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RE: [carfree_cities] FAQ: get together

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  • J.H. Crawford
    ... As it happens, I spent some time as a child in the Town of Mount Royal, a close-in railroad suburb of Montreal and know both McGill and the park somewhat.
    Message 1 of 11 , May 3, 2002
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      Louis-Luc Le Guerrier said:

      >How about Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhoods in Montreal?

      As it happens, I spent some time as a child in the Town of Mount Royal,
      a close-in railroad suburb of Montreal and know both McGill and the
      park somewhat. I'll comment some on this idea.

      >I've heard that presently, 60% of households live carfree. Most housing are
      >two or three story lined cottages, duplexes or triplexes. Many have access
      >to street in front of the residence and an alley behind. There is virtually
      >no private car parking, just on-street, and mostly reserved to residents.

      This is a basically sound beginning condition.

      >Depanneurs, drugstores, bookstores, hairdressers, and other facilities are
      >available within a few blocks.
      >
      >You can cycle in 10-15 minutes, or take an half-hour walk, or ride the metro
      >or bus to go downtown.

      This makes it much better.

      >It's not that far from Mont-Royal: the main park, hiking/picnic/nature
      >beauty in the city. Mont-Royal is also across downtown. For students, two
      >universities are across the Mont-Royal: McGill and Université de Montréal.
      >Car access is much controlled, to the latter, making it a large pleasant
      >campus to study and walk in.

      The park is the icing on the cake.

      >Given that:
      >- 60% of households live carfree, meaning a massive majority of individuals
      >do not rely on a car.
      >
      >- Our new Montreal mayor, Gérald Tremblay, is IN FAVOR of reducing car usage
      >in the city (I've heard him promoting transit, cycling, repulsing the threat
      >of right-turn-on-red put forward by our former provincial minister,...)
      >
      >- Our new provincial transport minister, Serge Ménard, also expresses
      >himself in favor of improving transit and reducing car usage.
      >
      >- Existing buildings provide few or no facilities to store a car. So not
      >much rebuilding would be needed.
      >
      >Given the above facts, that almost all car traffic is driven by
      >non-residents, and that residents have already complained about too fast
      >traffic, I think Plateau Mont-Royal should be a good place to start a
      >carfree neighborhood with people from all around the world.

      I agree that this could be an excellent starting point, especially as
      a large percentage of local residents would probably be strongly in
      favor and might work actively to implement the change. There is one
      significant problem that I see--Montreal has some of the worst winter
      weather of any city in North America. It's much colder than Toronto
      and gets a lot of snow. I know that some people manage to bike through
      this winter, but I doubt if there are very many people who are willing
      to do this. Those living in the area who are now dependent on cars for
      getting to work are going to resist this change strenuously. Solutions
      will have to be found for them, which will entail either providing good
      public transport alternatives or findng a parking place for them on
      the edge of the carfree area.

      >- It's not far from Mont-Royal. There are already many complaints from
      >residents to dismantle the arteries next to Mont-Royal park (Parc and Des
      >Pins avenues) which is an ugly beast from the 50s that drives heavy suburb
      >car traffic between Laval and downtown. People already pretend it's not a
      >safe place to walk and denounce the lack safe accesses to Mont-Royal.

      I seem to recall Parc as a six-lane thoroughfare that was the way
      we got to downtown when we drove (mostly we took the train). The
      problem with cutting this is that it's going to affect a lot of
      people who are just passing through on their way downtown, as
      Louis-Luc says. This is where the fight will come (and probably
      also with Des Pins, which I don't recall). It boils down to the
      right of inner city neighborhoods to be free of all traffic,
      including that of suburbanites. It will be a real struggle. One
      possible solution is to get people to park their cars farther out
      and take the train or metro on into town. Another approach would
      be a daytime access charge of $5-10 such as is being proposed by
      Ken Livingstone for London.

      >Maybe there are better neighborhoods elsewhere around the world, but I
      >thought it's worth mentioning Plateau Mont-Royal.

