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Sometimes we just get used to it. Our collective rage over the street chaos in Montreal, however, has finally pulled the plug on our submissive silence. There is not one among us who hasn't said: "This has gone too far." The closing of roads has put the lifeblood of our city, its businesses, out of business! It has robbed every individual in the city of valuable time. It has made every effort at public transportation and its benefits a joke, as buses also sit at intersections and crawl at a tortoise's pace, leaving a carbon footprint far greater than normal traffic would emit.


Which leads me to ask: "So how is it done elsewhere?"


I feel quite at home talking about the "New York Experience," having spent nearly two decades there. First and foremost comes attitude. New York is a city built on commerce. Commerce is what gives the city its tax base. It attracts companies and provides jobs to every New Yorker, and every New Yorker knows it.


Streets are closed during normal business hours in New York for one of four reasons: 1) the president is in town, 2) there is a fire, 3) there is a crime scene, or 4) there is a parade. Otherwise, New York's streets DO NOT close. Notwithstanding the fact that its sewer system is in constant need of repair (it's at least the same age as Montreal's sewer system), and the fact that its infrastructure is far older than Montreal's (under every New York street there are not only sewers, but gas lines, electric lines, water pipes, fibre optic lines, telephone lines, and even steam lines that transport steam from a central plant to heat New York's buildings), somehow, someway, the streets DO NOT close.


New York City's government wouldn't dare close these streets during the day. When was the last time any reader of this article visited New York and saw 5th Ave. relegated to one lane for street repair, or completely closed for that matter? (Sound familiar?) At this minute, New York is building a new subway line called the 2nd Ave. subway line. It runs on the Upper East Side, and they are open-pit digging along 2nd Ave. Guess what? The street is not closed! Even with a subway tunnel being built right under it, two lanes are open on 2nd Ave. That's right, the open pit digging of a subway tunnel wide enough to accommodate two trains going in opposite directions, which is hun-dreds of times larger than a mere sewer pipe. New York cannot afford to close the street, and New Yorkers would not tolerate such a closing.


Let's turn to bridges. The Queensborough Bridge, aka the 59th St. Bridge, was under substantial repair during the past five years. In fact, most lanes were closed . at night, that is. Again, New Yorkers would not accept that any lane of any bridge be closed during hours of heavy usage.


Instead, the construction crews bring their lights every night, starting at around midnight, and work until five or six in the morning. When it comes to repaving any avenue or street, the street is closed, big machines come in and chew up the existing asphalt, and then the streets are paved . but NEVER during the daytime.


(Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette)


I'll post my comment soon, stuck doing some paper work right now :mad:

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Le travail de nuit pour ça, c'est essentiel. D'autre part, Je suis parfois flabbergasté de voir le gars arrêter tous en même temps à midi pour la pause. Ils pourraient se relayer sans arrêter le chantier au complet, non?:(

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It is always amusing the "New York State of Mind" and the rest, because I'm intimitely familiar with the state and know a bit of NYC - New York is almost like two different things, NYC (very fast paced) and not NYC (laid back) :rotfl:


It is particularly marked in the driving, like when you go down I-87, everyone has cruise control at exactly 65 mph, and 55 mph through Albany and police are everywhere. Get near the NYC metro area and boom everyone starts driving 90 or 95 mph in BMW's and Escalades. As a Montrealer I feel more at home nearer NYC :D

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I have to admit that it is strange to see a city like NYC (which much denser thanMontreal and just as old) be ale to do road construction at night without disturbing traffic during the day yet we are unable to do so over here!!

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