Village of Clinton office. Photo credit: Journal files

ATV users seek access to downtown Clinton streets

Users say access to village’s gas stations, restaurants and hotels would boost the economy

All-terrain vehicles on the streets of Clinton may become a common sight this summer.

Roland Higginbottom, of the Clinton and District Outdoor Sportsmen Association, asked Clinton council May 12 to consider allowing ATVs to access the village’s downtown core via Station Road and part of Carson Street. Giving ATV users easier access to the village’s gas stations, restaurants and hotels would boost the economy, he said, while complementing recent investments in the Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail.

“When people come through the Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail and get to the end, they can at least drive downtown, fuel up and possibly walk across the street to a cafe,” Higginbottom said. “The way it is now, we do have a big rec site there but there’s absolutely nothing there but a picnic table, fire ring and washroom.”

Clinton CAO Murray Daly said the proposal was in response to a survey about Clinton’s new Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The public survey asked the community what amenities it would like to see and ATV access was on the list. At the moment, unlicensed, off-road vehicles cannot be operated on any municipal streets in Clinton, Daly said.

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“They basically want access to gas stations, restaurants and the downtown commercial area of Clinton,” Daly said.

Council has not yet made a decision on the proposal, but some councillors say they are interested in investigating the idea. “It’s an avenue a lot of places are going, and while we were doing the trails and parks workshops this was brought up a few times,” Coun. Sandi Burrage said.

A letter from Curtis Ofstie, District Recreation Officer with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, noted that in order to operate an off-road vehicle on a public road, users need an operations permit from the RCMP, as well as additional insurance form ICBC.

Daly said he is working on scheduling a meeting with the Clinton RCMP to discuss the viability of the proposal, but noted it could be complicated by the fact Highway 97 runs directly through Clinton.

Mayor Susan Swan said she has also been in contact with Wells, B.C., which allows ATCs on its streets, but noted that community was built on a secondary road.

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