      So, what are you going to do next? As it happens, I think we have
      several people on this list from Montreal.

      Good luck!






      -- ### --

      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      mailbox@... Carfree.com
    • J.H. Crawford
      ... Ken Avidor has developed a plan for an isolated small city of about 30,000 people. There s a very small sketch of it in Carfree Cities. It s similar to the
      Message 2 of 11 , May 3, 2002
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        Rob Hines asked:

        >Is there a reference design for a single
        >district car-free city (of course inter-district metro would not exist
        >but interurban rail could be established to a nearby large urban centre)?

        Ken Avidor has developed a plan for an isolated small city of about
        30,000 people. There's a very small sketch of it in Carfree Cities.
        It's similar to the reference district in many ways, with, of course,
        the necessary transport changes, in this case a light-rail system that
        would connect with an Amtrak station.



        -- ### --

        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
        mailbox@... Carfree.com
      • powerwalker
        ... Yes. I know Town of Mount Royal, which is also a nice place to live carfree, but it s not the same as Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhoods. Anyways, both are
        Message 3 of 11 , May 5, 2002
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          > >How about Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhoods in Montreal?
          > As it happens, I spent some time as a child in the Town of Mount Royal,
          > a close-in railroad suburb of Montreal and know both McGill and the
          > park somewhat. I'll comment some on this idea.
          >
          Yes. I know Town of Mount Royal, which is also a nice
          place to live carfree, but it's not the same as
          Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhoods. Anyways, both are
          not that far from each other and neighbourhoods near
          the train station where you mention could also become carfree. I think it
          would be a bit harder though since it's less dense than Plateau.
          The best thing to do is to convert the easiest places first, and then expand
          outwards.

          > This is a basically sound beginning condition.
          >
          As it is presently, lineups build up at the front door of "Apartment For
          Rent" signs, and it's the worst place to choose if you are car-dependant.
          This means places where you can easily live carfree are in demand. Imagine
          what will happen should these neighbourhoods become carfree.

          > The park is the icing on the cake.
          >
          Yup. You don't have to drive our of the city to nature places to escape city
          noise; just climb up the mountain!


          > I agree that this could be an excellent starting point, especially as
          > a large percentage of local residents would probably be strongly in
          > favor and might work actively to implement the change. There is one
          > significant problem that I see--Montreal has some of the worst winter
          > weather of any city in North America. It's much colder than Toronto
          > and gets a lot of snow. I know that some people manage to bike through
          > this winter, but I doubt if there are very many people who are willing
          > to do this. Those living in the area who are now dependent on cars for
          > getting to work are going to resist this change strenuously. Solutions
          > will have to be found for them, which will entail either providing good
          > public transport alternatives or findng a parking place for them on
          > the edge of the carfree area.
          >
          Yes. Improving public transport is always the solution. We should implement
          more trams/buses to ensure a fast link to the metro, hence a fast link to
          the underground network. Once you enter the metro, you don't face bad
          weather until you pop out at your destination station. Or better, if your
          workplace or school is linked to the Underground Network, then you don't see
          bad weather until you're back out of the metro after the day.

          A solution would be to put more year-round bike parking (for hard core
          cyclists), and locker facilities for skis (or skates, scooters...) at the
          concerned metro stations. Once cars are gone, snow could be removed on only
          half of the street (reduce snow removal costs) to allow wheeled devices to
          travel and easy walking, and the other half could keep its natural snow
          cover to allow skiing (faster than walking) as a transportation mode.

          Another solution could be to build a couple more metro stations, and/or
          extending the underground tentacles of existing ones. The ones near Plateau
          only have one or two exits, so they could be improved with several tunnels
          running several blocks, like the ones downtown, hence reducing necessary
          outdoor walking.

          If we can get people to walk no more than 5 minutes outdoor (at worst 10?)
          to the nearest metro entrance, then the problem would be somewhat handled.

          And turn another ugly wide fast artery in the periphery into a parking strip
          for residents and visitors?

