Posts Tagged ‘snow’

Quebec’s Bill 42

April 28, 2008

Not so nice a day to go walking today, but that presents an opportunity to do some catching up. Let’s have a look at Quebec’s Bill 42, which I previously posted about HERE.

The National Assembly adopted the bill 2007/12/21 thanks to Parti Quebecois support, and it became law 2008/04/01.

Although the Quebec Liberal Party “posted a video on its website criticizing the opposition PQ and the Action democratique du Quebec for blocking a proposal to lower the tolerated level of alcohol for drivers in Quebec to 0.05 per cent,” 01 the measures that it does contain are commendable.

BTW, that clause in the road safety legislation that would have lowered the legal blood level limit to 0.05 per cent was withdrawn after the Action Démocratique du Québec and Parti Québécois both refused to support that proposal. 02

Quebec beomes the first province to mandate the use of snow tires on all personal vehicles, taxis and rental cars. “This measure [which begins 2008/11/15] along with the provincial government’s renewed co-operation with Montreal municipalities to lower speed limits on residential streets, represents an attempt to make Quebec drivers more accountable and roads safer.” 03

There is a ban on hand-held cell phones, and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, as one blogger has noted, it “totally misses the point by not including text messaging devices. If holding and talking on the phone is a distraction and a cause of accident, reading or writing a text message is even more. In other words, if your Blackberry is not used as a phone, you can read or write message while going off the road or rear ending another vehicle.” 04

“According to the official transcripts of the debates of the National Assembly, the rationale behind the ban is that when a driver uses a cell phone while operating a vehicle, he is 30% more likely to be implicated in a crash. The penalty for those who get caught is rather stiff: a $80-100 fine plus 3 demerit points on the driver’s record.” 05

The bill makes driver’s education mandatory for all applicants who wish to obtain a license for passenger vehicles and motorcycles. 05

The legislation will also restrict car advertising that depicts fast, unsafe driving. 02

Sources:
01. 2007/12/19 – Global Quebec: National Assembly wraps…
02. 2007/12/19 – CBC: Legal blood alcohol limit won’t drop…
03. 2008/04/28 – The Suburban: Speed and snow tires…
04. 2008/01/10 – The Trucking Blog: Bill 42
05. 2008/04/01 – Michael Lu: Bill 42

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Where’s the Snow?

March 20, 2008

A ClimateCartoons present (published with permission ).
comic

This was posted in advance.
If it happened to snow overnight, the joke’s on me! 🙂

And You Complain About Shovelling Snow?

March 13, 2008

A ClimateCartoons present (published with permission ).
comic

This is the latest ‘toon that I’ve decided to post on a regular schedule. Enjoy!

In Toronto, Pedestrians Have a Voice

February 2, 2008

In London, my proposal for a Pedestrian Subcommittee was underhandedly dismissed without any public scrutiny. Which is why pedestrian issues only come forward periodically, presented one by one by affected individuals, where the issues and the individuals can be easily dispensed with by local politicians.

In Toronto, on the other hand, pedestrians are treated with some respect. Today’s news includes an article (‘Committee wants better snow removal on sidewalks‘; Toronto Star; 2008/02/02) about some of the recommendations just made by their Pedestrian Committee:

  • Plow sidewalks on all arterial roads.
  • staff should prepare a report on the cost and feasibility of plowing all residential sidewalks.
  • Provide improved service for older and disabled residents who can’t clear their own walks.
  • speed installation of chirping traffic signals to help blind and visually impaired pedestrians cross busy intersections.
  • an extra $1.35 million this year for pedestrian traffic signals that help people who don’t see well get across the street.
  • In London, where local politicians pretend to support TDM and a transportation hierarchy, snow clearing of pedestrian roads (sidewalks, walkways) is often just an afterthought. If there was any truth behind the Official Plan and the Transportation Master Plan, wouldn’t pedestrian streets get cleared first, before any consideration was given to the automobile?

    But whoever said that politicians have to be honest?

    Better Maintainance of Pedestrian Roads, Please

    December 23, 2007

    In order for any transportation-related discussion to be more accurate, I propose that we try to remember that sidewalks, walkways, etc. are ‘pedestrian roads.’ I believe that this is significantly important, given London, Ontario’s official position of striving to reduce ‘Single Occupancy Vehicle’ travel (SOV), the widely-accepted ‘Transportation Hierarchy’, and my own often-repeated reminder that although driving is only a priviledge, walking is a natural human right (just like breathing, eating, sleeping, self-protection, etc).

    Nearly a week after the big snowstorm, but a lot of sidewalks have become hard-packed by winter boots, smooth as a skating rink and as slippery in some places, semi-mountainous in others, and most are still in need of better clearing.

    The images below were taken 2007/12/22, a week after the snowstorm and a temp. of +5C. They show the walkway that connects Eagle Crescent with King Edward Ave. Note that the Eagle Cr. entrance is blocked by a snowbank, and that the walkway has not been plowed. The only good thing that can be observed is that someone has shoveled the steps and put some sand on them.

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    20071222001.jpgAlso taken 2007/12/22, this photo of the sidewalk along Commissioners Rd. E. Plowed, but not well enough, and not sanded; dangerous for many. Observe the fact that the roads are completely bare.

    Would the city take so much better care of vehicle roads than it does of pedestrian roads, if it really meant the rhetoric that’s to be found in it’s official documents?

    Links:
    2007/12/22 – Toronto Star: Small people cast adrift…
    2007/12/22 – Toronto Star: Ice-clogged sidewalks …

    Snowplow Tragedy

    December 16, 2007

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    A woman is dead after her car was struck by a snowplow on Highway 401 at Elgin Rd.

    According to the OPP, a passing snowplow clipped the eastbound vehicle which was parked beneath an overpass. The woman was standing next to the car at the time, in order to clean the windows. The vehicle spun, trapping her between it and the wall of the overpass.

    Even more tragically, two children were in the car and witnessed the incident; they were taken to a hospital to meet with crisis counselors.

    (more…)

    Downtown Targeted Incentive Zone

    December 14, 2007

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    A key element of the City of London’s Downtown Revitalization Strategy is the creation of a Downtown Targeted Incentive Zone in order to rehabilitate the core’s heritage streetscape, accompanied by “a series of new financial incentives” (2007/12/08 – City of London: Living in the City).

    One of the incentives which are being proposed is an “Awning, Signage and Decorative Lighting Grant Program.”

    At first blush, from a pedestrian perspective, this is a wonderful initiative. Imagine, correspondingly-covered sidewalks the length of each side of Dundas Street. Protection from the sun, the rain, the snow, the bird droppings… until you start to read the eligibility requirements. In addition, it seems that this is a 1-time-only incentive. And worse still, it doesn’t appear that there’s been a single, unifying design adopted; will we end up with a hodgepodge of garish, conflicting designs that serve as commercial billboards and offer little relief to pedestrians?

    (more…)

    Eagle Crescent Walkway

    May 17, 2005

    The board walk which connects Eagle Crescent & King Edward Avenue.

    Instead of being evenly graded from one end to the other, some genius installed a stairway instead. The result is that ploughs are unable to clear the snow during the winter months, making it impassible for the handicapped, the elderly, mothers pushing strollers, etc.

    If that’s not bad enough, instead of installing lights, the city has chosen to prohibit it’s use from dusk till dawn.

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