Highway 5 extension bad for Wakefield, Quebec


by admin on May 19, 2010

The Editor,

The more people I speak to, the more I become convinced that not very many of us want a four-lane highway through Wakefield, Quebec. I’m writing this letter to keep the debate alive, put pressure on those who act on our behalf – and to submit a modest proposal.

The four-lane extension to Wakefield is bad. Bad for the village. Bad for the environment. Bad for the larger community of La Peche. And probably – though you won’t hear this from the local realtors – bad for real estate values, because it will put enormous strip-mall type development pressure on the entire area. Chelsea is largely cut off from Gatineau Park by Hwy 5. Much of the municipality is also defined by the low hum of the highway, well into the night. Should Wakefield suffer the same fate?
I would like to propose something different: Widening the existing highway to three lanes.

Two of those lanes can flow south in the morning, and flow north in the afternoon, to ease traffic, as is done on the Lion’s Gate Bridge in Vancouver, avenue du Parc in Montreal, and the Champlain Bridge in Ottawa. Cottagers would get two lanes on Sunday afternoon for a faster return to town. And the rest of us can live easier, knowing we’re using a resource that’s already there (the 105). We’ll save money, and with the extra lane we’ll deal with the (frankly not very serious) traffic problem.

Scott Duncan
Chelsea, Quebec