Court Hears Lawsuit Over Failure to Hold Handrail

She didn’t want to hold the handrail, but a woman in Canada refuses to release her grip on a case that began with her arrest 10 years ago in a subway station in the Montreal suburb of Laval. And, though charges against her were eventually dismissed, she felt like police and the city should be punished for the way she was treated. This week, the Canadian Supreme Court agreed to hear her side, CTV News reports.

It was in 2009 when a police officer saw Bela Kosoian riding the escalator without holding the handrail, even though the escalator was marked with a pictogram instructing riders to do so. An argument ensued, and Kosoian was ultimately detained for about 30 minutes, during which time she was handed a CAD100 (US$75) ticket for failing to hold the rail, and a CAD320 (US$240) ticket for refusing to identify herself to the officer. Her case was heard in municipal court in 2012, and she was acquitted of the charges. For the way she was treated, she filed a lawsuit against the city, the transit corporation and the police officer. Her case was twice rejected in Quebec courts, but the nation’s highest court took it up, and heard arguments on Tuesday. During the proceedings, Justice Clement Gascon said, “I suppose if we were to give out tickets to people not holding the handrail, we’d be issuing hundreds per hour.” There was no immediate indication of when the court might rule.

Cat Caper in the Underground

A red circle highlights the tiny kittens after they were discovered underneath an escalator unit at London’s Moorgate station; photo from the Daily Mail.

A lost mother cat found a hideaway she thought would be a safe place to give birth but, according to the Daily Mail, workers at a London underground station who found the mom and her new litter had to act fast to get them out of harm’s way. It seems mama made her “birthing suite” underneath a new escalator unit that was only hours away from a test run.

Mother and kittens, reunited; image courtesy of RSPCA via the Daily Mail

The unit is in the Moorgate station, one of London’s busiest tube stations, which has been undergoing a renovation and expansion to service the Crossrail Elizabeth Line. The workers got in touch with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), and animal welfare officer Siobhan Trinnaman responded to the scene. When she arrived, she found the four kittens in the escalator pit, but the mom was nowhere to be seen. “It’s very dangerous for cats, as it’s where the mechanism is to run the escalator,” said Trinnaman. With the escalator test scheduled for 6 p.m. that evening, Trinnaman had to act fast.

“They (the workers) were very concerned that if [the cats] remained there and the escalator was running, they would be injured or killed,” said Trinnaman. “I found the four tiny kittens and moved them to safety before setting a trap for the mum.” After a few hours, the mother was captured and reunited with her babies at the RSPCA’s local facility. The kittens, one girl and three boys, have been named after Tube stations. They are called Bow, Colin, Dale and Earl, after Bow Road, Collindale and Earl’s Court. The staff called the mom “Elizabeth,” after the Elizabeth line. They are trying to locate the owner, because the cat was wearing a collar, though she had no microchip.

Watch a video of the feline foundlings, courtesy of the Daily Mail.

CTBUH Says 2018 Was a Big Year for Tall Towers

This chart, courtesy of CTBUH, is a graphic representation of 50 years’ worth of tall building (200+ m) construction. Note the explosion in numbers of new skyscrapers over the past decade.

Last year didn’t quite match the record for skyscraper completions we saw in 2017, but an interactive look at 2018 in review, courtesy of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), shows that the tall trend isn’t close to abating. Some of the highlights:

  • 143 buildings of at least 200 m (656 ft.) were completed, just shy of 2017’s record of 147 and bringing the worldwide total to 1,478
  • Of the new buildings, 76% were in Asia
  • China led the world with 88 completions of towers at least 200 m tall; the city of Shenzhen alone had 14, nearly 10% of the worldwide total
  • Among all countries, the United States was a distant second place, with 13 completions
  • China also had the tallest building to complete, the 528-m (1,732-ft.) China Zun in Beijing
  • 19 cities around the world got a new tallest building
  • And, how’s this for a sky-high trend? There were 18 supertalls (skyscrapers standing at least 300 m [984 ft.]) completed worldwide, the most ever in one year.

The future of tall-building construction looks brighter than ever, thanks to the rapid urbanization of the global population. This year appears to be another big year for skyscraper news; check out ELEVATOR WORLD’s Web Exclusive for March.