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Re: [carfree_cities] canada.com Story

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  • Mike Harrington
    What the article doesn t mention is that the large Montréal subway system makes the underground city possible. The development of the métro (subway) has
    Message 1 of 15 , May 5, 2003
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      What the article doesn't mention is that the large Montréal subway system
      makes the underground city possible. The development of the métro (subway)
      has coincided with that of the city. Montrealers may need to correct me,
      but I think the subterranean development started there with the construction
      of Place Ville Marie in 1964 and the first métro train in 1966. But then,
      the Gazette is a Montréal newspaper, and most people reading it would know
      that. For people that have never been there, there is a vast array of
      underground stores, restaurants, hotels, and offices interconnected with a
      maze of corridors which lead to several long métro lines and the two
      downtown railway stations. There is a huge amount of foot traffic and I'd
      venture to say that Montrealers get more exercise than the typical person in
      North America.

      Once I was there in late January 1976. It was down to minus 40­­° (the same
      temperature for either celsius or fahrenheit), and, although it hasn't
      gotten that cold in Montréal lately, it would seem pretty frigid during
      winter for someone from Chicago, let alone Florida. Personally, I think the
      frigid cold isn't bad, as long as you're prepared to spend money on good
      winter clothing like people everywhere in the province of Québec do. If you
      stay in a hotel or an apartment connected to this enormous underground
      pedestrian network, it is possible to walk and visit hundreds of locations
      without putting on a coat or boots or a raincoat, because you never need to
      go to street level.

      The public transit operator, la Société de Transport de la Communauté
      Urbaine de Montréal, has an excellent Acrobat map giving some idea of the
      scope of what is without a doubt one of the most fascinating urban complex
      on the planet:

      http://www.stcum.qc.ca/metro/mtl-sout.pdf


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <christophermiller@...>
      To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 2:11 PM
      Subject: [carfree_cities] canada.com Story


      > Dear carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com,
      >
      > Your friend christophermiller@... thought you might be interested in
      this canada.com story:
      >
      > "Everything's looking up underground"
      >
      >
      http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/story.asp?id=D86A4649-1E05-49
      B6-9483-A536665A861A
      >
      > A short article in today's Montreal Gazette on Montreal's still expanding
      "indoor/underground city".
      >
      > URL:
      >
      http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/story.asp?id=D86A4649-1E05-49
      B6-9483-A536665A861A
      >
      > Regards to all,
      >
      > Chris Miller
      >
      > _______________________________________
      > This is a free service courtesy of
      > canada.com (http://www.canada.com)
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
      carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
      > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
      >
    • Louis-Luc
      ... I m sure they do! Without traffic bugging you, you certainly can exercise and enjoy the beauty of life as you zip through the maze! This is exactly my
      Message 2 of 15 , May 5, 2003
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        > What the article doesn't mention is that the large Montréal subway system
        > makes the underground city possible. The development of the
        > métro (subway)
        > has coincided with that of the city. Montrealers may need to correct me,
        > but I think the subterranean development started there with the
        > construction
        > of Place Ville Marie in 1964 and the first métro train in 1966. But then,
        > the Gazette is a Montréal newspaper, and most people reading it would know
        > that. For people that have never been there, there is a vast array of
        > underground stores, restaurants, hotels, and offices interconnected with a
        > maze of corridors which lead to several long métro lines and the two
        > downtown railway stations. There is a huge amount of foot traffic and I'd
        > venture to say that Montrealers get more exercise than the
        > typical person in
        > North America.
        I'm sure they do! Without traffic bugging you, you
        certainly can exercise and enjoy the beauty of life
        as you zip through the maze!

        This is exactly my domain: my workplace is part of
        the underground city, and I do a lot of shopping, and
        entertaining there, before peacefully walking to
        the train station. So I can claim working 2 or 3 weeks
        (maybe more) in Montréal, without having to see a single of its
        traffic streets. The Underground city is the feature that keeps me in or
        around Montreal.

