Woman asks Craig City Council to allow ATVs on city streets

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DeLaine Brown was prepared for the Craig City Council meeting Tuesday.

Brown, along with about seven others, attended the council's meeting with a request: allow residents to register all-terrain vehicles and off-highway vehicles with the city so they may drive them on city streets.

As she addressed the council, Brown showed the breadth of work she and others did before engaging city officials.

She had a three-page draft ordinance, written by her and other supporters, allowing ATV and OHV travel.

She had copies of such ordinances from four different cities, including those in Minnesota and Utah, plus various state documents from Colorado State Parks, Wyoming and Utah.

Brown submitted a 21-page packet to city officials and spoke directly about what she wants.

"You've done a ton of homework," Craig Mayor Don Jones said.

He asked City Attorney Kenney Wohl to work on drafting an ordinance the council could consider in the future.

From the beginning of her presentation, Brown made it clear she and others she worked with didn't want to allow any ATVs on just any street.

To do so would be irresponsible and dangerous, she said.

Her proposal is for residents interested in using ATVs or OHVs to commute around the city to first register their vehicle with the city, insure it for street travel and make sure it had necessary traffic equipment such as headlamps, tail lamps, reflectors, a horn, muffler and windshield.

Brown's proposed ordinance also would prevent any ATV or OHV from traveling on Yampa Avenue or Victory Way except to cross, and prevent any such vehicles from traveling above 45 miles per hour.

When asked why the issue was important to her, Brown said she had been to other communities where it was legal and it made traveling short distances easier and less expensive without causing anyone or anything harm.

"With today's economy, who wouldn't welcome a chance to go to the store with a more fuel-efficient ATV instead of firing up their more gas-guzzling four-by-four?" Brown said.

She added that ATVs already are legal inside Craig in certain instances, such as Wyoming residents who drive theirs to town and have Wyoming plates or if a person uses it for agriculture purposes.

"We just want to make what's legal for some, legal for everyone," Brown said.

No city officials spoke against Brown's proposal, though the mayor said the Craig Police Department would have to figure out how to logistically handle ATV registrations.

It was by far the least contentious resident-driven issue city officials have dealt with recently.

In the past two weeks, the council has deliberated on medical marijuana, livestock in residential neighborhoods, revising its noise ordinance and potentially revising its planning and zoning codes.

Each of those issues drew more residents to council meetings than most any other meeting in the past few years. The latter also brought on criticism from some residents that city officials, at least in the past, have lied to residents and played favorites with wealthy community members and developers.

Comments

slipknot 4 years, 11 months ago

Check the problems Rangely had/has with ATV and UTVs running around town might be enlightening for you big city types

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selket42 4 years, 11 months ago

I think it is a good idea. I don't see much difference between an ATV and the scooters you see cruising around town. What are the legal requirements for those? Apply the same rules to a machine with 4 wheels instead of two.

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Lawspecialist 4 years, 11 months ago

I haven't read the proposal, and for a minute it sounded like a good idea however, I have to keep in mind that there will be issues all over the board with this; safety is the biggest, you have the issue of helmets, gear, glasses, gloves, etc., damage concerning vehicle versus ATV (and injury); age... right now, almost anyone at any age can drive an ATV. Another point is it may bring in revenue if allowed but at what cost and speaking of revenue, I believe the dept of motor vehicles does not issue license plates to this type of equipment as it is classified as off-road and they do have special mobile equipment license plates which may be a consideration, however, they are not cheap. To get that changed, I believe, would have to be done at the state level. We are always comparing our situations (i.e. gas prices, wages, service, product availability, etc.) to that of larger cities such as Denver, of course, when it can benefit us. Now lets do that here. . . I cannot speak for them, however, my opinion is there would be no second look at a proposal to the city of Denver to approve ATV's on its streets. I'm neither for it nor against it, however, there are many factors to consider here ..... It opens a whole new can of worms.......big ones.

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xrsareus 4 years, 11 months ago

We just got back from Montana and Wyo. ATV's must be legal on the streets in those states. Sitting at lunch in Riverton WY, we saw two different 4 wheeler's going down Main street, they both used hand signal for turning. Saw a lot in Montana also on the city streets. No helmets, no windshield, just eye protection like the rules for a motorcycle. Don't know if they had a horn. Maybe instead reinventing the wheel the city could call some other states and see the pro's and con's and use their rules and laws. Must be working in those states.

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grannyrett 4 years, 11 months ago

ATV's and UTV's are legal to drive on streets in Arizona. It isn't that difficult to figure out how to do it. Some people will take something simple and see how hard they can make it. Windshield-you can make your own; lighted license plate holder-most have a plug in for them; horn-some use a bike horn, rear view mirrors-ATV dealers have them. License them and insure them like a car. Added income for the state-county and city. Sure is nice when you just want to do a few errands.

