Mayoral candidate discusses ATVs
Dear residents of Elkins:
I am taking this opportunity to introduce myself as candidate for mayor in the next City Election March 2, 2021. I have been attending city council and committee meetings regularly to become familiar with current business, issues and concerns.
One issue that recently surfaced involves an ordinance allowing ATV and UTV usage on all Elkins’ city streets.
Currently individuals are permitted to ride “street legal” ATVs and UTVs on state maintained roads and highways, but are prohibited from riding them on our city streets.
If the aforementioned ordinance is passed, we will potentially see an increase of ATV and UTV traffic on the streets in Elkins.
I have spoken with several residents to gain insight on how the noted ordinance will impact our city, and their lives personally.
Many senior citizens have expressed reservations about passage of this law because of the increased street traffic that will follow.
The following are some of the current concerns they have shared with me:
(1) Senior citizens and other residents experience difficulty with out-of-state drivers who often disregard our posted speed limits and traffic laws for pedestrians, which cause hazards when crossing the street.
(2) Senior citizens are concerned with the skate-boarders and bicyclists that ride on sidewalks and in prohibited areas, or on the wrong side of the road. The senior citizens want to keep the streets safe for themselves as well as the individualsa riding as skateboard or bicycle legally.
(3) Senior citizens are concerned with the distracted drivers using cell phones and not focusing on the road, or pedestrian traffic.
These are just a few of the concerns that were shared by our senior citizens, but realistically impact all of our citizens on a daily basis. Our senior citizens are responsible for making Elkins the great town it is today. I would encourage our community to honor our past as we plan for the future.
I do understand some citizens are in favor of the proposed ordinance, and are excited about the possibility of riding their ATV or UTV on our streets. I respect their opinion, and will support the decision made by our city council.
However, when I think of riding an ATV or UTV, I imagine getting away from the city and enjoying nature. We have been blessed with beautiful mountains and rivers that provide natural therapy when you need to clear your head, or make memories with family and friends.
For this reason, I encourage contact with ward councilmen and councilwomen to share personal views about this issue.
I also encourage our community to remember that is ok to professionally disagree, and still remain friendly with our fellow citizens.
Our town is too small and has so much to offer to let a disagreement over an ordinance cause a divide.
One of the reasons I am running for office is to preserve our small-town atmosphere and ensure quality-of-living issues.
Feeling safe while driving through town is important for our older residents and the rest of the Elkins community.