Rosebushes have thorns

Epines de rosier

Is everything pink in the land of blue gold?

It would be a lie to assert that no cloud tarnishes the blue sky of the municipality of Etalle.
While it does contain "mighty and enchanting magic" , all is not perfect and there is certainly room for improvement.
So, to be honest, let's also present them, if only, precisely, to highlight the need to improve them.

Let us take note of the points to improve

The cleanliness of the villages

Déchets de plastique

Plastic waste, rubble, bags of materials, messy piles of wood, around the "big fires" serving as rubbish dumps, when it's not a rusty moped or an old washing machine ... The municipality is not immune to these "wild" or simply "forgotten" deposits on the ground after use.

We have the advantage of having large spaces along the streets: usoirs and other green surroundings. We often tend to encumber them with various objects.

This may not be the brand image that the walker or the visitor expects ...

Heritage in danger

Château de Villers

Certain elements of the Etalle heritage are deteriorating due to lack of maintenance: old castle or presbytery, low stone wall, typical building, remarkable tree ... and sometimes even classified heritage.

The goal is certainly not to turn them into museum pieces by surrounding them with frozen display cases: their simple natural aspect is much more telling and more alive.

But, for some, we must certainly sound the alarm bells before it is too late ...

Entrances to villages

Poste de transformation électrique

When he crosses the sign announcing a built-up area, the curious visitor would certainly like to realize, upon entering, the landscape interest of the locality.
So, so as not to turn back, perhaps it would be advisable to encourage him to visit it by taking care of the main accesses.

Admittedly, an electrical transformer station or a purification station are "necessary evils" and very useful besides ...
But a little vegetation would be enough to camouflage them, at least partially.

In this respect, the wooden cladding of the sports halls of Fratin or Chantemelle certainly helps to integrate them better into the landscape.

The main roads

Croisement des grands routes à Etalle

Etalle is an important traffic junction, at the crossroads of the Arlon-Florenville road (N83) and the Habay-Virton road (N87).

These are two very busy roads, which also motivated the implementation of bypass lanes, in order to relieve congestion in the center of Etalle.
However, these two almost perpendicular road axes divide the territory of the municipality into 4 areas.
The pedestrian or the cyclist who wants to go from Fratin to Buzenol, from Villers-sur-Semois to the center of Sainte-Marie, from Mortinsart to Vance or from Vance to Sivry must cross one of these major road axes.

Therefore, this website, which advocates soft mobility, should not overshadow this difficulty: crossing these traffic lanes is very dangerous.

When a walking or connecting path has to cross one of these national roads, it would therefore be advisable to ensure its safety (pedestrian crossing, signs of slowing down, even footbridge or underpass).

The former railtracks

Chemin de fer désaffecté

The former L155 railway line which linked Marbehan to Virton has been partially converted to RAVeL from the Huombois/Croix-Rouge sawmill to Virton.

But the section between Marbehan and Croix-Rouge, although still equipped with railway tracks, remains unused.
Only the portion that served the Valvert plant is still maintained by Infrabel, but the portion that served the sawmill is completely disused and overgrown.

A reallocation could possibly be considered, either again for economic purposes for the use of the sawmill or the bottling plant, or for a RAVeL. The latter solution would open up many possibilities for extending the soft mobility network in the municipality of Etalle.

Cans by the road

Canette au bord de la route

The villages of Etalle are not immune to this calamity: a large number of cans and other glass or plastic bottles are regularly thrown by the roadsides and pollute our environment.

Apart from the annual collection of this litter by volunteers, there are unfortunately not many solutions.
An initiative is currently being tested to deposit cans.
Thus, 100 cans collected in the wild give the right to a € 5 voucher to be used in local businesses in partner municipalities and Etalle is one of them.

Unfortunately, this does not prevent the incivism of those who get rid of their empty can on the side of the road.
Despite all the awareness campaigns, this kind of incomprehensible gesture remains too frequent.

The good use of "usoirs"

Usoir non entretenu

The usoir, typical of the Gaume region, is a public space, but which, in practice, is maintained by the local resident whose property is attached to the usoir.

But some building owners do not understand this practice, which nevertheless allows them, in return, to benefit from a right of priority use on the usoir contiguous to their plot.

Usoir privatisé Conversely, others privatize the usoir in front of their home. Certainly, when a local resident requests an individual development of the user, such as a driveway, the municipality generally authorizes it.

But it is in any case to preserve the open character of the usoir and to avoid privatizing this public space by a hedge, a barrier or a fence.

Closed churches

Eglise de Villers

Some churches, like that of Villers-sur-Semois, are classified.
This, however, imposes a number of constraints, including security to prevent degradation, vandalism and theft, which make the church less accessible to the general public outside of religious service hours.
It is a pity that churches are not open to everyone, not only as places of meditation and contemplation, but also to discover and admire the heritage they contain.
In order to ensure the smooth running of this operation of opening to the public, it would certainly be possible to implement certain security measures, such as listing the works of art and securing them (secure them, provide them with an alarm) , close unnecessary access, educate residents about the protection of their church, close the sacristy and close the church at night.
This could help to restore the value of old furniture, paintings, statues or liturgical objects which are currently protected in inaccessible places.

The proliferation of large apartment buildings

Immeuble à appartements

Even if they represent only a small part of the housing stock (1% of buildings) apartment buildings are a new and growing reality in Etalle. The intensity of local demographic growth is obviously a function of the availability of real estate and land and these new inhabitants must certainly be provided with housing.
But should this be done in favor of large buildings with multiple apartments?
Everyone is free to have their own opinion on the matter, but the habitat should not in any case be limited to a "dormitory" where people do not become part of the local population.
The preliminary investigation to the establishment of the PCDR indicated in any case a fear of the population concerning the strong presence of cross-border workers in the municipality, which had the consequence of increasing the price of building land and harming the user-friendliness in the villages.
An urbanism that is a little more sensitive to the rural character of the Gaume could moderate the excessive development of apartments and residential areas with modern architecture.