MRC “multi-use” committee considers - ATVs-only on the PPJ

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 1147.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 587.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 587.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/plugins/views_plugin_query.inc on line 169.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 136.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_page::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/calendar-6.x-2.4/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_page.inc on line 297.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_block::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/calendar-6.x-2.4/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_block.inc on line 78.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_attachment::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/calendar-6.x-2.4/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_attachment.inc on line 242.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::element_type() should be compatible with views_handler_field::element_type($none_supported = false, $default_empty = false, $inline = false) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/cck-6.x-2.9/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 229.
  • strict warning: Declaration of date_handler_field_multiple::pre_render() should be compatible with content_handler_field_multiple::pre_render($values) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/date-6.x-2.9/date/date/date_handler_field_multiple.inc on line 185.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_pager_none::post_execute() should be compatible with views_plugin_pager::post_execute(&$result) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/plugins/views_plugin_pager_none.inc on line 69.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/views.module on line 1113.
Added: Wed, 07/03/2019 - 7:21pm
Printer-friendly version

Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL’S BAY – The MRC Pontiac’s monthly Council of Mayors meeting, June 19, saw over 50 citizens attend to express their views on a controversial proposal: to allow ATVs to use the PPJ.
In April, the MRC formed a “multi-use committee” to study allowing quads on the trail as well as cyclists and pedestrians during the summer. A similar committee in 2016 was disbanded after failing to follow its mandate. In May, the local user groups, Green-PPJ-Verte and Les Amis du Cycloparc PPJ, requested a seat on this committee, but were refused by Warden Jane Toller.
Two citizens were allowed to speak, June 19: Mike Hodgins of Shawville, who lost his sight in a work accident and uses the PPJ multiple times a day with his guide dog, and Maurice Lamarche, co-owner of Base Macrocarpa campground on the trail in Davidson.
Both men expressed safety concerns with ATVs on the trail. Lamarche
calculates that quad traffic on the trail will harm his business with losses that could shut it down; he said that by reducing property values, multiple parties like his campground would seek compensation for their losses. Lamarche also read a letter from the owner of Shawville’s Art Brulant who reports cyclists frequently support his business and others in town.   
Yves Martineau, vice president of the Pontiac Quad Club, said ATVs are a huge economic driver by attracting tourists, citing Maniwaki’s example. Martineau said the Club is uninterested in the Shawville section “for now” and that reduced speed limits and speed-obstacles will enhance safety. The club can’t control every member’s actions, he cautioned.
Pat Gravelle, president of the Outaouais Quad Association, echoed this message. “ATVers are not monsters,” he said, stressing economic spinoffs.
Clarendon’s Natalie Swanson noted that Quebec prohibits cyclists &
pedestrians and ATVs on the same trail, for safety reasons. She added that Route Verte funding will be withdrawn if motorized vehicles use the PPJ (about $120,000/year).
Dominique Bomans questioned the neutrality of the “multi-use committee” given that 3 of the 5 members have already declared their support for ATVs on the trail. Mayor Beauregard (Campbell’s Bay) replied that members are those who volunteered. Mayor Larivière (Litchfield) added that committee recommendations must still be accepted by full council.
Paul Shea noted that this public conflict frightens tourists. He advised both groups to work together. Shea added that he was hit by an ATV on another trail and almost hit last summer by one illegally using the PPJ.
Warden Jane Toller added that extending the ATV network falls under tourism and economic development. “We tried hard last year but hit a road block when we couldn’t use (part of) Highway 148 to connect municipalities,” she told the Journal in April.  
A new resolution passed
Council resolved to seek legal opinion on the risks in converting a portion of the PPJ to multi-use or exclusive ATV use, on insurance costs and liabilities, on Route verte funding, and other financial implications. According to Toller, multi-use will be explored first, and exclusive ATV use only if there are too many impediments. 
Unofficially, it appears the trail between Wyman (Bristol) and Litchfield could remain status quo, while Campbell’s Bay to Waltham could be multi-use/ATVs-only.
Trail users committee surprised
“It’s shocking to hear that after only one meeting, the “multi-use” committee proposed to research ATVs-only for the PPJ,” said Green-PPJ-Verte spokesperson, Remo Pasteris of Bristol. “There’s something incorrect with this committee: no public input, no consideration for current users; no contact with Vélo-Québec, despite our requests.  It seems this committee’s agenda is to get ATVs on the trail, regardless of safety or business losses.” 
Pasteris added, “Quebec does not have a multi-use trail system. Other MRCs are encouraging cycling, creating new ATV trails and supporting many other activities; they realize diversity is key to tourism success. Pontiac is the only MRC looking at eliminating a cycling trail that is part of Route verte. Converting the PPJ into an ATV trail will not be the magic bullet bringing economic development to
the MRC. Hopefully enough mayors realize these facts, and finally put an end to this discussion. What we need is real promotion and support for the PPJ and another solution found to extend the ATV network into Waltham. This would be real forward thinking.”
Club Quad Pontiac declined to comment to the Journal. 
Vélo Québec adds provincial voice
On June 19, Vélo Quebec, acting for the Quebec government, stated they oppose turning cycling trails over to quads “... due to the detrimental effect it would have on both pedestrian and cyclist safety and on the trail surface.”
Cycloparc PPJ has been part of Quebec’s Route verte network since 2008.