Suburban exclusive: Montreal found at ‘gross fault’ in CSL Road pothole case

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The condition of Côte St. Luc Road was especially bad in 2017.
Joel Goldenberg Photo

The sustained negligence of the City of Montreal on this horrible stretch of roadway is a glaring example of incompetence and indifference at every level. Despite outcries from suburban mayors and residents not much has been done. Residents who continue to point fingers at suburban councils should get down to Montreal City Hall Council meetings and raise the issue there.

http://www.thesuburban.com/news/city_news/suburban-exclusive-montreal-found-at-gross-fault-in-csl-road/article_3913dbb2-db0a-5b26-b0b7-b866b15d15cc.html#utm_campaign=blox&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

Update: Mayor Mitchell Brownstein advises that the City of Montreal went out to tender to resurface CSL Road. Work is supposed to begin soon. Evidently our mayor did indeed push hard and with the assistance of CDN-NDG Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery they succeeded in pressuring the central city to advance this work. Smoother roads are just ahead!

More:

CTV News

CBC News

Too much snow? Melt it away!

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With technology advancing faster than ever I’ve often wondered why snow clearing operations haven’t changed very much since I was a kid. I recall watching in utter amazement back in the ’60s as a parade of snowplows, dump trucks, sidewalk plows and snowblowers worked their way down Cork Avenue.  Sure they landed a man on the moon… Heck, I’m even named after the first man to orbit the moon! But this was happening right on my street. Snow clearing was really out of this world.

I never spent a moment thinking about the cost of acquisition and maintenance the rolling equipment, the manpower cost, the pollution spewing from the roaring engines or the danger to pedestrians as these trucks barreled down Guelph and Kildare headed to the snow dump. I didn’t know that there was more equipment to push the dumped snow up a mountain to await the great thaw. The noise caused by this whole procession didn’t bother me back then.

Fast forward a few decades and as a City Councillor I was responsible for millions of dollars in expenditures for everything I’ve described above. How much do we pay in our municipal tax bill just to cart away and pile up the snow? Millions upon millions. And now residents have pressured City Hall to hire even more equipment and labour to break down those mountains of dirty snow every spring to speed up the melting. An absolute waste of tax dollars, a danger to pedestrians, and environmental hypocrisy to those who proclaim to be a friend of the earth. There’s got to be a better way.

Click to enlarge

I discuss issues of technology with my friend Mitchell Herf and we thought a lot about it. What if we could melt the snow as soon as we pick it up and avoid the parade of additional expensive vehicles, reduce our manpower costs, eliminate the mountains of dumped snow and reduce the danger to pedestrians and the environment? Too good to be true? Actually, some towns are doing it already.

SRS-M150 snow melter by SRS Snow Removal Systems

 

It’s time for our progressive, innovative, smart city, Cote Saint-Luc, to test out one of these 21st Century solutions. Plow it, blow it, melt it and flush it down the sewers with just one truck and one operator. I know that Councillor Ruth Kovac wants to melt the snow on heated sidewalks so this should grab her attention and that Cllr. Dida Berku is all about environmental concerns and Cllr. Steven Erdelyi would like find ways to reduce expenses. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Public Works Director Bebe Newman are also reading this post and I hope they’ll all take up the challenge of researching new solutions for an age old problem and make our city safer, cleaner and cut down on costs.

 

The snow removal truck melts the snow and water is dumped into the sewers

 

Large snow melting dumpsters can be installed strategically during snow clearing

operations to cut down on unnecessary dump truck trips

 

 

City says roadwork coming to larger section of Côte-Saint-Luc Rd. — in 2020

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The negligence in the upkeep of Montreal’s section of CSL Road is an embarrassment and a danger. Two more years of this state of disrepair is unacceptable.

 

 

CBC News:   City says roadwork coming to larger section of Côte-Saint-Luc Rd. — in 2020
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/c%C3%B4te-saint-luc-road-disrepair-construction-2020-1.4787995

Why can’t Montreal clear the snow?