        Someday, when my bandwidth becomes large enough to
        put big files, and when I have a digital video camera, I thought of filming
        my daily walkthrough and let netters enjoy the virtual tour, imagining
        they're there and trying to find their way...

        We don't forget that the goal is still to reach that quality of life on the
        ground level, with trees and birds, so I continue to hope parts of Montreal
        streets will get rid of car nuisance, like we're planning to do on
        Mont-Royal avenue.

        >
        > Once I was there in late January 1976. It was down to minus
        > 40­­° (the same
        > temperature for either celsius or fahrenheit), and, although it hasn't
        > gotten that cold in Montréal lately, it would seem pretty frigid during
        > winter for someone from Chicago, let alone Florida. Personally,
        > I think the
        > frigid cold isn't bad, as long as you're prepared to spend money on good
        > winter clothing like people everywhere in the province of Québec
        > do. If you
        > stay in a hotel or an apartment connected to this enormous underground
        > pedestrian network, it is possible to walk and visit hundreds of locations
        > without putting on a coat or boots or a raincoat, because you
        > never need to
        > go to street level.
        Absolutely! I don't grab my coat when I hit the road on the midday walk,
        even though it's freezing like hell. We've had a particularly cold winter,
        and the most I've had to wear to be comfortable was 2 cotton sweaters over
        my shirt. Usually it's just one, or none. And if it's +40 degrees in the
        summer, I'm as comfortable as in a swimming pool, because there is air
        conditioning in most areas.

        >
        > The public transit operator, la Société de Transport de la Communauté
        > Urbaine de Montréal, has an excellent Acrobat map giving some idea of the
        > scope of what is without a doubt one of the most fascinating urban complex
        > on the planet:
        >
        > http://www.stcum.qc.ca/metro/mtl-sout.pdf
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: <christophermiller@...>
        > To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 2:11 PM
        > Subject: [carfree_cities] canada.com Story
        >
        >
        > > Dear carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com,
        > >
        > > Your friend christophermiller@... thought you might be interested in
        > this canada.com story:
        > >
        > > "Everything's looking up underground"
        > >
        > >
        > http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/story.asp?id=D86A46
        49-1E05-49
        B6-9483-A536665A861A
        >
        > A short article in today's Montreal Gazette on Montreal's still expanding
        "indoor/underground city".
        >
        > URL:
        >
        http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/story.asp?id=D86A4649-1E05-49
        B6-9483-A536665A861A
        >
        > Regards to all,
        >
        > Chris Miller
        >
        > _______________________________________
        > This is a free service courtesy of
        > canada.com (http://www.canada.com)
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
        > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >


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      • Mike Harrington
        I think a video of the Montréal pedestrian underground would require many hours of challenging and difficult photography, but it could be very revealing to
        Message 3 of 15 , May 6, 2003
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          I think a video of the Montréal pedestrian underground would require many
          hours of challenging and difficult photography, but it could be very
          revealing to the rest of the world how well Montrealers, the overwhelming
          majority of whose ancestors came from the more balmy when not downright hot
          France, have adapted to their nordic environment. A video, properly done,
          could translate into a TV presentation of several hours. Included should be
          the pedestrian corridors themselves, the cavernous underground squares, and
          the numerous diversions along the way: Parisian-style subways, theaters,
          auditoriums, stores, restaurants, and hotels. Some of the adjoining
          buildings are architectural masterpieces, particularly the gilded age
          Windsor Train Station.

          Montréal is one of the few places in North America where there is an
          extensive car-free culture.

