Lindsay residents say clear no to ATV route through town
Poll was tighter when more rural votes considered
A clear majority of Lindsay residents who voted have said no thanks to an ATV route running through the town of 20,000, according to a well-publicized city poll.
In the poll, 66 per cent of Lindsay residents who voted oppose an ATV route in Lindsay in response to council’s survey. A resident’s petition, on the city’s website and hardcopy, backs this up with 847 signatures.
When all 1,632 responses in the city poll are included, the results are tighter – 51 per cent versus 49 per cent — although a slight majority of Kawartha Lakes residents are still opposed to an ATV route going through Lindsay.
The Advocate gleaned the numbers from the most recent committee of the whole report.
The city’s Jump In site was the platform for the poll, which was open June 17 to July 30 and was advertised across all municipal platforms, including local newspapers, paid social media, radio and road signs.
Council is expected to make a decision at its Sept. 21 meeting.
The recreational ATV route through Lindsay was proposed as way for recreational ATV users to get through Lindsay. A report from the local health unit showed that ATV hospitalizations in Kawartha Lakes was five times the rate of the rest of Ontario. The report also showed that Kawartha Lakes ATV hospitalizations increased from 33 per cent to 60 per cent, between 2015 and 2019, relative to the overall hospitalizations in this health unit, which includes Northumberland and Haliburton.
Earlier this summer, council voted 5-4 to extend the consultation period and put out a notice and a survey asking residents whether they supported an ATV route through Lindsay.
ATVs, a type of off-road vehicle also called ORVs, were originally designed for farm use and use in off-road areas. The use of ATVs for recreational use has expanded and with it, the demand for access to public roads. Anyone with an M2 or G2 licence and a helmet and insurance can drive an ATV, with a passenger as young as eight years old. With the increase of recreational ATV use on roads, safety and liability issues have increased.
“ATV incidents have increased and they will increase even more if council doesn’t follow the advice they have been given” says Dr. Peter Petrosoniak, adding “The reports from the Medical Officer of Health and Public Health are facts based on hospital records; and the fact is that ATV incidents, including fatalities, increase where ATVs are allowed on roads”
Other routes in Lindsay, rural areas, and Bobcaygeon, have been referred back to an ORV Task Force meeting in September with a report to council before the end of the year.