          > I seem to recall Parc as a six-lane thoroughfare that was the way
          > we got to downtown when we drove (mostly we took the train). The
          > problem with cutting this is that it's going to affect a lot of
          > people who are just passing through on their way downtown, as
          > Louis-Luc says. This is where the fight will come (and probably
          > also with Des Pins, which I don't recall). It boils down to the
          > right of inner city neighborhoods to be free of all traffic,
          > including that of suburbanites. It will be a real struggle. One
          > possible solution is to get people to park their cars farther out
          > and take the train or metro on into town. Another approach would
          > be a daytime access charge of $5-10 such as is being proposed by
          > Ken Livingstone for London.
          >
          Good ideas. Maybe, in each direction, one lane for a train, one for cars
          with the access charge, and one
          for cycling and/or buses...

          > >Maybe there are better neighborhoods elsewhere around the world, but I
          > >thought it's worth mentioning Plateau Mont-Royal.
          >
          > So, what are you going to do next? As it happens, I think we have
          > several people on this list from Montreal.
          >
          > Good luck!
          >
          Since our mayor showed up in favor of reducing car use, Montrealers on this
          list could gather and present such a project to him and brainstorm about
          solutions.
          Or better: inform the residents about this possibility.


          Louis-Luc
        • J.H. Crawford
          ... Sorry, I didn t mean to nominate Town of Mount Royal for carfree status--the plateau sounds much better (although TMR is a reasonable candidate for the
          Message 4 of 11 , May 5, 2002
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            Louis-Luc replied:

            >Yes. I know Town of Mount Royal, which is also a nice
            >place to live carfree, but it's not the same as
            >Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhoods. Anyways, both are
            >not that far from each other and neighbourhoods near
            >the train station where you mention could also become carfree. I think it
            >would be a bit harder though since it's less dense than Plateau.
            >The best thing to do is to convert the easiest places first, and then expand
            >outwards.

            Sorry, I didn't mean to nominate Town of Mount Royal for carfree
            status--the plateau sounds much better (although TMR is a reasonable
            candidate for the future).

            >As it is presently, lineups build up at the front door of "Apartment For
            >Rent" signs, and it's the worst place to choose if you are car-dependant.
            >This means places where you can easily live carfree are in demand. Imagine
            >what will happen should these neighbourhoods become carfree.

            If the change become permanent, it would probably be possible to
            build new housing in the middle of the streets.

            >> Those living in the area who are now dependent on cars for
            >> getting to work are going to resist this change strenuously. Solutions
            >> will have to be found for them, which will entail either providing good
            >> public transport alternatives or findng a parking place for them on
            >> the edge of the carfree area.
            >>
            >Yes. Improving public transport is always the solution. We should implement
            >more trams/buses to ensure a fast link to the metro, hence a fast link to
            >the underground network. Once you enter the metro, you don't face bad
            >weather until you pop out at your destination station. Or better, if your
            >workplace or school is linked to the Underground Network, then you don't see
            >bad weather until you're back out of the metro after the day.

            Can you post a map of the area, with existing metro and tram (?) routes,
            as well as the distance and direction to the park & downtown?

            >A solution would be to put more year-round bike parking (for hard core
            >cyclists), and locker facilities for skis (or skates, scooters...) at the
            >concerned metro stations. Once cars are gone, snow could be removed on only
            >half of the street (reduce snow removal costs) to allow wheeled devices to
            >travel and easy walking, and the other half could keep its natural snow
            >cover to allow skiing (faster than walking) as a transportation mode.

            There's a problem where the streets cross, in that a 3-4 meter wide
            strip of bare asphalt would have to be crossed on skis ever block.
            But it's a reasonable suggestion, I think. Perhaps short strips of
            Astroturf would allow both skiers and pedestrians to cross.

            >Another solution could be to build a couple more metro stations, and/or
            >extending the underground tentacles of existing ones. The ones near Plateau
            >only have one or two exits, so they could be improved with several tunnels
            >running several blocks, like the ones downtown, hence reducing necessary
            >outdoor walking.

