June 4, 2019 - Citizen Question About Cramahe ATV Bylaw

Gritt Koehl asked about the status of Cramahe's ATV bylaw (ATV By-law 08-32) at the June 4, 2019 Council Meeting.  This resulted in an animated discussion between Councillor Ed Van Egmond and Gritt.  You can listen to the exchange here.  The audio clip is 5 minutes 20 seconds long.

June 3, 2019 - ATV Information from OPP (Ontario Provincial Police)

The OPP have two cards on hand for citizen's information. Pictures of the cards are attached here OPP Information Regarding ATVs.

The first card outlines where ATVs are permitted, as well as the requirements riders must follow. The second card shows a map and further defines the boundaries.

The card with the map showing where ATVs are permitted, is in the process of being updated. This is due to a TRIAL by-law that has been passed by the Municipality of Brighton for this ATV season. 

A spokesperson for the OPP offered the following comments:

  1. The OPP will NOT engage in a chase with ATVs or with any vehicle. This has become standard for law enforcement everywhere. The risk to innocent people is too great.
  2. The OPP WILL respond to a complaint from any civilian if ATV laws are being breached. All it takes is a phone call.  The phone number is 1-888-310-1122.  Only use 911 for emergencies.
  3. The OPP is concerned, just as NC County is concerned, with the safety aspects of ATVs being permitted on municipal roads that do not have adequate infrastructure to accommodate ATVs.

June 2, 2019 - Northumberland County Road Exceptions for ATVs

The Northumberland County By-law which limits ATV travel on County roads is Northumberland County ATV By-law 2019-21

Information on exceptions for ATV travel on County roads is available here County Road Exceptions to Allow ATVs

The Cramahe ATV bylaw (ATV By-law 08-32) came into effect on May 6 2008.  The by-law stated that "this bylaw would have effect for one (1) year from the date of passage."  Technically the Township does not have an ATV by-law at the present time.  According to OPP literature ATVs are currently allowed on Township roads NORTH of the 401.

May 7, 2019 - ATV By-law Discussion at Cramahe Council

ATVs were on the Cramahe Council-in-Committee Agenda on May 7, 2019 in the form of Operations Department Report 13-19.  Read the report here Operations Report 13-19 ATV Bylaw

The key points brought forward by the report were:

  • The current Cramahe ATV bylaw is expired and needs to be reissued
  • The Northumberland District ATV Riders Club (NDATV) made the following case in support of free access to all Cramahe Roads south of the 401
    • Residents of Cramahe Township who ride off road vehicles and live south of the 401 would like access to the trail system north of the 401 without having to trailer their vehicles.
    • Residents north of the 401 would like access to gas stations, Colborne restaurants and local businesses south of the 401.
    • Trail riders who are not Cramahe residents are requesting access south of the 401 to access amenities not available between Warkworth and Baltimore such as gas and food.
    • The NDATV Club believes it will be economically beneficial for Cramahe Township to allow their riders to access the amenities south of the 401.
  • The Staff report concluded that Council should direct staff to prepare a new Off-Road Vehicle Bylaw to include side-by-side all-terrain vehicles (in the bylaw) as all-terrain vehicles (ATV). Staff also recommended that the new bylaw prescribe the months of operation and permit all-terrain vehicle use on all roadways under the jurisdiction of the Corporation of the Township of Cramahe.