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Van Horne congestion due to snowbanks and illegally parked car, on Feb. 12, 2018

Traffic continues to be snarled on Van Horne, west of Decarie, for more than two weeks.  The Borough of Cote des Neiges – NDG’s inability to clear the snowbank is baffling. No less than three types of ‘No Parking’ signs have come and gone yet the snow remains. The afternoon/evening rush hour on this route routinely sees a single lineup of vehicles backing up for blocks, into Decarie, sometimes all the way to Westbury. Is this because of incompetence or lack of resources?

Just a few blocks further the Town of Hampstead does a reasonable job of clearing nearly two full lanes, doubling the flow rate. And beyond that Cote Saint-Luc practically melts the snow from curb to curb.

The police routinely fail to enforce the No Parking restrictions on Van Horne (which I lobbied for several years ago). So even if the snowbank would be cleared illegally parked cars often obstruct the right lane (as photographed above at 5:20PM).

So what’s the problem in Montreal? We should be world leaders at clearing snow. Instead, we’re caught off guard by snow storms, can’t clear ice from sidewalks, our streets are riddled with potholes, and we needlessly waste time in traffic jams. Let’s hope the new administration figures this out quickly and get’s it right for next season. And ticket that car!

A tough commute in Montreal may eventually be a thing of the past

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On a morning where my  12 minute commute took over an hour I’m inspired to share this lecture from the Consumer Electronics Show going on in Las Vegas about Smart Cities. It speaks to the democratization of transportation whereby all vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians are linked to one another.

Congestion can be mitigated by connectivity and data sharing. The whole system needs to be made more intelligent. Cities need to get connected to new technology and use data to manage traffic flow and to improve citizens’ quality of life, local business, the environment and even public safety.
In this conference, Ford Motor Company’s President and CEO Jim Hackett focuses on mobility solutions as the world progresses toward smarter cities. Ford’s vision is to become the world’s most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world.
I hope our friends and neighbours from the Cote des Neiges – NDG Borough Hall also take note about smarter cities and avoid blocking Van Horne for snow clearing during rush hour, resulting today in gridlock across Snowdon West, Hampstead and Cote Saint-Luc.
Speaking of Hampstead, please clear BOTH lanes on Fleet. 1.5 lanes of snow clearing doesn’t really help the flow.
And kudos to the CSL Public Works Department under the leadership of Director Bebe Newman. Bebe’s crews practically catch the snow before it hits the ground. You’d never know that 36 centimetres fell in CSL driving down its main streets today.

Driving CSL forward with EVs

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Watch and share: I’ve advocated for the city to purchase its first Electric Vehicle and truck. I am pushing for the adoption of more EVs in CSL to reduce our dependence on fuel and to reduce pollution and noise. I am so convinced that I got one myself!

CSL Public Works took delivery of its first electric vehicle, a Kia Soul, in November 2016 (Photo: Bebe Newman)

Regarder et partager: J’ai plaidé pour que la ville achète son premier véhicule électrique et camion. Je préconise l’adoption de plus de véhicules électriques dans CSL afin de réduire notre dépendance au carburant et de réduire la pollution et le bruit. Je suis tellement convaincu que j’en ai acheté une moi-même!

Polaris electric vehicle makes demo debut at CSL Public Works in November 2016

 

I visited the ZENN (Zero Emission No Noise) Auto manufacturer in St. Jerome in Oct. 2008 and took this early model electric for a spin around the test track

 

My brand new 2017 Chevy Volt Electric Vehicle

CSL: A digital city | En ligne à CSL

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Cote Saint-Luc’s digital presence is getting better and better. I’d like to see Council meetings streamed live, track waste collection trucks and snow removal crews in real time. Our emergency notification system is a success. Please watch and share.

La présence numérique de Cote Saint-Luc s’améliore. J’aimerais voir les réunions du Conseil diffusées en direct, de suivre les camions de collecte des déchets et les équipes de déneigement en temps réel. Notre système de notification d’urgence est un succès. S’il vous plaît regarder et partager.

