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  • Matt Harrison

Spandex-clad speed demons good for economy

La Pêche's 2023 budget announcement to link the Voie Verte in Chelsea with Low's Véloroute des Draveurs is a boon for the municipality, given that it’s a green project that will be financially beneficial for the local economy — though I imagine some are already poised to press “send” on a social media post to the contrary.

Detractors will cite cost, noise, increased traffic in the village, safety, whether or not the train tracks will be removed in parts, and other issues — all of which Chelsea has been dealing with for years since the construction of their Voie Verte walking trail.

Or is it a cycling trail?

That's something Chelseaites have been wrangling over for years and that Wakefielders will now get lassoed into. Those using the trail to enjoy picturesque walks, such as the elderly, complain they are terrified by spandex-clad cyclists treating the trail like their own personal velodrome.

Cyclists, on the other hand, complain that walkers meander all over the paths in great groups, oblivious to the fact that they're blocking the path for others, while some continue to allow their dogs to roam off-leash, spooking cyclists and biting passersby.

What about the NIMBY (not in my back yard) argument, which has been such a hot button topic for years in Chelsea? Related to the NIMBY argument is noise. Complaints have resulted in the erection of “Shh” signs along parts of the Voie Verte. As someone who lives along the noisy 366, I can’t muster much sympathy and wonder if this is truly a legitimate argument — for both Chelsea and Wakefield.

Trail width has also been an issue in Chelsea. La Pêche Mayor Guillaume Lamoureux recently stated that news of the trail has been “well received” by those res