Holly Grant the Township Compliance Co-ordinator spoke to a number of concerns that were raised about extending ATV access in Cramahe south of the 401 corridor.  She made the following points:

  • Mike Ainsworth and his club (NDATV) are viewed as being responsible and don’t pose a problem in the mind of the Township
  • The main “ask” of the ATV users is to have access to gas stations and food outlets south of the 401.
  • ATVs are meant for off-road travel
  • ATVs introduce an added complication to protecting people (e.g., walkers) on Cramahe roads.
  • What does Cramahe (in particular Colborne) want to look like? Madoc? Bancroft? Cobourg? Which direction is Cramahe going in?
  • The OPP do not enforce bylaws – they have a “no chase” policy with respect to ATVs
  • There are already complaints about ATVs in town. The ATV bylaw is virtually impossible to enforce.  Where is the money going to come from to enforce an ATV bylaw
    • Ticketing enforcement costs money
    • Signage to control the movement of ATVs costs money
    • Additional staff resources cost money
  • North-south roads such as Durham Street do not have shoulders. Vehicles passing ATVs would need to use the oncoming lane.  See picture below of Durham Street.

Durham Street North Just South of Purdy

Durham Street North (Just South of Purdy Road)

  • Northumberland County does not normally allow ATVs on County roads. The only County Road that Cramahe ATV riders are allowed to use is County Road 21 (from County Road 25 to 1.0 km west of Pogue Road).  This is so that ATV riders can get around the swampy areas.
  • Northumberland County is concerned about ATVs damaging the shoulder of County Roads. ATVs have been observed fishtailing along the shoulders of county roads thereby creating ruts and interfering with the flow of water off the roadway.  There are limited resources available to repair this damage. (Dan McBride)
  • The three bridges connecting the north and south portions of Cramahe are narrow and do not allow for dual pass traffic.
  • Northumberland County considers County Road 25 too busy and the bridge over the 401 too narrow to allow ATVs on this road.  See photo of County Road 25/Big Apple Drive bridge below.

County Road 25   Big Apple Drive Bridge

County Road 25 – Big Apple Drive Bridge Over Hwy 401

  • Like the Big Apple Drive bridge over the 401, the Herley Road– Durham Road bridge is narrow and is not designed for dual pass.  See photo of the Herley Road/Durham Road bridge below.

Durham   Herley Road Bridge

Durham Street – Herley Road Bridge Over Hwy 401

Like the Big Apple Drive and the Herley Road bridges over the 401, the Lake Road bridge is narrow and is not designed for dual pass.  See photo of the Lake Road Bridge below.

Lake Road Bridge Over 401

Lake Road Bridge Over Hwy 401

  • There is nowhere for ATV’s to get off of Percy Street travelling down toward HWY 2
  • A similar bylaw amendment was drafted in 2016 and was never implemented because of many of the same concerns. In fact there have been significant changes in the Colborne area since that time: new subdivisions are being built; there are changes in the industrial component; there are social events such as music in the square.
  • Downtown parking is a "huge issue". Currently there is no parking for residents living at the top of buildings in the downtown core.
  • There are big challenges with weekend traffic into the Big Apple. It would not be good to add ATVs into the mix (Sandra Arthur)
  • Cramahe cannot be readily compared to other Municipalities that currently allow ATVs in their built up areas. Areas like Trent Hills do not need to contend with things like the 401 or narrow bridges.  There are also differences in terms of economics.

There was a wide ranging discussion among Council members as to what should be in the next revision of the Cramahe ATV bylaw.  On one side were Tim Gilligan and Ed Van Egmond arguing that ATV riders should have unlimited access to Cramahe roads.  On the other side was Sandra Arthur and Mandy Martin advocating for a more conservative approach arguing that there were safety issues associated with allowing ATVs south of the 401.  Councillors ultimately agreed that a Public meeting was important before finalizing the bylaw.

Audio clips of what was said at the meeting are available below: 

1) Complete audio of ATV discussion/debate (Duration 44 minutes 7 seconds

2) Comments by Tim Gilligan (Duration 3 minutes 20 seconds)

3) Comments by Ed Van Egmond (Duration 2 minutes 26 seconds)

4) Comments by Sandra Arthur (Duration 3 minutes 41 seconds)

5) Comments by Mike Ainsworth (NDATV) Duration 11 minutes 32 seconds

6) Comments by Holly Grant (Duration 7minute 30 seconds)