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  • Writer's pictureThe Low Down

Make trail safe before someone gets hurt

I am writing because I do not want to hit or kill a cyclist with my vehicle as I cross the Voie Verte to access my home.

I live on one of the five steep roads (Chemin Carnochan, Chemin Winnisic, 243 Chemin de la Rivière, Chemin Cora Rose, Chemin de la Carriere) that intersect the Chelsea Community Trail north of where it crosses Chemin de la Rivière in Farm Point.

The Municipality of Chelsea has created a huge safety issue by not installing proper safety infrastructure that requires cyclists to slow down to cross each intersecting road safely.

Most cyclists now do not slow down or look up or down our roads to see if a much bigger vehicle is approaching them. Many just blast through our intersections.

A similar situation exists at the intersections of Chemin de la Rivière, Chemin St Clement and Chemin Carmen, which are well-used paved local roads.

All rails-to-trails conversions in Ontario and Quebec that I have walked or cycled have things like concrete barriers or swing gates and stop signs at each intersection. This is not the case on the Voie Verte in Chelsea.

Because there are no gates or barriers on the trail crossings with roads in Chelsea, many cyclists seem to think they have the “right of way.”

Many of us who live on this section of the trail have already had “near misses” with cyclists crossing our roads (let that sink in).

The Municipality has recently installed lane dividers at our intersections that do nothing to slow down cyclists crossing these roads.

Several neighbours have written letters to the Active Transportation Committee about this safety issue, yet nothing has been done.

Most often, these letters are never acknowledged, much less responded to.

All we care about and want is safety for all users of the trail, as well as for the residents who must access their homes across the trail.

This safety issue has been ignored for too long. It seems inevitable that someone will get badly hurt or killed.

As of July 22, 2022, concrete blocks can be found at the intersections of Chemin Church and Chemin Mill. The concrete blocks slow down cyclists as they cross those intersections. These roads are flat where they intersect the trail, yet they have barriers.

Our roads in Farm Point are steep and dangerous, yet all we have are “lane dividers” that do nothing. There seem to be two sets of rules in this municipality.

Doug Emmons is a concerned resident of Farm Point, QC.

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