|Town board urged to slow down on ATV issue|
Letter to the Editor:
A proposal to allow all-terrain vehicles (ATV) to use miles of paved roads in the town of Three Lakes is moving forward under a deeply flawed public process. If any part of this proposal is adopted, a very dangerous situation will exist for all Three Lakes residents and visitors.Under the process being used in Three Lakes, detailed information about the proposal is only being made available to persons currently in Three Lakes. Residents and voters, who are not currently in Three Lakes, as well as part year residents such as myself, cannot fully participate in the discussion and learning process.
For example, The Three Lakes News reported that a spokesperson for the ATV proposal said that pamphlets containing detailed information about the plan and providing answers to many questions were being placed at locations around town for people to read. None of that information has been made available online or mailed to taxpayers and others who are not now in Three Lakes. Not being able to attend public forums where this matter is being discussed means that.
I have no idea what proponents and opponents are saying about it or what “facts” are being put forth or the basis for any claims. I can send a letter to the town (which I have) with my views, but I am deprived of the chance to really participate in this process in any meaningful way. In view of the highly controversial idea being proposed, that will affect all taxpayers, this is not right. Nor is it the way our democratic form of government is supposed to work.
The danger in allowing ATVs to drive on paved roads is well known. Both the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates ATV design for safety, and the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, which is sponsored and funded by the ATV manufacturers, strongly urge that ATVs not be allowed on paved roads. The reason? It’s very dangerous!
For example, in Minnesota from 2006 to 2008, 62% of ATV-related deaths occurred on paved roads. It’s not dangerous just for the ATV riders, but for anyone who drives, walks or bikes on these roads as well, especially where there would be trucks and cars going at a much higher speed than the ATVs in many places on the proposed ATV routes.
The town board should slow down the process and hold a series of public meetings over the spring and summer months to allow everyone who would be affected by ATVs on paved roads to fully participate in this important discussion.
Three Lakes and
|Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:34 PM|