Re city bylaws restricting the use of ATVs and snowmobiles:
I have been a resident of the Granger subdivision in Whitehorse since 2005. My family and I own ATVs and snowmobiles, which we use for recreation and for hunting.
We have particularly enjoyed using them to explore the areas near to our great “Wilderness City.”
I live approximately two blocks from the Hamilton Boulevard multi-use trail, but was told recently by a bylaw officer that I could not drive my licensed and insured ATV that distance on the road to access the trail.
I was told, in fact, that I could not drive the ATV on any roadway for any distance.
Herein lies the problem: It is true that there are many kilometres of trails available for use by machines such as these, but, in many cases, the existing bylaws do not allow reasonable or practical access to them.
In order to have people be able to make use of these trails, it is necessary to allow the vehicles to make use of the roads and trails which would connect the people in the subdivisions to their closest trails and the trails to one another.
I know that there are many reasonable and law-abiding citizens, like myself, in Whitehorse who wish to enjoy the use of their machines without disturbing others or harming the environment.
But, because we are who we are, we do not make our opinions known and often end up being the recipients of decisions that we had no input in making.
For that reason, I am calling on the moderate centre to speak up and let the city know that there can be a compromise between those who oppose the use of ATVs and snowmobiles and those who wish to enjoy them responsibly.
Yes, set and enforce bylaws for licensing and insurance, helmet use and speed that will address the concerns that people have, but do not impose a ban on the machines from the roadways and trails within the city.
For so many of us, the enjoyment of and access to our surrounding wilderness is in fact what makes this city as appealing as it is.