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  • Writer's pictureThe Low Down

MTQ’s roundabout plan puts lives at risk

The Editor,

Your headline is highly questionable (“From highway to pathway,” June 21 edition). While it is good news that Autoroute 5 will finally be completed to Alcove, the MTQ [Ministère des Transports] plan for a roundabout rather than an overpass is a series of calamities in the making. This will be the only intersection on Hwy 5 lacking a proper interchange with [an] overpass. MTQ will convert a temporary hazard to a permanent one.

A roundabout is completely inappropriate for a 100 km/hour autoroute, where that speed limit is reduced just south of the intersection and at the top of a steep hill. (The reason the hill is so steep is that, years ago, MTQ saved money by not doing a deep rock cut, causing increased expense for travellers and pollution ever since.) Some time ago, a heavy truck went out of control on that hill, racing across 366 to come to rest in the field opposite. Fortunately there was no cross traffic; catastrophe was avoided. Given the new design, this could happen again.

Vehicles slowing from 100 km/hour will have to come to a complete stop to yield before entering the roundabout — more disasters in the making. By converting [Hwy] 105 to a pathway (commendable in itself), the roundabout will take on additional traffic from the north to Wakefield, adding to the current heavy traffic at that intersection. As it is, this intersection carries a heavy traffic load. The additional burden will make it even more difficult to negotiate. The many loaded semis will have to deal with the tight radius of a roundabout.

Grade separation is essential. The hypocrisy of the MTQ announcement – that safety will be improved – is shocking. MTQ simply wants to save costs at the risk of lives.

John Edmond

La Pêche, QC

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