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Postby Paul » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:43 pm

(courtesy and thanks to Gotmoxie on NEATV for the original post and words)

THE BERLIN DAILY SUN, Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Back in business! City council endorses OHRV bill

Hearing for both OHRV and Casino bills scheduled for March 3


BERLIN ? A proposed bill that will allow Off Highway Recreational Vehicles (OHRV) to travel on state highways in Coos County received the endorsement of the city council Monday night. State Rep. Paul Ingersoll, the sponsor of the measure, asked the council for a written letter of support. He also encouraged supporters to testify at a hearing on the bill in Concord on March 3.

The bill would allow municipalities in Coos County to designate OHRV routes and allow the vehicles to travel in the right-of-way on state highways on those designated routes. All OHRVs must be registered and operators over 16 would have to have a valid driver?s license. Children under 16 and over 12 years of age would be required to have an OHRV safety certificate and travel within 100 feet of a parent or legal guardian. No one under 12 could operate an OHRV on a state highway. The bill sets a speed limit of 25 miles per hour. The bill would take effect 60 days after passage.

Berlin is not the only community interested in taking advantage of the measure if it passes. Dummer has an article on its town warrant to allow OHRV vehicles on highways there. Berlin already has a snowmobile trail that runs through the city, using several city sidewalks to get through the downtown. Councilor Tim Cayer said a group of city officials, state Bureau of Trails officials, and members of two local ATV clubs have been meeting regularly to work out options for connecting the ATV trail system at Jericho Mountain State Park with the trail system in Success. Another 120 miles of ATV trail are available in Millsfield. The group held a status meeting Friday at city hall.

N.H. Bureau of Trails head Chris Gamache said his agency is still working on a trail connecting the two ATV systems. He said he is optimistic a route can be worked out. Allowing ATVs and snowmobiles to use highway ROWs would allow riders to access the city as soon as the law takes effect. Ingersoll said riders could go between the two trail systems while the bureau continues to work on a route that would be off highway. Designated routes would be set up to provide access to local restaurants.

Berlin Community Services Director Laura Viger said the city could market itself as the first city in the state to allow ATVs to ride in the city. Ingersoll said the hope is to generate business for local merchants and restaurants by attracting riders from outside the North Country.

Both Ingersoll and Cayer said there will need to be an education effort for both the public and riders. But the two noted communities in Maine and Canada allow ATVs to ride on city streets with no major issues. Cayer said he plans to testify on the bill at the hearing along with a bus load of ATV riders from both the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club and the Umbagog ATV Club. There is also a petition in support of the bill being circulated that supporters hope to present to the committee.

The bill is scheduled to be heard before the House transportation committee
in Room 203 of the Legislative Office Building at 11 a.m. on March 3.

If you can't attend the Hearing the send a letter or email to the Committee... Please follow the links below. The more letters we send the better...

please take the time to follow the link above and read it first. Write in your own words, and send to all committee members regardless of your

residency. Sign your letter with municipality and State.

This will take you to the page listing committee members, as you click on each member... it will give their home address and e*mail.

Should you live in the municipality they do, or be reprensented by them... please write a specific heading for that rep. It will garner more

attention. Do not forget the Committee Chair, Vice Chair, and remember this bill is being entered by a Democrat, so limit any partisanship. ... x?code=H27
Guy that used to do stuff a long long time ago.
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