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Found 5 results

  1. Sharing the streets JULIA KILPATRICK, The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago Skateboard users risk fines as well as injury when they travel on public arteries like sidewalks or bike paths. But while aficionados complain about the regulations, police say their goal is safety Turning his back to the traffic screaming past a small skateboard park east of the Gay Village, Kyle Naylor pulled his board out of his backpack. The skateboard was split in two jagged pieces. A car had run over it earlier, when Naylor was skating to the park for an afternoon session with friends. "My friends all put in some cash so I could buy a new board," Naylor, 18, said. Email to a friendEmail to a friendPrinter friendlyPrinter friendly Font: "We didn't want to miss out on our skate day." Skateboard commuters like Naylor risk more than a broken board when they choose to ride on the street. Bylaws prohibit skateboarding on Montreal's roads and sidewalks. Fines for ignoring the rules range from $30 to $300. Commander Daniel Touchette, of the Montreal police traffic division, says the fines are justified because skateboarders are not equipped to share the roads with other vehicles. "The regulations exist for the safety of skateboarders," he said. "If they are on the street and they fall, there's no saying where they might go." Naylor's broken board appears to support that argument, but the statistics don't. Montreal police issued 116 tickets for offences related to skateboarding or inline skating in the street in 2006, Touchette said. Police records don't specify when a motor vehicle accident involves a skateboarder, yet Touchette said that, to his knowledge, there have been no serious or fatal accidents involving skateboarders in the past year. Last year, the city added 25 kilometres of bicycle lanes on the island in an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions and encourage the use of alternative transportation. But while those lanes are open to cyclists and inline skaters, they are closed to skateboarders, leaving many frustrated by the city's refusal to see skateboarding as a legitimate means of transportation. "It's ecological, and you can take public transit with it, which you can't with your bike," said Alex Jarry, 31, manager of the Underworld skateboard shop on Ste. Catherine St. E., near Sanguinet St. He travels to and from work daily on his skateboard, and says concerns about the safety of boarding in the street are overblown. "People who skate in the street, they control their board," he said. "If you don't feel confident to ride in the traffic, you don't do it." Naylor said he would rather try his luck in the street than compete for space on the sidewalk, as some less experienced skateboarders do. The issue made national headlines recently after Fredericton resident Lee Breen, 25, spent a night in jail for refusing to pay a $100 fine for skateboarding on city roads. Naylor and his friends Alex Potter, 19, and Ryan Baird, 18, ride their boards everywhere - and pay the price. All three have been fined for skateboarding on public property, including streets, sidewalks and parks. "Everybody I know, they've got fined for skateboarding," Jarry said. "It's legal to sell skateboards and illegal to practise it." That's not the case, Touchette said: "It's not illegal. You have parks and other places where you can use them for sport." Skateboarders can hone their skills legally at more than 30 outdoor parks across the city. But commuters who would rather skateboard than drive a car do so at their own risk - physically and financially. "For transportation, you cannot use a skateboard to move from place to place in the streets of Montreal," Touchette said. [email protected] http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=7d7951ab-8d48-4b4c-bafa-3fa2843eac88
  2. Montreal to triple some parking fines Last Updated: Monday, August 17, 2009 | 2:39 PM ET CBC News The price of parking illegally in Montreal could triple by the fall. The city says it's seeing more and more problems with people parking illegally, and plans to boost ticket prices starting in October. Executive committee member Sammy Forcillo says current fines simply aren't big enough to stop people from parking where they shouldn't. He says with some parking lots charging $18 to park, some drivers are choosing to take a chance on getting a $30 parking ticket. The city says it's most concerned with people parking in places that are completely illegal, such as near an intersection where a parked car might block visibility. In those cases, the city plans to hand out $100 tickets come Oct. 1. "If there's a car in front or if a person wants to stop there it's a matter of public safety, and for the handicapped I think it's common sense also. Handicapped people need to be respected in our society so that's the main idea," said Claude Dauphin, the executive committee member responsible for public security. The fine for cars parked at expired meters or in a designated handicap parking spot will also rise, to $60. Forcillo says this simply brings Montreal in line with many neighbouring cities. It's estimated the increase in fines will net the city an additional $13 or $14 million, but Forcillo denies this is a cash grab. He says it's simply about getting people to respect the rules. City council is expected to vote on the issue next week.