            Perhaps, although these tunnels, if they are to be equipped with stores,
            require a lot of foot traffic to support. I'm not saying that enough
            foot traffic wouldn't be available, but it has to be considered.

            >If we can get people to walk no more than 5 minutes outdoor (at worst 10?)
            >to the nearest metro entrance, then the problem would be somewhat handled.

            What I don't recall from my time in Montreal is how windy it is in
            the depths of the winter. I seem to recall that temperatures of
            -20 C are common and that it gets even colder. If it's windy, then
            walking 10 minutes or more outdoors can really be a problem.

            >And turn another ugly wide fast artery in the periphery into a parking strip
            >for residents and visitors?

            This is a really tough issue, in fact. It will be almost impossible
            to see the carfree plan if you FORCE everybody to give up the car.
            I think some provision will have to be made for residents to own
            cars and keep them at the edge of the carfree area. This could bd
            done in a way that made it very expensive, so as to discourage that
            and maybe encourge a modest amount of carsharing, but I don't see
            it as being possible any other way. This doesn't necessarily mean
            more street traffic and parking in the surrounding areas than now
            exists. If you give residents in the adjacent areas exclusive
            rights to use available street parking (by way of stickers), and
            provide only multi-level underground garages (with steep rental
            rates) for residents of the carfree area, then you've pretty well
            handled the problem. Traffic should be down, not up, since there
            will be fewer people driving to and from the area than now.

            >Good ideas. Maybe, in each direction, one lane for a train, one for cars
            >with the access charge, and one
            >for cycling and/or buses...

            The issue of commuters to downtown using Parc will require very
            serious attention. I don't know that we have a solution yet.

            >Since our mayor showed up in favor of reducing car use, Montrealers on this
            >list could gather and present such a project to him and brainstorm about
            >solutions.
            >Or better: inform the residents about this possibility.

            Start with local groups, I think. Keep the mayor's office informed
            as soon as you have 100 members or so, but don't look for much
            help from there until the movement is large (although you might
            be pleasantly surprised).

            Regards,



            -- ### --

            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            mailbox@... Carfree.com
          • powerwalker
            ... I ll see what I can find. Grossly, it s between metro stations Berri-UQAM and Jean-Talon on the Orange line. The STM (Montreal Transport Society) site is
            Message 5 of 11 , May 6, 2002
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              >
              > >> Those living in the area who are now dependent on cars for
              > >> getting to work are going to resist this change strenuously. Solutions
              > >> will have to be found for them, which will entail either providing good
              > >> public transport alternatives or findng a parking place for them on
              > >> the edge of the carfree area.
              > >>
              > >Yes. Improving public transport is always the solution. We
              > should implement
              > >more trams/buses to ensure a fast link to the metro, hence a fast link to
              > >the underground network. Once you enter the metro, you don't face bad
              > >weather until you pop out at your destination station. Or better, if your
              > >workplace or school is linked to the Underground Network, then
              > you don't see
              > >bad weather until you're back out of the metro after the day.
              >
              > Can you post a map of the area, with existing metro and tram (?) routes,
              > as well as the distance and direction to the park & downtown?
              I'll see what I can find. Grossly, it's between metro
              stations Berri-UQAM and Jean-Talon on the Orange line.
              The STM (Montreal Transport Society) site is www.stm.info. The suburban
              train Montreal/Deux-Montagnes (the one that stops in TMR) passes under the
              Mount-Royal in a tunnel. I imagine adding a station in the tunnel, with a
              stairway up into the park! That would make a link from Underground downtown
              into the nature...