City purchases two stream receptacles

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In an attempt to provide City residents with the opportunity to sort their waste on the streets, twostream waste receptacles have been purchased to replace some old, tired and one stream cans that are around the City.
“We are hoping to clean up the streets and direct the right waste into the right bins. We received many requests for street recycling bins, as our residents like to run/walk/bike and then get thirsty and have nowhere to throw their bottles,” said Public Works director Bebe Newman.

City Council authorized the purchase of 120 receptacles, partially paid out of a provincial grant, that were installed at almost all bus stops throughout the City and at several other locations on main streets, at certain parks and public spaces (bordering the street).

“We have had strong and positive reaction from the public,” said Newman.

Council approved  the purchase of an additional 50 receptacles for the City at a recent public council meeting.

City to plant 200 trees

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A 200 year old Bur Oak at the corner of Wavell and Melling. It is possibly the oldest of its kind on the island.

Public Works is trying to meet our annual tree planting goal of 200 trees a year, contributing to the reforestation of our community (and the canopy that had been previously compromised by the Ash Borer Disease).

To date during 2017, we have planted approximately 70 trees.

Last week City Council approved a contract that will enable us to plant up to 100 more trees throughout the City, specifically at the front lawns of residents. Residents have received official letters that the trees will be planted and were encouraged to choose the variety available. Although these residents
have been waiting for their trees for a couple of years, they were happy to know that we would be planting this fall.

This work will be done by the contractor, Les Terrassements Multi-Paysages Inc. for $56,000. while the City employees will be planting other trees in public spaces.

Cavendish underpass southbound re-opens September 15

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After more than two months of orange barrels blocking the construction zone at the Cavendish underpass a little relief is hours away as the city gets ready to reopen all lanes and the walkway in the southbound direction.

This is the first major renovation to the underpass structure since it was built over 50 years ago, when Cavendish was actually known as King George Boulevard. More than $2.7 million was spent in upgrading this critical infrastructure, much of it through provincial grants.

 

 

Work will continue on the northbound lanes and will completed soon. Thanks to the presence of a flagman the traffic flow has been improved in the construction zone with few delays reported. Safety has been increased as well.

Pedestrian safety was a major priority and I would like to thank our incredible volunteers from vCOP – Citizens on Patrol – for heeding my call to be present at Fleet and Cavendish during the morning rush hour and afternoons when school children are on their way home.

New walkway gets finishing touches for re-opening this week at the Cavendish underpass

Kildare-Shalom intersection made safer

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Kildare – Shalom intersection made safer for motorists and pedestrians

The beautiful flowers on the median of Kildare Road were so spectacular this summer that some motorists had trouble keeping their eyes on the road. Indeed, the heavy rainfalls this season made the vegetation and floral arrangements grow much more than in an average season and blocked the view for motorists trying to negotiate the intersection at Kildare and Shalom.

Less flowers right at the corner mean easier view across the road at Kildare and Shalom

Thanks to our dedicated managers and crews at Public Works  a few changes were made last week to help with visibility – and obstructions – at the intersection.

First, the vegetation was removed from the corner approximately 15 feet east and west of the intersection.

Easier to say across the street. Kildare at Shalom.

Second, the soil was removed and concrete was poured to create a pad where pedestrians could safely stand and wait to cross.

Third, a sign will be installed advising drivers to slow down.

We will also place the radar trailer at this intersection to sensitize drivers of their speed.

Next year we will plant shorter species of flowers allowing for increased visibility at the intersection.

We are also looking into painting a crosswalk as a visible means to slow traffic.

“Flowers have always been planted along Kildare year after year and this year they look exceptionally great,” said Public Works manager John Monteiro.

I thank John and his staff for this excellent service. Several residents approached me about the problem of obscured line of sight trying to drive through this intersection. I contacted John and he quickly resolved the problem and made the entire area safer for motorists and pedestrians. I’m very appreciative of a job well done and a safer Cote Saint-Luc.

Report non-urgent issues on Voila!

