The Town of Bracebridge will be taking a closer look at all of its ATV rules following a request to expand the borders where they are allowed in town.
Originally council was asked to consider a petition signed by more than 200 people to relocate the ATV boundaries in Bracebridge from Highway 11 to Cedar Lane with Taylor Road as the northern boundary.
That request was denied for the time being but council did vote to take a more comprehensive look at the existing ATV bylaws.
When discussing the request Coun. Debbie Vernon said there’s too much traffic in the Cedar Lane/ Taylor Road area already and allowing ATVs would only add to the congestion. The planet is in the midst of a climate emergency, she added, and council should be doing everything possible to cut emissions.
Coun. Brenda Rhodes questioned whether council’s vision for the future of downtown should include ATVs. She said the Town is trying to encourage active transportation and said her belief is that more people will use that method than ATVs.
“This goes against the sustainability and environmental objectives of the Town,” she said. “It seems like we’re moving backwards.”
Coun. Archie Buie favoured looking at the exemption as soon as possible.
“More than 200 people signed this petition and we need to do our due diligence,” he said.
Nonetheless, the majority of council favoured waiting until next year to allow staff an appropriate amount of time to review the entire bylaw.
Coun. Barb McMurray, who favoured taking the expedition request to staff immediately, said if the town is looking at ATVs they should look at e-bikes too.
“E-bikes are being excluded from a number of municipalities because of their instability and the danger of them,” she said. “Maybe we should throw a bylaw in place on whether that should be allowed.”
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