The video is completely unrelated to this article, just something I found recently that I’ve been enjoying quite a bit.
As to what’s happening this lovely spring day, well, quite a bit.
On the political front, Denis Coderre (who’s starting to remind me of those god awful reality shows that waste twenty minutes building the suspense and then cut to commercial without revealing anything with his ‘will he/won’t he’ pre-campaigning) has once again left us desperately wanting more with his announcement he’ll make an announcement on the 16th of May regarding his political future.
The foiled terrorism plot has taken yet another interesting turn in that the accused refuse counsel and at least one, the well-respected doctoral biotechnology researcher, has indicated he doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the criminal code of Canada because it’s not a holy book, but rather the fallible creation of mere mortals.
Where have I heard that argument before…
Is it possible this guy’s plain old insane? Is this an Islamofascist Kaczynski?
Back on track – there’s a movement afoot that proposes Meadowbrook Golf Club in Cote-St-Luc get turned into a rather large park (roughly twice the size of Parc Lafontaine). The West End could use a park of such size, the problem as I see it is that Meadowbrook finds itself somewhat wedged in between rail yards and industrial parks, chopped up by rail lines and positioned at the back end of Cote-St-Luc.
I’m always in favour of more parks, but this one’s a bit tricky. For one the proprietor, Groupe Pacific, would rather build, what else, a condo development, something the City already rejected part of the plan that spilled over the Cote-St-Luc border.
And while this particular area, from a bird’s eye perspective, sits in a desert of open, accessible green space, it’s completely inaccessible to Lachine. Incidentally, the City of Montreal rejected condo development on infrastructure grounds. Meadowbrook could be a great park, but it’s location is too severely detached from the people who live around it.
And finally, though there’s still a lot of talk about possibly building tram lines in Montreal, still no action, just calls for more studies, themselves costing tens of millions of dollars. Today’s transit news started with open discussions about what could be and closed with a reminder billion-dollar projects such as these will take forever to complete and will require provincial and federal financing (and neither are terribly interested, the province having already stated no way until 2018, five years from now). Somehow, despite requiring more study, initial cost estimates are $1 billion.
D) Re-organize Trudeau into a domestic/regional airport with a stronger emphasis on cargo flights (since Trudeau is better served by existing highways and is adjacent to the city’s principle rail yard) in addition to taking on some of St-Hubert’s general aviation load. St-Hubert would be given a new role as a ‘city-link’ STOLport, similar to Toronto’s Billy Bishop airport.
E) Build the once-proposed Aerospace University (I’d make it a joint venture between an English and French university) at Trudeau.
There’s a reason why ICAO and IATA are based here.
But as we all know, our failures with regards to aviation are still quite significant, and there’s a considerable amount of room for improvement. And one of the principle causes of our failures with regards to local air travel is our over-dependence on federal and provincial assistance for large-scale infrastructure projects. There must be centralized planning emanating from City Hall. Furthermore, the City needs to consider financing the missing pieces of our only partially completed strategic airports plan.
To begin with, the City must begin planning for a return to Mirabel Airport. It is unthinkable that we should allow Mirabel to be destroyed or otherwise converted away from being an international airport of the highest calibre. Let us say that it has been held in storage; we require Mirabel because the other two airports in our system are presently over-capacity while Mirabel sits an empty shell of its former self. Rationalizing the airports and instituting a more efficient division of labour goes hand-in-hand with ensuring the airports are far better connected to our public-transit system in addition to the regional highway infrastructure.
Trudeau is currently at capacity and has no hope of being expanded beyond its current capacity of 20 million passengers per year (ironically, what Mirabel was initially designed to handle). However, it can’t reach that volume without a major improvement to the local highway, train and subway systems – all the more reason to shift some of that bulk back to Mirabel and expand highways and trains into the undeveloped portions of the metropolitan area, as opposed to trying to build through the already high-density of the Island. Limiting Trudeau to domestic/regional flights will be far more in-line with the ADM’s desire that Trudeau be a “9-5” airport, while the scarcely populated region around Mirabel could operate twenty-four hours per day. Furthermore, it is ultimately negligent for a city to route high-capacity jumbo-jets over densely populated urban areas.