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ATVs on county roads

requires a lot of caution

Use of county highways for all-terrain vehicle (ATV) routes are part of proposals in both Vilas and Oneida counties — something that should be allowed only under controlled, safe circumstances and should be decided on a case-by-case basis.


In Oneida, the Three Lakes Nicolet ATV?Club is proposing to use County Highway A between Three Lakes and Sugar Camp as a designated route. The proposal has town board approval but still needs county approval, including the highway commissioner’s blessing.


Because Highway A is a hilly, curvy road with many narrow stretches, we can only support an ATV?route designation if the county reconstructs the highway to include a paved bike lane and a decent gravel shoulder.


However, it shouldn’t take consideration of an ATV?route to get the county to make this a safer stretch of highway. Because it serves as a major corridor for school buses, students, teachers and parents in the Three Lakes School District, it should be widened and improved. Additionally, it is heavily traveled as the shortest, most popular driving route to and from Rhinelander, the county seat.


In Vilas, the town of Phelps is preparing to revive its proposal to designate parts of County Highway A as an ATV route. In that case, the county highway is not nearly as narrow and has fewer sight obstacles than its counterpart in Three Lakes.


This is not an easy issue. On one hand, we are extremely concerned with putting ATVs on county highways where the traffic is moving at 55 mph. These are generally major corridors for moving motorists between communities.


On the other hand, Wisconsin has historically forced motorists to deal with slow-moving traffic on highways, and drivers have become both tolerant and experienced. Much of the state is agricultural and it’s common to see tractors and horse-driven buggies with slow moving vehicle signs attached — operating on town, county and state highways.


We don’t pretend to have all the answers. But unless the county can improve Highway A in Three Lakes, it is a poor choice for throwing ATVs into the mix.

Earlier Relay event date

didn’t deter survivors

Challenged by a new and earlier event date, organizers of the 15th annual Relay For Life of the Northwoods couldn’t realistically expect to raise more money — or even the same amount of money as previous years.


It’s not surprising that the initial fund-raising total has dropped from $72,000 last year to $43,800 this year, though officials say the teams will be raising funds and adding contributions through the end of August.


Despite the change, it was impressive that hundreds of people still turned out to support the 128 cancer survivors who were introduced and took a victory lap on the Northland Pines High School track.


The event is about more than raising funds to fight cancer. It’s about celebrating the survivors who give hope to us all.

Behind the editorial ‘we’


Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Anthony Drew.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 1:00 PM

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