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ATV use in Bay Roberts causing issues for residents

The walking path sees several ATVs drive through it in the run of a day, something nearby residents are starting to get worried about.
The walking path sees several ATVs drive through it in the run of a day, something nearby residents are starting to get worried about.

BAY ROBERTS, NL — ATVs and dirt bikes are causing problems for residents of Bay Roberts who live on New Road Hill.

During a council meeting held on Tuesday, June 27, council members reviewed a letter received from Chris and Annie Deering concerning ATV activity on a walking path near their home.

The walking path, located just off of New Road Hill, was originally designed for walking, but concerns brought forth in the letter detail that walking along the path has become a safety concern in the eyes of residents.

In the letter, concerns involving noise, safety of residents and dust from the path are outlined.

“The dust is unbearable. I cannot hang my clothes on the line, open my windows, or even sit outside (and) enjoy the sun like anyone else. I have to use my clothes dryer year-round, so you can imagine my light bill,” the letter stated.

Concerns for the writer’s grandchildren were also detailed, stating that children often play in their backyard, and that if one of them were to wander onto the trail when a speeding bike was driving through, the consequences could be dire.

The letter was ultimately referred to local RCMP, as well as the town’s municipal enforcement officer (MEO), but Coun. George Simmons and Coun. Bill Seymour both spoke on the matter.

“I’ve seen this issue personally,” said Simmons. “I was there for about three hours, and I saw the ATV activity that goes across. The dust that flies up from behind these bikes is certainly an issue for anyone living nearby. It’s a lot, and a lot of bikes drive through.”

Simmons added that the town’s MEO has been in contact with the letter’s writer previously, and the letter has been forwarded to them with hopes of curtailing the use of ATVs on the path.

Seymour suggested spraying the path with calcium, hoping that it would reduce the amount of dust trailing ATVs that drive through the path.

Coun. Dean Franey jumped in, noting that calcium on the path would not solve the bike issue. Seymour still felt it would at least help.

“We as council can’t do much about bikes, really. There are more bikes on the go around here than there are cars sometimes,” said Seymour. “But we can do something about the dust, which is a big issue for people in the area. That’s what the calcium would be for. Hopefully, if we can’t solve all the issues in one go, we can at least get rid of the dust.”

Seymour went on to say that bikes in the area are out of control, something Deputy Mayor Walter Yetman promptly agreed with.

Suggestions were also made to have a meeting with the town’s MEO regarding ATV use throughout the community, though nothing had yet been set in stone.

The matter was referred to the RCMP and MEO, and council agreed to move forward with it after giving both parties a chance to review.

chris.lewis@cbncompass.ca

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