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Signaler un problème non urgent

NEW REPORTING TOOL: On August 31, 2017, Côte Saint-Luc will no longer be using the SeeClickFix tool. All open files will still be reviewed and hopefully solved to your satisfaction. But we won’t be able to update you using SeeClickFix.

We’re now using Voilà! Signalement. As with SeeClickFix, you’ll get a confirmation by email from Voilà! Signalement, including a confirmation code, which you can use if you call Public Works later on.

 

Report non-urgent issues in your city

Voilà! Signalement is an app to report street lighting, potholes, graffitis to your city and repair them. The Voilà! app and website allows you to report non-urgent issues in your city. Residents can now actively participate in problem resolution in their neighborhood.

The power of Voilà! is in the users! The more users report the same issue, the earlier the city will be made aware of the issue to prioritize the work order and fix it.

 

Website  App

 

Introduction to Voilà!

Voila video

 

How to create an account – walkthrough

 

How to add a new issue – walkthrough

 

How to add an issue using the website

 

Download and install the app

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play
Requirements:
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch & iPad.
iOS 6.0 or later.
WIFI or 3G network connection required.
Requirements:
Android 3.2 or higher.
WIFI or 3G network connection required.

 

CSL helping neighbours in need

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CSL Public Works crews feed the wood chipper in NDG to help out in the major cleanup

 

In response to last week’s major storm that devastated parts of the Cote des Neiges –  NDG borough, toppling 100 year old trees and causing major havoc in several parks, Cote Saint-Luc Public Works Director Bebe Newman reached out to her colleagues in NDG and offered assistance to their Public Works department in the disaster clean up.
NDG was very grateful for the collaborative efforts and CSL sent its tree cutting crew earlier this week in the spirit of being a good neighbour.
A 2-man Arboriculture team was sent to NDG to work on the clean up of the damaged and fallen trees. Our team went out with a wood chipper and handled 25 areas of NDG between Cavendish and Sherbrooke in the western part of the borough.

The mess was all over NDG. CSL Public Works crews assisted at 25 such locations in a single day this week.

Thank you to CSL employees Robert Lacroix and Marc Piterelli who worked hard for our neighbours. They commented that they very were glad to help out.
In response, the NDG division chief of parks thanked our team for their collaboration and professionalism and said they would accept and welcome whatever help they could get.
Bravo to CSL Public Works and to Director Bebe Newman for this wonderful gesture of friendship and togetherness. It’s wonderful to reach out and help others in need.

Less waste = More money

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Large swath of CSL without power, trees down, after “micro-burst” sweeps Western Montreal

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City crews preparing to remove branches from trees that came down on Hudson north of CSL Rd.

The storm earlier today created havoc across many parts of Quebec. Areas hardest hit include the West End. Large trees, some over 200 years old were uprooted in NDG following the worst part of the storm that lasted one or two minutes.

In Cote Saint-Luc, many residents are still without power as midnight approaches. Many trees were knocked down.

I did a late night loop around Cote Saint-Luc to survey the situation and saw several Hydro Quebec crews working to restore power and city staff and volunteers ensuring our safety.
Councillor Steven Erdelyi said, “I was driving through my district and saw teams from Public Works, Public Security, vCOP and EMS out keeping the residents safe.”
“I saw our teams working in conjunction with Hydro, vCOP ensuring that streets were blocked off, crews removing trees and branches, foremen leading HQ to the site of downed lines and speaking to and reassuring residents. I saw Public Security agents putting flares down at key intersections to provide some light and EMS crews supporting the fire department to help frail residents going to their apartments on upper floors,” Erdelyi said.

Trees down on Hudson north of CSL Rd.

“A special thank you to John, Thierry, Laurence, Claude and Jordy (all of whom I saw in action tonight) for all your hard work and dedication,” Erdelyi added.
Said Mayor Brownstein, “Thank you all. You are truly amazing and appreciated very much.  You all make us very proud.  I have been receiving compliments for your great work by email from residents all evening.”
CSL has issued an overnight parking tolerance across the city due to ongoing power failures.
The CSL Tennis Club will be closed Wednesday as the power lines are down and some fences have been damaged.

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