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Waltham speed reduction request declined

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Added: Wed, 01/29/2020 - 10:40pm
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Eric O’Brien

WALTHAM – In July 2019, Waltham sent a request to the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) to reduce the speed limit on Highway 148 from 90 km/h to 80 km/h between Davidson and Waltham. The request was declined and resubmitted
to the MTQ and Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing later in the year, but on January 9, 2020 the municipality announced the MTQ declined it again.
According to Mayor David Rochon, the request was made for two reasons; to allow ATVs to travel on the shoulder of the road to connect Waltham to the MRC Pontiac’s ATV trail network and to improve safety. “P.E.I. Road intersects Highway 148 on a corner where the speed limit is 90 km. There’s a school bus that uses the road every day, and it’s dangerous. We’ve been trying to get the speed limit reduced for years to no avail,” he said.
However, Rochon said the MTQ has said they are open to looking at the safety issue involving P.E.I Road.  
On January 15, the municipality met with the MTQ to discuss the reasons behind the decision. Waltham’s director general Fern Roy said the distance requested for the speed reduction was too great to allow ATVs to safely travel between the municipalities; the MTQ will only allow such a speed reduction for a
distance of about 2.5 km. The MTQ’s written report on the matter will be made public at the municipality’s next council meeting in February.
“Our only other option to connect us with the ATV trail network is the PPJ,” said Rochon. However, late last year, Jane Toller, MRC Pontiac Warden, said there are many other avenues to look at, such as allowing ATVs to travel in the ditches next to the highway.