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Against ATVs on town of Lincoln roads PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor,

On June 10, 2014, the Lincoln Town board abdicated their power to Mark Kirby, president of the Three Lakes Nicolet ATV Club, an Oneida County entity.

A year ago, the Three Lakes Nicolet ATV Club wanted the board to allow them to use Bloom Road and Loon Lake Road as an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) route to Eagle River.

Following empathetic support by the board regarding use of Lincoln town roads for ATVs, Kirby asked the board who he should talk to regarding ATV routes through Eagle River. The board said city Councilman Jerry Burkett. Kirby volunteered to talk to Burkett on behalf of the board regarding the Three Lakes Nicolet ATV Club creating a route through the town of Lincoln and Eagle River. Members of the board unanimously agreed. Town of Lincoln voters will be represented by an ATV club regarding the use of ATVs on their roads and streets.

As a UTV (utility terrain vehicle) owner and a bicycle owner, I’ve carefully considered both sides of the issue. When the issue of safety was brought up regarding cars, bicycles and ATVs driving on the same road, Lincoln board member Brian Uttech, who lives on Sundstein Road, justified his pro-ATV position by stating bicycles are a greater traffic threat than ATVs.

When bicyclists first wanted to use Sundstein Road, Lincoln board members passed an ordinance making it illegal for bicycles to ride on the right-of-way, stating it was for safety reasons. When the suggestion was made during the meeting to allow ATVs on Sundstein Road, Uttech said he didn’t care, basically saying let the ATVs drive the road.

The board members refuse to acknowledge that many residents in Lincoln and other surrounding towns do not want ATVs on their roads due to safety reasons, driving on to private property, trespassing and erratic driving.

The point was brought up that Vilas County voters rejected ATV use on roads by a 63% to 37% margin during a 2004 referendum, Uttech sarcastically said, “Yeah 100 years ago.” With a margin of rejection that large, the voice of the people of Vilas County should be heard in this matter via another referendum.

For decades, Vilas County has provided a quiet haven for urban and suburban vacationers. Resort owners created a market based on their yearning for quiet and rest. Yes, there are areas such as the Chain of Lakes that get noisy in the summer. But there are also lakes and areas that don’t allow motors so visitors can enjoy the serenity of the North Woods.

The Three Lakes Nicolet ATV Club and pro-ATV board members at the town and county level want to decimate the serenity by allowing ATVs on town roads and eventually county roads too.

The folks who come up here for peace and quiet bring a lot of money with them. The majority of them are also in a higher income bracket then the average ATV driver. Town and county leaders don’t recognize the economic value in the intangible items of peace and quiet. They don’t understand that serenity is priceless to summer visitors and to the businesses that were built to satisfy that market. They won’t understand until it is gone, along with the revenue stream it generates. By then it will be too late.

I urge the town of Lincoln voters to call Dick Stoegbauer, Brian Uttech, Bruce Richter, Scott Nordstrom and Bill Hassey and politely let them know that you don’t want ATVs on your roads nor be represented by an ATV club from Oneida County.

Uno M. Bloom

Eagle River

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 12:59 PM

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