              >
              > >A solution would be to put more year-round bike parking (for hard core
              > >cyclists), and locker facilities for skis (or skates,
              > scooters...) at the
              > >concerned metro stations. Once cars are gone, snow could be
              > removed on only
              > >half of the street (reduce snow removal costs) to allow wheeled
              > devices to
              > >travel and easy walking, and the other half could keep its natural snow
              > >cover to allow skiing (faster than walking) as a transportation mode.
              >
              > There's a problem where the streets cross, in that a 3-4 meter wide
              > strip of bare asphalt would have to be crossed on skis ever block.
              > But it's a reasonable suggestion, I think. Perhaps short strips of
              > Astroturf would allow both skiers and pedestrians to cross.
              >

              > >Another solution could be to build a couple more metro stations, and/or
              > >extending the underground tentacles of existing ones. The ones
              > near Plateau
              > >only have one or two exits, so they could be improved with
              > several tunnels
              > >running several blocks, like the ones downtown, hence reducing necessary
              > >outdoor walking.
              >
              > Perhaps, although these tunnels, if they are to be equipped with stores,
              > require a lot of foot traffic to support. I'm not saying that enough
              > foot traffic wouldn't be available, but it has to be considered.
              Ah. I thought more about bare tunnels first, then with time spaces along
              could be rented for stores where there is enough foot traffic. Two sources
              of revenus (with taxes) to the city Council: one at surface, and one
              underground!

              I know some businesses opened up in some downtown tunnels which were bare
              several years ago. Downtown, some shops stay a year or two, they move
              elsewhere and leave the place for a new one, etc....


              >
              > >If we can get people to walk no more than 5 minutes outdoor (at
              > worst 10?)
              > >to the nearest metro entrance, then the problem would be
              > somewhat handled.
              >
              > What I don't recall from my time in Montreal is how windy it is in
              > the depths of the winter. I seem to recall that temperatures of
              > -20 C are common and that it gets even colder. If it's windy, then
              > walking 10 minutes or more outdoors can really be a problem.
              >
              Yes, it often windy, sometimes the temperature gets to -20 or colder, but
              the occurence have been more scarce in the past few years. 10 minutes is my
              walk for home to train, but I know not everyone is willing to do this in bad
              weather. So we still have the tram/bus solution for these cases, with heated
              shelters?

              > >And turn another ugly wide fast artery in the periphery into a
              > parking strip
              > >for residents and visitors?
              >
              > This is a really tough issue, in fact. It will be almost impossible
              > to see the carfree plan if you FORCE everybody to give up the car.
              No. I meant there car parking for residents and visitors. I envisioned
              turning a 6-fast-lane artery into, maybe 1 lane in each direction, and
              perpendicular parkings on each side (twice more parking than "standard"
              parallel street parking). I don't know if it's a good idea, as there might
              be some conflicts between traffic on the lane and people getting in or out a
              parking space.

              > I think some provision will have to be made for residents to own
              > cars and keep them at the edge of the carfree area.
              The above facility would be at the edge, or between two major carfree
              neighborhoods.

              This could bd
              > done in a way that made it very expensive, so as to discourage that
              > and maybe encourge a modest amount of carsharing, but I don't see
              > it as being possible any other way. This doesn't necessarily mean
              > more street traffic and parking in the surrounding areas than now
              > exists. If you give residents in the adjacent areas exclusive
              > rights to use available street parking (by way of stickers), and
              > provide only multi-level underground garages (with steep rental
              > rates) for residents of the carfree area, then you've pretty well
              > handled the problem. Traffic should be down, not up, since there
              > will be fewer people driving to and from the area than now.

              >
              > >Good ideas. Maybe, in each direction, one lane for a train, one for cars
              > >with the access charge, and one
              > >for cycling and/or buses...
              >
              > The issue of commuters to downtown using Parc will require very
              > serious attention. I don't know that we have a solution yet.
              I know this one is difficult, but if some places become totally carfree next
              to it, then people will see the contrast in environment. Thus more residents
              will require reduction in the traffic flow on Parc Avenue.

              Louis-Luc
              >
              > >Since our mayor showed up in favor of reducing car use,
              > Montrealers on this
              > >list could gather and present such a project to him and brainstorm about
              > >solutions.
              > >Or better: inform the residents about this possibility.
              >
              > Start with local groups, I think. Keep the mayor's office informed
              > as soon as you have 100 members or so, but don't look for much
              > help from there until the movement is large (although you might
              > be pleasantly surprised).
              >
              > Regards,
              >
              >
              >
            • J.H. Crawford
              Louis-Luc replied: From the map links you provided, it s evident that this is a larger area than I had realized--it encompasses half a dozen metro stops. ...
              Message 6 of 11 , May 7, 2002
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                Louis-Luc replied:

                From the map links you provided, it's evident that this is a larger
                area than I had realized--it encompasses half a dozen metro stops.

