(Eastman) Every morning, parents from Val-de-Grâce Elementary School take their children to the side of Route 112 in Eastman, in the Eastern Townships.
Posted at 6:00 AM
To get to the school, which is located 50 meters away, the group must first cross two lanes of heavy traffic, including several dump trucks, which often have a speed of 55 or 60 km / h.
“When we were there for five or seven minutes and nobody let us cross, I had to raise my hand and signal the motorists to stop,” says Melanie Tangway, a mother of five who lives across from the school.
MI Tangway was recently sworn in by an impatient driver as she crossed her son, who was on crutches. “This is crazy! My children were almost run over several times in front of the school. Our sense of safety is zero,” she says.
The problem of the dangerousness of Route 112 in front of the Val-de-Gres primary school, attended by nearly 300 children in the heart of Eastman municipality, has been known for years: even children who live one or two kilometers from the school give up going on foot or by bicycle, expresses Disappointed with Laurent Auger, a native of Eastman.
“In a car, if you’re not driving fast enough, you’ll be overtaken even if it’s a no-overtaking zone,” he says. Currently, the road is clearly not safe, even less for children. »
plan in place?
Eastman mayor Natalie LeMaire says she wants to make things better. “But Route 112 falls under the responsibility of the Quebec Department of Transportation, which is the only body authorized to make changes to it,” she said.
She points out that the problem of MTQ roads where the speed limit is too high for municipalities and citizens is not limited to Eastman – it’s county-wide.
In a perfect world, MI Lemaire will reduce the speed limit from 50 km/h to 30 km/h, add a protected pedestrian crossing in front of the school and clearly mark the ground in the school district and other physical interventions to clearly signal motorists to slow down.
At the municipality’s request, MTQ representatives came to see the situation in May.
They said a traffic study should be done before they could tell if 30 km/h was possible.
Natalie Lemerre, Mayor of Eastman
Lucy Lantegny, a municipal councilor and chair of the Eastman Municipal Active Transportation Committee, notes that a pedestrian crossing on Route 112 was built years ago, but it is not in front of the school and is little used.
Not far from the school there is also an intersection between Route 112 and Chemin George-Bonnallie, which is dangerous to cross on foot or by bicycle, since there are no stops on Route 112. Despite repeated requests by citizens and the municipality, MTQ refuses to install it .
Safety or speed?
“We were told that stops are not used to slow traffic, says Mr.I Lantin. And there is always the question of “transport fluidity”. Can you explain to me why the safety of our children and the quality of life in our municipality is being jeopardized so that motorists can get home 36 seconds early? »
Nomba Daniel, a spokesperson for MTQ’s Direction générale de l’Estrie, notes that a meeting was held to discuss the active transfer in Eastman last month.
“The municipality has reviewed the list of issues that the ministry would like to address, including the issue of reducing the speed limit in the school sector at the Val-de-Grâce Primary School,” she said.
A municipality decision to secure Route 112 was adopted by the MTQ.
“The ministry is ready to work with the municipality. We will analyze the request, and then we can provide an answer,” M. notes.I Danielle.