Wakefield, Quebec two lane advocate ditches three-lane A-5 solution

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by admin on June 2, 2010

The Editor

Re: Lanes, trains and automobiles.

The three lanes approach often mentioned as an alternative possibility to an expanded roadway is not a feasible solution. As mentioned by the engineers at the recent MTQ meeting in Wakefield, Quebec, the present road structure is not adequate for this idea, including the fact that extensive and alternate expropriation would be required. More importantly three lanes create an extremely dangerous mix for the local home owners, business community, and through traffic. Alternating three lanes are usually reserved for areas where a maximum of 50km/hr are kept with little to no exits or entrances. Do we really want 6-7km of overhead panels every 100m to remind us exactly which lane we’re supposed to be in on a Monday morning? Both examples of Champlain and Lions Gate Bridges are perfect examples of how three lanes don’t work as they have a history of numerous head-on collisions due to driver confusion. This is not just affecting Wakefield but also the thousands of other users that pass by our little community, some on the way to Grand-Remous the eventual destination of the A5.

Arguments for a commuter train has some merit, however, presently there are some major hurdles to overcome. One, interestingly, is a large enough population base to justify this infrastructure. Typically a community the size of Kanata is needed for such an endeavour with adequate parking along the way and a local bus service to provide access to the railway. The present track would not be anywhere near appropriate for such an endeavour as it would require a new bed and track upgrade with again extensive expropriation for occasional sections of a double track and room to allow for a high-speed train. Commuter trains typically work when a freeway and a bus service have been brought to capacity. For our future, trains have been successfully built around and over existing freeway infrastructures.

Regardless of what we drive or ride in the future the causeway is not the problem; we still need a physical efficient route to tie two separate points together. Frustration should not be geared against a corridor; what’s riding on top is more the issue. Protest against the internal combustible engine and encourage your children to discover other means of power. Vehicles have been floated on magnetic tracks, recently the electron has been coached into various states, some Swedish university students have even turned an engine over powered by garbage…remember, not too long ago the world was going to end as we almost ran out of blubber oil.

Two lanes with no opposing traffic, seems like it’s about time to bring that sigh of relief one experiences when entering a much safer passage a little closer to home.

Carsten Podehl