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Louis-Luc" <exqmtl@...>
          To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 9:03 PM
          Subject: RE: [carfree_cities] canada.com Story


          > > What the article doesn't mention is that the large Montréal subway
          system
          > > makes the underground city possible. The development of the
          > > métro (subway)
          > > has coincided with that of the city. Montrealers may need to correct
          me,
          > > but I think the subterranean development started there with the
          > > construction
          > > of Place Ville Marie in 1964 and the first métro train in 1966. But
          then,
          > > the Gazette is a Montréal newspaper, and most people reading it would
          know
          > > that. For people that have never been there, there is a vast array of
          > > underground stores, restaurants, hotels, and offices interconnected with
          a
          > > maze of corridors which lead to several long métro lines and the two
          > > downtown railway stations. There is a huge amount of foot traffic and
          I'd
          > > venture to say that Montrealers get more exercise than the
          > > typical person in
          > > North America.
          > I'm sure they do! Without traffic bugging you, you
          > certainly can exercise and enjoy the beauty of life
          > as you zip through the maze!
          >
          > This is exactly my domain: my workplace is part of
          > the underground city, and I do a lot of shopping, and
          > entertaining there, before peacefully walking to
          > the train station. So I can claim working 2 or 3 weeks
          > (maybe more) in Montréal, without having to see a single of its
          > traffic streets. The Underground city is the feature that keeps me in or
          > around Montreal.
          >
          > Someday, when my bandwidth becomes large enough to
          > put big files, and when I have a digital video camera, I thought of
          filming
          > my daily walkthrough and let netters enjoy the virtual tour, imagining
          > they're there and trying to find their way...
          >
          > We don't forget that the goal is still to reach that quality of life on
          the
          > ground level, with trees and birds, so I continue to hope parts of
          Montreal
          > streets will get rid of car nuisance, like we're planning to do on
          > Mont-Royal avenue.
          >
          > >
          > > Once I was there in late January 1976. It was down to minus
          > > 40­­° (the same
          > > temperature for either celsius or fahrenheit), and, although it hasn't
          > > gotten that cold in Montréal lately, it would seem pretty frigid during
          > > winter for someone from Chicago, let alone Florida. Personally,
          > > I think the
          > > frigid cold isn't bad, as long as you're prepared to spend money on good
          > > winter clothing like people everywhere in the province of Québec
          > > do. If you
          > > stay in a hotel or an apartment connected to this enormous underground
          > > pedestrian network, it is possible to walk and visit hundreds of
          locations
          > > without putting on a coat or boots or a raincoat, because you
          > > never need to
          > > go to street level.
          > Absolutely! I don't grab my coat when I hit the road on the midday walk,
          > even though it's freezing like hell. We've had a particularly cold winter,
          > and the most I've had to wear to be comfortable was 2 cotton sweaters over
          > my shirt. Usually it's just one, or none. And if it's +40 degrees in the
          > summer, I'm as comfortable as in a swimming pool, because there is air
          > conditioning in most areas.
          >
          > >
          > > The public transit operator, la Société de Transport de la Communauté
          > > Urbaine de Montréal, has an excellent Acrobat map giving some idea of
          the
          > > scope of what is without a doubt one of the most fascinating urban
          complex
          > > on the planet:
          > >
          > > http://www.stcum.qc.ca/metro/mtl-sout.pdf
          > >
          > >
          > > ----- Original Message -----
          > > From: <christophermiller@...>
          > > To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
          > > Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 2:11 PM
          > > Subject: [carfree_cities] canada.com Story
          > >
          > >
          > > > Dear carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com,
          > > >
          > > > Your friend christophermiller@... thought you might be interested
          in
          > > this canada.com story:
          > > >
          > > > "Everything's looking up underground"
          > > >
          > > >
          > > http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/story.asp?id=D86A46
          > 49-1E05-49
          > B6-9483-A536665A861A
          > >
          > > A short article in today's Montreal Gazette on Montreal's still
          expanding
          > "indoor/underground city".
          > >
          > > URL:
          > >
          >
          http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/story.asp?id=D86A4649-1E05-49
          > B6-9483-A536665A861A
          > >
          > > Regards to all,
          > >
          > > Chris Miller
          > >
          > > _______________________________________
          > > This is a free service courtesy of
          > > canada.com (http://www.canada.com)
          > >
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          > >
          > > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
          > > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
          > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
          > > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
          > >
          > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
          http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
          > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
          > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
          > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >
          > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
          > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
          carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
          > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >
        • Christopher Miller
          Many good points, Mike; a couple of my comments follow... ... Spot on about the history; and yes, as a Montrealer, I forgot that not everyone is in on the
          Message 4 of 15 , May 6, 2003
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            Many good points, Mike; a couple of my comments follow...

