The city is looking for public feedback on its proposed ATV bylaw.
Last week the ATV task force released its draft report.
The list of recommendations contained in the report looks similar to what was mandated in the city’s recently passed snowmobile bylaw.
The task force recommended the city push the Yukon government to make helmets mandatory. It also advocates permits and education courses for riders.
“The main goal for the City of Whitehorse is to draft legislation that works for the community and then to come out of the gate with education,” said Dave Pruden, the city’s manager of bylaw services.
That education component is key, said Chris May, the task force’s spokesperson.
May, who is also the president of the Yukon Off-Road Riders Association, said he gets reports about trail conflicts all the time.
“It’s something that we hear about everyday,” he said. “There’s physical confrontation happening that’s minor but there is physical conflict happening on the trails.”
Better education for all users of the trail would go a long way to combating that problem, said May.
“These kinds of bylaws have come about later in the North than they have in other areas,” he said. “I don’t know if the city is overdue – that’s not really fair – but something needs to happen here.
“There needs to be a bylaw to help resolve these issues.”
Another recommendation May said will help solve some of the conflict was a call for the city to create a comprehensive multi-use trail network. One that would allow riders to access all parts of the city and balance the needs – safety and noise concerns – of local neighbourhoods.
But building that trail network is still a long way off, said May.
If everything goes as planned, a draft version of the bylaw will be released to the public in May, with the final draft bylaw presented to council in June.
The hope is to have it passed in June or early July, said Pruden.
“Should there be any delays in the process it could complicate things because a lot of people are not around in the summer and we want to ensure that there’s public engagement with the bylaw process,” he said. “Ideally we do not want to do that through the summer months so if there are delays the ATV bylaw could be pushed forward for a significant amount of time.”
The city is holding an open house at the Canada Games Centre on April 11 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
There is also a public survey that is available online at the city’s website. Printed copies are also available. That survey will run until April 16.
Contact Josh Kerr at firstname.lastname@example.org