                >> Perhaps, although these tunnels, if they are to be equipped with stores,
                >> require a lot of foot traffic to support. I'm not saying that enough
                >> foot traffic wouldn't be available, but it has to be considered.
                >Ah. I thought more about bare tunnels first, then with time spaces along
                >could be rented for stores where there is enough foot traffic. Two sources
                >of revenus (with taxes) to the city Council: one at surface, and one
                >underground!

                Problem is you have to dig the tunnels on the basis of stores or no stores.

                >Yes, it often windy, sometimes the temperature gets to -20 or colder, but
                >the occurence have been more scarce in the past few years. 10 minutes is my
                >walk for home to train, but I know not everyone is willing to do this in bad
                >weather. So we still have the tram/bus solution for these cases, with heated
                >shelters?

                It would depend on circumstances. Perhaps yes.

                >> This is a really tough issue, in fact. It will be almost impossible
                >> to see the carfree plan if you FORCE everybody to give up the car.

                >No. I meant there car parking for residents and visitors. I envisioned
                >turning a 6-fast-lane artery into, maybe 1 lane in each direction, and
                >perpendicular parkings on each side (twice more parking than "standard"
                >parallel street parking). I don't know if it's a good idea, as there might
                >be some conflicts between traffic on the lane and people getting in or out a
                >parking space.

                Angle parking is the worst for cyclists, as they are invisible to
                cars backing out.




                -- ### --

                J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                mailbox@... Carfree.com
              • Rob Hines
                ... Commuters from Laval are going to have to be forced on mass transit. I think that is the only viable solution. They can t be kept from traveling downtown
                Message 7 of 11 , May 7, 2002
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                  >> No. I meant there car parking for residents and visitors. I envisioned
                  >> turning a 6-fast-lane artery into, maybe 1 lane in each direction, and
                  >> perpendicular parkings on each side (twice more parking than "standard"
                  >> parallel street parking). I don't know if it's a good idea, as there
                  >> might
                  >> be some conflicts between traffic on the lane and people getting in or
                  >> out a
                  >> parking space.

                  Commuters from Laval are going to have to be forced on mass transit. I
                  think that is the only viable solution. They can't be kept from
                  traveling downtown and moving traffic to another artery will only move
                  the problem.
                • Bijan Soleymani
                  ... No matter how bad the weather gets in montreal I can testify from personal experience (walking around) that it is technically possible to walk about 30-40
                  Message 8 of 11 , Oct 26, 2003
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                    "powerwalker" <exqmtl@...> writes:

                    >> What I don't recall from my time in Montreal is how windy it is in
                    >> the depths of the winter. I seem to recall that temperatures of
                    >> -20 C are common and that it gets even colder. If it's windy, then
                    >> walking 10 minutes or more outdoors can really be a problem.
                    >>
                    > Yes, it often windy, sometimes the temperature gets to -20 or colder, but
                    > the occurence have been more scarce in the past few years. 10 minutes is my
                    > walk for home to train, but I know not everyone is willing to do this in bad
                    > weather. So we still have the tram/bus solution for these cases, with heated
                    > shelters?

                    No matter how bad the weather gets in montreal I can testify from
                    personal experience (walking around) that it is technically possible
                    to walk about 30-40 minutes =~ 3kms. Now I don't expect everyone to do
                    something like this, but that's what is possible.

                    On a side note. I don't know many people who own dogs, but I think
                    they walk them year-round regardless of the weather (or at least they
                    do if they care about their dog).

                    Bijan
                    --
                    Bijan Soleymani <bijan@...>
                    http://www.crasseux.com
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