            On Monday, May 5, 2003, at 06:30 pm, Mike Harrington wrote:

            > What the article doesn't mention is that the large Montréal subway
            > system
            > makes the underground city possible. The development of the métro
            > (subway)
            > has coincided with that of the city. Montrealers may need to correct
            > me,
            > but I think the subterranean development started there with the
            > construction
            > of Place Ville Marie in 1964 and the first métro train in 1966. But
            > then,
            > the Gazette is a Montréal newspaper, and most people reading it would
            > know
            > that.

            Spot on about the history; and yes, as a Montrealer, I forgot that not
            everyone is in on the Metro connection. In fact, there are a number of
            segments in the underground/indoor city that are unconnected except by
            the Metro lines themselves. Another point: the underground city does
            have a downside, namely that much of the space that makes it up is
            private property in commercial buildings and many of these areas
            actually close late in the evening, unlike the regular streets.

            > (...) There is a huge amount of foot traffic and I'd
            > venture to say that Montrealers get more exercise than the typical
            > person in
            > North America.

            In fact, the downtown area has the highest density of people walking to
            work, according to statistics published a few years ago.

            > (...) The public transit operator, la Société de Transport de la
            > Communauté
            > Urbaine de Montréal, has an excellent Acrobat map giving some idea of
            > the
            > scope of what is without a doubt one of the most fascinating urban
            > complex
            > on the planet:
            >
            > http://www.stcum.qc.ca/metro/mtl-sout.pdf

            I'm glad the link still works; since amalgamation at the beginning of
            the year, the Montreal Urban Community (a couple of dozen separate
            municipalities)
            has become an enlarged City of Montreal. The old MUCTC is now (as in
            the 1960s) the Montreal Transportation Commission/Société des
            tronsports de Montréal, and their new site is at http://www.stm.info .

            Chris Miller

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Louis-Luc
            ... A good example is Place Alexis-Nihon, at Atwater station, 2 stops west from the main city. This is a huge shopping mall, with everything you find in the
            Message 5 of 15 , May 6, 2003
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              >
              > Many good points, Mike; a couple of my comments follow...
              >
              > On Monday, May 5, 2003, at 06:30 pm, Mike Harrington wrote:
              >
              > > What the article doesn't mention is that the large Montréal subway
              > > system
              > > makes the underground city possible. The development of the métro
              > > (subway)
              > > has coincided with that of the city. Montrealers may need to correct
              > > me,
              > > but I think the subterranean development started there with the
              > > construction
              > > of Place Ville Marie in 1964 and the first métro train in 1966. But
              > > then,
              > > the Gazette is a Montréal newspaper, and most people reading it would
              > > know
              > > that.
              >
              > Spot on about the history; and yes, as a Montrealer, I forgot that not
              > everyone is in on the Metro connection. In fact, there are a number of
              > segments in the underground/indoor city that are unconnected except by
              > the Metro lines themselves.
              A good example is Place Alexis-Nihon, at Atwater station, 2 stops west from
              the main city. This is a huge shopping mall, with everything you find in the
              typical North-American mall, except you access it by the metro.
              There is also Berri-UQAM station, 2 stops east from
              the main city, where 3 of the 4 lines meet, which
              also has some interesting places like the
              Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) main campus,
              Place Dupuis (formerly the large surface all-purpose
              store Dupuis Frères, now replaced with offices, stores
              and restaurants), and the upcoming huge library, Grande Bibliothèque du
              Québec, which is under construction.
              Even though this section is not connected to the main core, two metro lines
              link them, so if one is temporarily stopped, one can use the other.



