Town Manager’s Corner “ATV USE”
This article originally appeared in the Katahdin Region News Thursday August 9, 2018
by John Davis, Millinocket Town Manager.
For most of the summer, Town officials have been fielding complaints about the misuse of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). These concerns have centered around people riding on access routes and undesignated routes at dangerous rates of speed.ATVs are off-road vehicles and should never be operated on paved roads at a high rate of speed. Off-road vehicles are inherently prone to tipping over, and their low-pressure tires do not grip a paved road surface properly. They have a high center of gravity and a narrow wheelbase that prevents them from being easily controlled on paved roads. Their four low pressure tires are, by definition, low impact tires. They are designed to reduce adverse effects on rough terrain by distributing pressure over a wider area.
It is not the intent of this article to criticize ATV riders or to give the sport a bad local image. The average family of four spends hundreds of dollars a day on lodging, meals, and fuel, which helps drive the local economy. The bad name comes from the few riders who disregard the laws that an overwhelming majority obey.
The following is a list of the streets that can be used as access routes and are drawn out on the ATV map that the Northern Timber Cruisers handed out, and a copy of the most frequently asked questions that the Police Chief posted on the Town’s website.
Bates Street, Bowdoin Street, Penobscot Avenue, Poplar Street, Spring Street, Congress Street, Massachusetts Avenue, Birch Street, Granite Street, Medway Road, Wassau Street, Sycamore Street, Balsam Drive, and Ash Street.
Can I still drive on ATV on Millinocket streets when the State of Maine closes their trail system?
No, when the state deems it necessary to close the trail system due to conditions related to mud season, ATV’s are not allowed on Town streets until the State reopens the trail system. Information about the exact date each year will be posted on the website for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry. Also check your local ATV Club, Northern Timber Cruisers.
Can I drive my ATV on the town streets after 10PM?
No, Town Streets are closed to ATV traffic after 10PM and do not open to ATV traffic until 8AM – unless authorized by the Town Council during special events.
Can I leave my residence to go to a local business and/or access the Town ATV Access Trails?
YES, it is permissible to leave directly from your residence using the ATV Access Trails to access the ATV Connector Trail to go to a local business as well as access the Katahdin Region Multi-Use Trail (K.R.M.U.T.).
Can I drive an ATV on a Town street or roadway at a speed of 25 miles per hour?
ATV Access and Connector trails are posted at 10 miles per hour, when not on posted trails the speed limit in Town will be 25 miles per hour.
Do I need a working headlight and taillight to operate an ATV on Town streets?
YES, it is illegal to operate on Town streets without a working headlight or taillight.
Can I ride an ATV alongside another ATV in the travel lane?
No, riders must operate single file in traffic like any other motor vehicle.
When traveling down the street on the ATV do I ride in the motor vehicle travel lane?
No, ATV riders must keep to the far right of the motor vehicle travel lane.
How old do I have to be to operate an ATV on the town access trails?
A person 10 years of age or older but under 16 years of age may not operate an ATV unless that person has successfully completed an approved ATV training course and is accompanied by an adult.