Electoral Politics by Plop

I recently sat down to write an article about the municipal elections. I started reading up about the candidates, browsed their pages, explored some of the Montreal blogs. And the more I read the more depressed I became, to the point that the only way I was able to regain sanity was through a marathon […]

Un Métro à déstination de nulle part

On dirait que le prochain Big Owe au Québec sera, en effet, un deuxième Big O. Un gros O en orange, pour préciser, qui amènera ses usagers en comfort et luxe sous la plaine banlieusarde de Laval, coupant dramatiquement le temps de parcours entre les deux bouts de la ligne. Gilles Vaillancourt, vous avez de […]

I Feel Bad For Transports Québec

Turcot in 1967, by Gabor Szilasi There were quite a few differences between the protest against police brutality, which took place some weeks ago, and the mobilization against the Turcot interchange. For one thing, the march against police brutality was dominated by police in full-on riot gear struggling to handle violent protesters. The mobilization against […]

On Commuter Trains, Ice and Lawsuits

Hell hath no fury like a commuter train rider scorned! Citing persistent hits to his work schedule and quality of life due to persistently late commuter trains, Yves Boyer (and his lawyer Normand Painchaud) have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Agence métropolitaine de transport. Boyer is asking for a judgment of $65 million. Hardly […]

Montreal by Bus: Is Your Route Legible?

Photo by Kurt Raschke To refresh you: in my last article, I talked about the names of bus lines, and how they can be used to help transit users navigate the city. I mentioned, among other things, that buses might be named for the paths that they follow or their end points, and that the […]

Aide-mémoires transport

The scenario works like this: after a night of revelry on Boulevard St-Laurent, it’s time to stagger home. You know the set of night buses you have to take: the 360 to Atwater, say, and then the 356 out to NDG. But, of course, you have no idea what times they’re due to arrive; you […]

Posted in: Canada, Transportation by Sam Imberman 3 Comments , , ,

Montreal by Bus: The Names of Bus Routes

You could conceivably have a bus network where bus lines were identified only by their number. We don’t technically need bus routes to have names for them to be usable, as long as each bus has a key: something, probably a number, that makes each route individually identifiable to riders. Still, it would be pretty […]

Montreal by Bus: What Is a Bus Line?

This is part of an ongoing series about how Montreal’s bus system could be made easier to navigate. Photo by Christopher Dewolf In many Montreal neighbourhoods–especially those that are underserved by the Metro–the bus is absolutely central to life. The 139 whisks Montreal-Nord and Rosemont residents southward along Pie-IX, and the 51 carries passengers from […]

Warsaw, Under the Fluorescent Lights

Even if they can’t bear to go there, practically all Montrealers know a place that they call the Underground City. But by no means is Montreal the only city with such a thing. Across the Atlantic, the city of Warsaw also has a network of underground passages spanning a good part of its downtown. But […]

Posted in: Europe, Interior Space by Sam Imberman 1 Comment , ,

The Bike Path of Champions

“I am now betting this bike path will change radically the lifestyle and quality of life of many Montrealers.” – André Lavallée, member of Montreal’s executive committee, quoted in the Montreal Gazette, November 7, 2007 “It could turn downtown into a ghost town.” – Sal Parasuco, retailer, quoted in the Montreal Gazette, September 10, 2007 […]

A Car’s-Eye View of Newark

Suppose you wrote the names of the largest hundred or so municipalities in the United States on a series of index cards. What’s the logical way to arrange them? By population, land area, age, or density? By the proportions of various ethnic groups? Now, suppose you arranged the cards by something more qualitative: levels of […]

Posted in: United States by Sam Imberman 1 Comment ,

The Paris the Tour Guides Avoid

Paris’s 15th probably carries the distinction of being the city’s least loved arrondissement. Though there isn’t much to distinguish it from, say, the 14th arrondissement just to the west, or the 12th crosstown, the 15th languishes in oubli. Tourists eschew it, locals kick it around in jokes, and the most famous attraction anywhere nearby, the […]

Posted in: Europe by Sam Imberman 2 Comments ,

Politics, Street-Level

I love demonstrations and rallies. Sometimes I go out of my way to find them. The presence of thousands of people, all singularly motivated, is a fairly rare phenomenon—all the more so when it comes to political thought. Now, I don’t know if you’ve been following the French election, and it’s not my place to […]

Posted in: Politics, Society and Culture by Sam Imberman 1 Comment

Inside Krakow’s Old Jewish Quarter

First the artists move in; with them come improvements to the buildings and trendier night spots. Then, lured by a newfound sense of respectability, comes the bourgeoisie, and finally the neighbourhood is protected with a historic preservation statute. This is what’s called “stage gentrification,” and you can learn about it in any 100-level urban geography […]