that you can get downtown as quickly as possible. Out of sight, out of mind is an attitude that has put the planet in trouble. You need to start asking yourselves how you can be of help instead of how many seconds you can theoretically knock off your commute . Start asking your local politicians to lobby for more parking at train stations and take that train.
Health concerns were at the top of the agenda. People who live within 200 meters of a freeway are at considerably higher risk of death or respiratory illness than the general population. This spikes to 30% for children and adults over 60! Lowering the Turcot Interchange will expose the populations of Saint Henri and Cote Saint Paul to even higher levels of carbon emissions.
The idea of rebuilding Turcot on an embankment in order to save on maintenance costs is perhaps the show stopper. The aerial views of Turcot “after” presented by the Ministry of Transportation look all nice and green. But for those on ground level it will be like having a wall built around their neighborhoods, the views being cut off, the already difficult access between these neighborhoods being completely cut off. The embankment will put traffic on average about 6 meters above street level and that is unacceptable.
The number of people being expropriated is another story. MTQ likes to minimize the numbers but whether you call it units or buildings to make it sound insignificant, the fact is at least 300 people are going to have to move under the current plan. And three months rent and a moving allowance just doesn’t cut it anymore. This is not the 1950′s where people in poor soon-to-be-demolished neighborhoods should be grateful for such attention. I like to think we live in a society that treats it’s own people better than that.
Most of the people present seemed to agree that Turcot Rebuilt would work best either as a system of tunnels or remain elevated. The embankment seems to be the worst possible solution in sustainable and social terms.
It was also suggested that for each housing unit torn down during the project, the MTQ be responsible for creating a new unit in the neighborhood.
To further understand the environmental dynamics involved, someone suggested that the number of trees needed to absorb the pollution at Turcot would require a space 40 times the size of Angrignon Park! So much for the series of trees and shrubs in the MTQ plan.
The rising cost of fuel raised some ideas about even the need for such freeways in the future, as there seems to be a shift to trains, trams, and trolleys in so much urban planning debates these days. let alone that a good percentage of drivers won’t be able to afford it.
People want to be heard. They want to be dealt with fairly. It isn’t a lot when you think about it.
All in all an excellent evening indeed!
Here is the petition. Please fill it in and email it to email@example.com
Last week I had the pleasure of touring the south side of Meadowbrook with a few of Les Amis de Meadowbrook. Here is a shot of the Little Saint Pierre River, the only open, still active, probably very polluted, part of this river that once flowed to the Falaise Saint Jacques and ran through Turcot Yards before making its’ way to the Saint Lawrence via Ville Emard and Verdun.
The southern corner, some golf and some housing.
South end of the passenger train yard.
Down at the extreme southern corner lies this obstacle, at least it would be an obstacle in connecting with the Falaise Saint Jacques via a bike/hike route. It would require the cooperation of the railroad to put a separate bridge somewhere through there but it is very doable.
And looking to the left of the bottom track we see a bridge that crosses Westminster street.