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Really 4 years, 11 months ago

If this passes will I be able to ride my snowmobile in town if the roads are snowy?

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Wapitipoker 4 years, 11 months ago

How about people walk instead of getting in their gas powered whatever. Oh wait, there are hardly any sidewalks in Craig because most people are too lazy to walk and when they do, nobody shovels the snow off the sidewalks that do exist so you end up walking in the streets. Craig is such a small town that it should encourage walking and bicycling not more noisy, smelly machines.

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Joanna Hatten 4 years, 11 months ago

Theres nothing safe about the Memorial Hospital either Mr. Moore...but you are all for that!!! Oh wait!!! You work there.....therefore benefiting you!!! :)

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calvinhobbs 4 years, 11 months ago

have them follow the same laws as a motorcycle. eye protection, horn, headlight and be a licensed, insured driver. Like others have said, Arizi=ona, wyoming and Montana use them.

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David Moore 4 years, 11 months ago

Wapitipoker wrote: "Craig is such a small town that it should encourage walking and bicycling not more noisy, smelly machines."

I could not agree more, Craig is less than 2 miles in any direction from it's center, therefore there is no excuse to not ride a bike or walk. IMO, this is an unnecessary addition to already hazardous Craig city streets...cars, trucks, semi's, bicyclists, motorbikes, skateboarders, deer, squirrels, kids...and now you want ATV's? The other poster was right, might as well throw golf carts in the mix too. I'd go for that over ATV's, they are way more visible and travel much slower. If this happens, I would hope some sort of requirements would be put into place(there seems to be none at the moment), ten year old's screaming around Craig helmetless on a machine four times their size and 300#'s heavier...in flip-flops, is kind of un-nerving to me.

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grannyrett 4 years, 11 months ago

David -if the kid has a valid drivers license, then what's the problem? ATV's on the street have to obey all the traffic laws, just like cars do. Even in big cities, like Phoenix, there aren't a lot of them-and yes, they include golf carts. Many seniors use them to go get the mail, run to the store, and do little errands. They don't travel out on the highways with them. They are licensed with a tag just like a motorcycle. They are used much the same way, only-not on the highways.

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David Moore 4 years, 11 months ago

Grannyrett, Same problem with kids driving cars, they do not pay attention...at all. There is no safety cage around an ATV as there is in an automobile so the fatality rate jumps significantly.
Besides, a drivers license is just a piece of paper, how does that prevent the ten year olds from doing it, they are doing it right now and nothing is being done about it. Safety wise this would not be a good move for Craig.

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oldgezzer 4 years, 11 months ago

i see kids all the time driving that i know for fact dont have driver licences. so there is no gauranty that kids without licences will be driving atvs. get off your butts and walk or ride a bike.

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Lawspecialist 4 years, 11 months ago

Endulge me for a moment.... "a person driving an ATV is involved with a motor vehicle in an accident. The ATV driver gets seriously injured. It is determined it is a no fault accident BUT, the driver files a law suit and cries the city should held accountable for passing the ordinance and wants the courts to hold the city accountable because they passed they ordinance and therefore the driver would not be injured had they not passed it..... DESPITE it being the drivers decision to drive the ATV down the city street". Win or lose the case, there is the issue of the time and mony wasted on the defense.

For every decision made there are consequences to pay.

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oldgezzer 4 years, 11 months ago

lawspecialist, you are probably the smartest of the bunch. another senario, what if they have a child on that atv? what about seat belts? you know as well as i do, that people will have children right along with them. is forth street going to be included as streets that will not be allowed to travel on with these atvs? the city should not waste any time on this and nip this in the bud now., and enforce some of the laws that they have

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als362 4 years, 11 months ago

If this is allowed, then the drivers of cars and trucks, by the way these are the ones PAYING for the use of the road or street. Will have another thing to look out for and dodge while driving. NO this is NOT a good idea. This would only cause another problem for everyone that is trying to drive and for law enforcement trying to keep traffic safe. Then there is the problem of accidents, who is at fault and who will have to pay for the injuries caused a truck like mine that weighs 8000 pounds hits a vehicle that weighs about 500 pounds. This idea should be scrapped, it is stupid!

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grannyrett 4 years, 11 months ago

als-what happens if an 8000 lb. truck like yours hits a motorcycle? What would be the difference?

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irishbrat 4 years, 11 months ago

Walk or ride a bike instead of drive? If you're single that might work. I have kids and dogs and a busy life. I am not so sure where I would strap the 40lb bag of dog food onto my bike or the grocery buggy full of groceries. It might be simple for some of you but for others it isn't. I understand the health benefits from it but I also understand it isn't possible in many situations. What about motorized wheelchairs? I thought they were already legal on the city streets but maybe not.

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