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Thread: even more photos of MONTREAL: car free day, downtown, mile end

  1. #1

    even more photos of MONTREAL: car free day, downtown, mile end

    car free day

    september 22nd, as many of you know, was world car free day. more than a thousand cities participated, although enthusiasm seems to be waning in some places, especially france. montreal celebrated for the second time, closing a portion of downtown ste-catherine street and part of mont-royal avenue on the plateau. it's helped raise awareness of sustainable transportation, but the future of the street closures be threatened by grumblings from the downtown business association, which complains that banning cars from a few blocks of ste-catherine for five hours on a weekday seriously hurts business. i'd like to see some statistics to back that up, but hey.

    a close-up to drive home the absurdity (this is houston, by the way):

    the car freedom ended at mcgill college avenue, where downtown traffic chaos resumed.

    post-car free day

    yesterday afternoon was hot, sunny and great all around. after class i wandered around.

    montreal does that to people.

    sundown in mile end

    okay, so this wasn't actually yesterday's sunset, but it does the job:


  2. #2
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
    Nov 2002
    Thanks! I find it hard to believe any business but a muffler shop would be "suffering" with those crowds.

    Once again summer goes by without me visiting Montreal.

  3. #3

    Oct 2001
    Solano County, California


    ARRGGHHH! I think the Mods need to ban ablarc from viewing this thread. If he sees the Houston aerials, he'll go into some kind of catatonic state!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Apr 2003
    Philadelphia, PA
    two things about pedestrians and streets -

    1. They had a three year experiment here in Philly with a busway. They made Chestnut St. a bus only street for 9 blocks. The plans were from some grand mixed bus/ped corridor.

    a. they didn't dedicate any extra space to peds except for one lane of parking
    b. the traffic was the life of the street back then. There wasn't much high volume retail at the time and no one was living there then. The city made no effort to encourage the development of either.
    c. the busses were loud and polluting and more frequent since many were diverted there. People began to avoid the street altogether.

    2. I was sitting in Times Square (not an easy place to find somewhere to sit) two months ago waiting for some friends. I was on the little island in the square that hosts the armed forces recruiting station. I was watching the pedestrian traffic on all sides of the square. I noticed that the curb had been recently bumped out by 18 inches in several spots. People were still spilling out into the street. Then i noticed the number of cars. Even with an average of 3 people per car peds probably outnumbered vehicle occupants 10 to 1. The carbound were moving slower than people on foot. Then i realized that the cars were afforded 4x more space than the pedestrians.

    So rather than take out their frustrations with the City DOT people will get bumped and jostled, do their fare share of bumbing and jostling and then take their frustrations out on a strager or at home - or on themselves in the gym or the bar. Few people ever ask, "hey, how come they get 50 ft. and we get 10 ft."

    When i make lists of what makes city living stressful and/or unpleasant cars and trucks (like the diesel fumes coming in my window at this very moment) are always at the center of it.

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