Cottagers say: No ATVs on the PPJ!

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I’ve heard the MRC is looking into allowing ATV use on the PPJ trail from Davidson to Waltham. I have a cottage very close to the trail and have grave concerns. Walkers and cyclists have always respected our property, and controlled access has stopped vandalizing/theft from our property.

I’ve heard the MRC is looking into allowing ATV use on the PPJ trail from Davidson to Waltham. I have a cottage very close to the trail and have grave concerns. Walkers and cyclists have always respected our property, and controlled access has stopped vandalizing/theft from our property.
When the PPJ was first established, ATVs were allowed. Vandalism, high speeds and even the burning of outhouses occurred; our dog was even hit by an ATV. The trails were and still are poorly controlled, so what protection do we have?
Several years back, we gave the Quad Club the right to pass on our property and
all we ended up with was a headache.
They went off the trails, drove through at all hours of the night and made lots of
noise. They stirred up dust so badly that it even infiltrated our home. We finally had to revoke the use of trails.
I’m in favour of tourism and the money and jobs it can bring, but residential areas and ATVs should never be combined. We pay large property taxes, and allowing ATVs on the trail will decrease their value. 
Not every ATV enthusiast will cause problems, but it only takes a few. The goal is to get people from Davidson to Waltham so they can go to a restaurant. Great, they will eat and drink, and be back on the trail with alcohol in their system. This doesn’t make much sense.
Other potential problems are: more greenhouse gas emissions; safety hazards; destroying turtle populations nesting along the PPJ; increased damage and
vandalism that will impact insurance claims; high speeds with no monitoring; and no location for cyclists and pedestrians to travel other than Highway 148 and area roads, which is a security issue.
In other communities, trails have been made in ditches, and this is a great
alternative solution; or use the roads from Lac la Truite and the Black River that lead to trails to access Waltham. 
I will personally do whatever it takes to stop this project from moving forward. It will only cause many issues and conflicts, and it will be too late when someone is injured or killed. If everyone were aware of all the dangers, risks and disruptions this will cause, they would certainly think twice about endorsing such a move. Let’s
not change a quiet, peaceful region into a racetrack!

Margaret Dupuis
MANSFIELD