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Commuting in Montreal

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  • Christopher Miller
    Here s an addendum to my last message. I think I drifted slightly off point in my reply. Originally, Joel Crawford had pointed out that 29 minutes spent
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 24, 2004
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      Here's an addendum to my last message.

      I think I drifted slightly off point in my reply. Originally, Joel
      Crawford had pointed out that 29 minutes spent waiting for a bus can
      seem like an eternity in bad weather. My post was prompted by Bijan
      Soleymani's response that a 30 minute walk in bad weather can
      nonetheless be pleasant in Montreal. The point I had intended to make
      was that difference is between (a) walking in a welcoming environment
      and (b) being stranded at a bus shelter for half an hour, which often
      happened to me when I lived in Longueuil on the South Shore: this was a
      major factor that prompted me to move back onto the island to the
      older, inner area of town, where walking for a half hour (even an
      hour), no matter what the weather, can be an attractive option.

      Here's how to find pdf maps showing densities for different modes of
      commuting for the Montreal urban area in 1996. Follow this link:

      http://www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/script/php/frame.php?target=http://
      www.ville.montreal.qc.ca/urb_demo/atlas/atlas1.htm

      There is a short summary text (in French) describing overall commuting
      patterns and a cautionary note that the census results only indicate
      the *most important* means (more than one could be used for a given
      trip) used to commute reported by those answering the census
      questionnaire. After this, there are three headings with their own
      summaries: "Transport en commun" (Public transit), "Voiture" (Car) and
      "À pied" (By foot). Clicking on these automatically downloads a
      detailed PDF map showing density of use for the relevant commuting
      choice, over the Greater Montreal urban area.

      A final note: I notice that the census maps don't report any data on
      commuting by bike or other means. While Montreal by no means equals
      Amsterdam or other Dutch cities as a city of cyclists, bike commuting
      (less so in the winter) seems to be much more a part of life than in
      other North American cities I have lived in, such as Albuquerque,
      Washington DC or Winnipeg. Especially in downtown Montreal, enough
      people bike around that it is often difficult to find a hitching post
      to lock your bike to, and many other (usually younger) people go around
      their business on inline skates, push scooters or skateboards. Again, I
      think the reason is density: these modes of transport are at their most
      practical and attractive probably within a half hour's commute or so,
      and would not be used to commute in from the suburbs...

      Chris Miller
      Washington DC
    • Bijan Soleymani
      ... I find that walking half an hour or an hour is always more attaractive than taking a bus ride. The problem with the suburbs is not that the walk is
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 25, 2004
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        Christopher Miller <christophermiller@...> writes:

        > was that difference is between (a) walking in a welcoming environment
        > and (b) being stranded at a bus shelter for half an hour, which often
        > happened to me when I lived in Longueuil on the South Shore: this was a
        > major factor that prompted me to move back onto the island to the
        > older, inner area of town, where walking for a half hour (even an
        > hour), no matter what the weather, can be an attractive option.

        I find that walking half an hour or an hour is always more attaractive
        than taking a bus ride. The problem with the suburbs is not that the
        walk is unattractive but that the distances are so great that it is
        often impossible to walk there in a reasonable amount of time.

        > think the reason is density: these modes of transport are at their most
        > practical and attractive probably within a half hour's commute or so,
        > and would not be used to commute in from the suburbs...

        Bikes can be used to commute to work in the suburbs. Many people who
        live in the suburbs work in the suburbs. So they can bike to work and
        have a commute that is shorted than 30 minutes.

        Of course much more people bike downtown.

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