Town council does not plan to end the ban on motorized vehicles using trails in Princeton despite complaints from avid ATV riders.
The trails must be designated as non-motorized to get funding from the government, said Vermilion Trails Society president Kim Maynard.
“The bottom line is financial. All of the projects – such as the Bridge of Dreams, the majority of the paving and the lighting project – have been funded through Trans Canada Trails and different areas of government.”
Maynard also said safety is an issue when both motorized vehicles and people going for a walk share the same trail.
The ban only applies within town limits – people can ride ATVs and dirt bikes further away.
But some people are upset at council’s decision in December to ban ATVs.
“…Given the new Princeton mayor and council’s adopting a position that is opposed to my enjoying the recreational opportunities in your area, I must say that I no longer intend to spend any money in Princeton,” said an ATV rider from Hope in a letter to town council.
“…The message is clear: I and all my companions are not wanted.”
But Maynard said the the majority of trails within communities are non-motorized.
“It’s not a rare thing we’re doing here.”
There have been a couple near-misses by speeding ATVs along the trail – one involving a toddler, he said.
Signs will be put in place saying the trails are non-motorized, but trail-users themselves will be in charge of most of the monitoring, Maynard said.
Maynard said he hears continual complaints from people who want to walk on the trails without ATVs speeding by.
“All this money is being brought into our community – it’s a tremendous asset. If it takes us to designate as non-motorized, so be it.”