A great resource needs to be preserved

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I was disappointed to hear of possible future plans for the PPJ from Davidson to Waltham.

I was disappointed to hear of possible future plans for the PPJ from Davidson to Waltham.
My wife and I recently built a home on Esprit Road in Davidson. For the past 6 years, we’ve enjoyed the peacefulness, safety features and natural beauty of the PPJ. On many occasions we’ve invited friends and family to join us, which always results in boisterous declarations of how amazing the trail is and how fortunate local residents are to have such a gift at their doorstep.
Those proposing to allow ATVs on the PPJ have obviously never walked or cycled this section. A good place to start would be to invite members of the MRC’s PPJ Committee to walk or cycle from the Thomas Lefebvre starting point to the Devonshire crossing. They would come to appreciate not only the environmental splendours, but the human factors along the way with many welcoming campground folk and cottagers.
Many studies support and endorse the positive effects of exercise and the positive mental health impact of spending time in natural settings; the PPJ provides both at no cost.
Giving the PPJ up to ATVs would lead to a sad end of a magnificent resource. Many of us have experienced the work of ATVs on the PPJ already; burnouts with ruts dug as deep as 12 inches at one crossing. The disruption for the folks along the trail will be a constant battle.
Purchasing trail passes will be another issue. The cost for a six month pass is
prohibitive for many. Opening the trail to ATVs will open the door to renegade riders with one goal: “get from point A to B as fast as possible before getting caught!”
We own two ATVs and trailer them to where we want to ride. We keep our speed down to prohibit dust and noise and we stay on the trails. This won’t always happen if we allow motorized vehicles on a purposely designed pedestrian/ cycle path.
A much better idea for mayors would be to initiate activities on their section of the PPJ. Running/cycling/ swimming events can easily be held in the Davidson area. If we are trying to promote tourism, we need to have foresight into what we can do rather than what we can’t!

Patrick K Graveline
MANSFIELD