              Another point: the underground city does
              > have a downside, namely that much of the space that makes it up is
              > private property in commercial buildings and many of these areas
              > actually close late in the evening, unlike the regular streets.
              That's the bad point, indeed. I live in suburb now, so I never walk there
              after the last train. I imagine late at night, they must provide you with a
              path to walk to the metro, until metro closes.

              The next step is to ask the City if they could buy the private corridors,
              and make them as open as streets. If we think about it carefully, many
              outdoor lands owners who build many buildings "gave literally away" the
              space for the new street to the city, which paved it over for cars. I think
              it's time to do the same for walking.

              Let's take an alley, behind many house backyards. It's like a small street,
              but private. The City has no right to manage it. If cars are allowed (some
              owners don't want cars in, but children in this refuge), then the
              entire responsibility is given to car owner. In the winter, it's not
              guaranteed they can drive through, unless all other residents take off the
              snow. If one wants to keep the snow, then car owners certainly can't do
              anything (or maybe plow it themselves....)
              >
              > > (...) There is a huge amount of foot traffic and I'd
              > > venture to say that Montrealers get more exercise than the typical
              > > person in
              > > North America.
              >
              > In fact, the downtown area has the highest density of people walking to
              > work, according to statistics published a few years ago.
              Not surprising at all. With such a life quality, who
              wouldn't walk?

              Louis-Luc
            • Louis-Luc
              Hi, again. Today, I happened to walk towards gap between Square Victoria metro and Palais des Congrès, and I happily noticed the new walkway was open! I
              Message 6 of 15 , May 7, 2003
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                Hi, again.

                Today, I happened to walk towards gap between Square
                Victoria metro and Palais des Congrès, and I happily
                noticed the new walkway was open! I slowly started to
                stroll in to explore the new environment, and see where I would get. This
                place is really futurist. Beautiful neon lights are lighting the tall walls
                from the bottom, and these walls are made of thick glass panels.
                The brand new floors are all shiny, and the corridor is wide, so it can
                accomodate a good load of traffic.
                I ended up passing a door and recognizing the Palais des Congrès floor by
                the tile pattern. I arrived at the
                escalator which was not operating, so I climbed up like
                normal stairs. On the ground level I surprisingly
                saw the barrier poles were still blocking the way. I
                passed in the tiny gap next to the wall, and the guard came to me and said I
                was not allowed to go where I came from! He couldn't see me go in, no matter
                how well he keeps an eye on the prohibited area :-)

                I told him I went all the way from Square-Victoria metro and ended up there,
                and the passage was open.
                He told me they were making audio testings for the
                alarm systems, and the passageway would open in 2 to
                3 weeks. I told him the place is very beautiful and
                futurist. I continued my way to the Complexe Desjardins, thinking that May
                7, 2003 is the very first day I make the link between two formerly unlinked
                major sections of the Underground City.

                I'll wait for the delay to elapse before returning, but if a Montrealer from
                our forum want to give it the try before the official opening, I guess it
                would be cool.
                Of course, take the passage from Square-Victoria metro, to Palais des
                Congrès (and not the other way around), and tell us what the guard says. You
                just need to say you came from the metro and didn't know...

                The guards and other staff will just notice that the
                passageway system is awaited, and is already popular
                even before the official launch.

                Louis-Luc
              • m82a1_dawson@hotmail.com
                Dear T_2000@yahoogroups.com, carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, montrain@lists.ca, Your friend m82a1_dawson@hotmail.com thought you might be interested in this
                Message 7 of 15 , Mar 16 5:52 AM
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                  Dear T_2000@yahoogroups.com, carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, montrain@...,

                  Your friend m82a1_dawson@... thought you might be interested in this canada.com story:

                  "Streetcar named the future"

                  http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/story.asp?id=249AE7C3-5E1F-4424-A98A-C87D30B8E0E3

                  Streetcar named the future
                  Montreal lightrail meeting at 4505 Park Avenue tonight (March 16, 19:00). ASD

                  _______________________________________
                  This is a free service courtesy of
                  canada.com (http://www.canada.com)


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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