Recently they finally finished the renovations at Place des Arts. I will refrain from commenting on them, as there are only 49 synonyms in my thesaurus for the word bad, and none of them sufficiently evoke my feelings about what was done. However, one thing that did strike me, was how there is one glaring design flaw that was encountered in the renovations.
Namely, whomever decided it was an awesome idea to install floor to ceiling video screens in a dark corridor where very frequently there are massive hordes of people, forgot that it was likely that some of those people would in fact bush up against and or decide to try and touch those (probably) extremely expensive screens.
So, an after-the-fact-cheap-o-no-thought solution was instituted. As you can see, above, they installed some rope at ankle height. Kind of like what you would see in a museum with not enough security staff. Or in plainer language: bush league.
Last year with some fanfare the city ripped up Rachel street and made a larger divider for the bike path (without really widening the bike path itself). They started in July and finished in October. One of the last things they did was to plant trees. Now I don’t know much (if anything about trees) but I can’t see how planting them just before it frosts over is a good idea.
So I figured I’d check them out yesterday. So far five of six seem to be alive. I started at the east end of the bike path and walked to Saint Urbain.
Eight out of nine, alive. Does anyone know how much a tree costs? And what are the costs associated with transplanting one? If I remember correctly there were crews of three or four and some heavy machinery involved…
11/12 or almost 92%. Maybe the city actually knew what they were doing and I’m just complaining to hear myself and prove my existence.
10/12. 83%. Ooops.
11/13. 85%. Getting better (I think).
11/15. 73%. I’ll let you come up with your own comments…
11/21. 52%. I wonder who is responsible for planting trees in the city of Montreal. My guess would be that the bureaucracy is dense enough that five different people can point multiple fingers at each other in order to deflect blame.
21/34. 62%. I guess you could say that things are looking up.
21/40. 53%. This is where it gets kind of personal. As this is right in front of where I sit more mornings than not. The next time the city decides to plant trees in October, it probably would be better to do it in a place where there wasn’t free wifi or other people just hanging out.
Artsy close up shots of not alive trees on Rachel.
26/45. 58%. The final tally. Not good, no matter how you look at it. Even if trees could be purchased and planted for $500/each, that’s almost $10,000 wasted by a borough that decided to save money by not clearing the snow on weekends. My guess is that we’d be talking more like $2,000 or more per tree, which means either they wasted almost $40,000 plus. Or the street is going to look like someplace in North Vietnam after the United States dumped a bunch of Agent Orange all over the place.
And if you would like to hear (or download) the interviews that Eloi did with Milutin Gubash and Damla Tamer, click on the appropriate links: Download Damla Tamer: Ogg Vorbis 4MB, MP3 10MB, Flac 32MB, WAV 60MB.