City reviews side-by-side vehicle By-law and pilot project

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On March 19, the Committee of the Whole heard a report from Jenn Johnson, Manager of Parks, Recreation and Culture regarding the new side-by-side vehicle regulation that will be piloted from May 1 to November 30, 2019. The Committee reviewed the new By-law, which will be brought forward to Council at the next Regular Council Meeting on March 26. Kawartha Lakes staff have recommended that the new By-law be adopted.

In July 2015, the Province of Ontario amended its By-law to allow two-up ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), side-by-side ATVS, UTVs (utility terrain vehicles) and ROVs (recreational off-highway vehicles) on permitted provincial highways and municipal roads where By-laws permit their use.

In response to this amendment, Council approved a pilot project for 2019 that will allow the use of ROVs along the Victoria Rail Trail Corridor north of Northline Road.

Consultations with (KATVA), Somerville Forest User Group, MLEO and other appropriate parties have taken place on the topics of finance, infrastructure and enforcement. Monitoring, control and enforcement of the motorized use on the north section of the Victoria Rail Trail Corridor during the pilot project will be completed in partnership between the municipality and KATVA, who have offered to cover the cost of required gate alterations and new signage.

After consultations and the pilot project, Kawartha Lakes staff recommend the By-law be adopted with the following requirements:

  • Gate locations along trails and the forest tract be replaced and/or altered to allow the wider ROVs;
  • Open gates be monitored to identify concerns from a safety and maintenance perspective;
  • Education about permitted areas of use be communicated to the public through signage, promotional material and an enhanced trail map;
  • Enforcement of By-law remains the status quo with MLEO and OPP supporting when available;
  • That By-law 2009-116 be reviewed and altered so that the use of ROVs on municipal roadways is not allowed; and
  • That the pilot program be reviewed and evaluated in early 2020.

For more information about City trails, please visit Trails and Conservation Areas section on the City’s website.

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