With all-terrain vehicles and off-road motorcycles being allowed to operate on some town streets starting this Saturday, May 31, town officials and the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office say they are well-prepared for the change.
In the April 1 town election, a ballot measure to allow OHVs on designated routes was approved by a vote of 243-179 (58 percent to 42 percent).
Starting on Saturday, OHVs may enter Silverton via County Roads 2 and 110, and from the Kendall Mountain Road via 14th Street. OHVs may also use 7th Street east of Greene to access Silver Summit and Red Mountain RV parks.
Downtown, OHVs will be allowed on Greene and Blair, and 10th Street to 14th Street between Greene and Blair.
Town officials say OHVs must be insured and operators must have valid driver’s licenses. The OHVs also must have a Colorado State Park registration sticker, which costs $25.25 a year.
Sheriff Sue Kurtz pointed out that a few out-of-town ATV riders have already shown up riding in town and have been contacted by law enforcement.
She said a key to success will be adequately informing visitors of the rules.
“We had those three weekends last summer that gave us a good window of opportunity to prepare,” Kurtz said.
Kurtz was referring to the three special events in which OHVs were allowed limited access to town on a trial basis last year.
She noted that initial problems dropped substantially once signs were deployed to designate the routes.
“Signs solved a lot of the problems last summer,” Kurtz said. “People want to be on the right route, they just have to be able to tell where it is.”
In the last few days the Town Crew has been installing some three dozen signs designating the OHV routes
“We are prepared,” Kurtz said. “We’ll probably give warnings as appropriate and citations as appropriate.”
Kurtz said her officers will be distributing ATV route maps as well to try to let everyone know the rules in town.