  3. Le chauffage au bois complice du smog à Montréal Canoë Virginie Roy 31/10/2007 14h22 L’Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal (ASSS) offre maintenant un dépliant informatif concernant le chauffage au bois. Selon elle, le chauffage au bois résidentiel représenterait une des principales sources d’émission de particules fines qui contribuent à la formation du smog hivernal du Québec. «Sur l’île de Montréal, près de 100 000 ménages utilisent un système de combustion du bois pour chauffer leur résidence», déclare-t-elle. Rappelons qu’en 2005, Montréal a connu un épisode de smog hivernal d’une durée record de neuf jours lié, entre autre, au bois de chauffage. «Lorsqu’on brûle du bois, plus d’une centaine de composés toxiques sont libérés dans l’atmosphère et s’ajoutent à ceux émis lors de la combustion de l’essence, du diesel ou de l’huile à chauffage ainsi que ceux émis par de nombreuses industries», explique l’ASSS. Les principaux polluants qu’on y retrouve sont les particules fines, le monoxyde de carbone, des composés organiques volatils, des hydrocarbures aromatiques polycycliques, des oxyde d’azote et de nombreux produits irritants. Smog et maladies L’ASSS va encore plus loin en faisant un lien directe entre ce problème environnemental et certaine maladies. «Parmi les substances émises par la combustion du bois, certaines sont reconnus cancérigènes, et d’autres peuvent provoquer différents malaises comme l’irritation des yeux et des voies respiratoires, ainsi qu’aggraver l’état des personnes souffrant de maladies cardiaques ou respiratoires chroniques», explique Norman King, épidémiologiste à la Direction de santé publique. L’ASSS ajoute que plus de 95 % des particules émises par le chauffage au bois sont respirables, car leur petit diamètre leur permet de pénétrer profondément dans les poumons. Les personnes les plus sensibles à la pollution de l’air par les particules respirables seraient les très jeunes enfants, les personnes âgées et celles qui souffrent d’asthme, d’emphysème ou de problèmes cardiaques. L’ASSS recommande de se procurer un appareil certifié par l’Agence de protection de l’environnement des États-Unis (EPA) si le chauffage au bois est nécessaire. Il est aussi demandé de ne pas utiliser son appareil de chauffage lorsqu’un avertissement de smog est émis. De plus amples renseignements sur le chauffage au bois sont disponibles sur le site Internet de la Ville de Montréal.
  4. New broom sweeping Montreal clean INGRID PERITZ June 8, 2007 MONTREAL -- In Montreal this spring, a new army of enforcers is taking command of the streets and spreading fear in back alleys. They're tough, eagle-eyed - and armed with big brooms. The city in Canada best known for its insouciance and laissez-faire ways is suddenly aspiring to be Singapore on the St. Lawrence. This year, Montreal has declared war on trash. Besieged by criticism that downtown had become an open-air dump of litter and bulging trash bins, city hall made a clean sweep of it by adopting a bylaw on "civility, respect and cleanliness." Since last Friday, property owners downtown have become responsible for cleaning up in front of their homes and businesses. Fines start at $125 and reach $4,000 for repeat offenders. "This is probably the toughest bylaw of its kind in Canada, if not North America," said Benoît Labonté, mayor of Montreal's downtown borough. "There are no warnings, just tickets for violations. We mean business." Mr. Labonté has scheduled a news conference this morning to reveal the fruits of the new crackdown: In just seven days, the city's "trash troopers" issued about $70,000 in fines. Montreal was inspired by cities like New York and Paris, which turned around their notoriously unkempt appearance in a few years, Mr. Labonté said in an interview yesterday. "If it's good enough for New York and Paris, it's good enough for Montreal." Montreal has always had anti-trash rules on the books, but it put muscle this year into applying them: Ten more trash inspectors downtown, 189 young "cleanliness brigadiers," as well as 1,400 new garbage bins, 700 ashtrays and four solar-powered trash compactors valued at $4,700 apiece. Some people worry Montreal will get so clean it will be antiseptic. And the more cynical wonder if Mayor Gérald Tremblay isn't picking an easy target because it's a lot tougher to solve intractable problems like his woeful revenue sources. Still, many agree the city had let cleanliness slide in recent years, and civic pride with it. Complaints mounted about overflowing garbage cans, oozing back-alley dumpsters, and cigarette butts outside office buildings after no-smoking rules went into effect. "We'd let things go in the last few years, and it was visible," said Claude Rainville, head of a business development group in Montreal's Latin Quarter. "The industrial quantities of butts. The trash containers. It just wasn't welcoming." And the tough anti-litter talk isn't the only effort aimed at making Montrealers less unruly. Montreal police last year added 133 officers to its traffic squad to curb the notoriously bad habits of city drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. In the first four months of this year, police issued nearly 3,500 tickets for jaywalking, and plan to crack down on the habit through the summer, said Chief Inspector Réjean Toutant. "I understand that this is part of Montreal's culture. But that's no reason to let things go," he said. No smoking, no jaywalking, no littering - is Montreal losing its joie de vivre? Éric Montpetit, a political scientist at the University of Montreal, studied the city's litter problems and said the new efforts are long overdue. But the trash crackdown does appear to fit into a larger pattern. "Montrealers have long been the exception in Canada. We've been less disciplined and maybe a little less polite. But that wild side is also part of the city's charm," said Prof. Montpetit, who has lived in Ontario and Saskatchewan. Now, the efforts at behaviour reform may signal a shift. "Maybe," he said, "we're starting to Canadianize Montrealers."
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