Monday, November 16, 2009

Whatcha doin'?

Just hangin' around.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Poppy can shred my arms and I think she's cute. Everything she does is a still-life waiting to be recorded for future posterity. This cat had me from the minute she was born, and I can't count the number of times a day I pick her up for some kitten-huffing.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


We used to have about 3,000 cars pass by our house every day. We're located near one of the busiest highways in North America, the Montreal-Toronto corridor. We're also located near one of the highest accident areas, and it was not uncommon for the Ministry of Transport to re-route traffic over our street in the event of an accident. Not only is our road very narrow, it is also pock-marked with potholes and features crumbling edges. It's so bad, in fact, that when the lines are painted in spring, most of the outside lines are painted in the gravel and last about a month before washing away. It's not the most conducive for 18-wheelers and morning commuters hell-bent to get to work on time. Traffic used to wake us on many mornings, signaling another work day ahead.

But on October 16th, all of that changed. Thanks to the construction of NA30, a new highway that will create a periphery around the island of Montreal, our road became a huge crescent, and our house, as luck would have it, is smack-dab in the middle of it. This means houses to the north go north to get on to the highway, and houses to the south go south to get onto the highway, and we're left in the middle, enjoying our peace and quiet. It makes for a 6 km detour for us to get on the highway, most of it in the opposite direction of where we want to travel, and has added at least 5 minutes to every outing we make, but the solitude we gained is worth every bit of extra inconvenience.

It is wonderful to have windows open on warmer days, and not hear the endless drone of speeding cars flying by. I'd say 90% of the traffic that went by was not local traffic, but people in a rush to get to where they were going faster than if they went by the highway, ironically. We complained to the city and police numerous times about the fact the posted speed limit was 50 km/h, but the median speed clocked closer to 80 or 90, not to mention trucks with over-size loads using our road to circumvent the truck scale on the highway, or drunks leaving a popular "cruising-bar" close by using it to avoid police. We'd hear them speeding by in the middle of the night after closing time, and wondered who their next victim would be.

Walking along the street was virtually impossible, but now that we've become a crescent, people can walk their dogs in safety again, and kids can ride their bikes. People can actually use the street again.

To say that we're delighted is an understatement. People who live near by are generally courteous and drive close to the speed limit. We finally have the peace and quiet we feel we deserve.
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