Village of Suamico considers ordinance on allowing ATV and UTV’s on public roadways

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 10:50 PM CDT
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SUAMICO, Wis. (WBAY) - A proposal on whether ATV’s and UTV’s are allowed on roads is splitting a community apart.

Trustees for the village of Suamico discussed on Monday evening opening up all neighborhoods to these type of vehicles.

“A lot of you guys probably know, and maybe what brought you out here, is this flier that people received. I just want to address that flier because it’s created a bit of a stir,” Village of Suamico Trustee Dan Rodden said holding a piece of paper that criticized the proposed ordinance.

Some residents who spoke in opposition said the vehicles are too loud, people would drive too fast, and they would create public safety hazards.

“I love them, but I love them off road. And I’m nervous as hell about having them on the public streets in our town,” Steve Jatczak, a resident of the village, said.

Similar to Jatceak, Ellen Good does not support ATV/UTVs on Suamico public roadways. “All in all I’ve seen zero justification for this move. You can go anywhere here in a motor vehicle than you can in an ATV/UTV.”

There were also residents who took the microphone at the village meeting to speak in favor of the vehicles.

“My wife and I patronize the restaurants here in the village of Suamico. and how great it would be if we could drive our UTV to Four Way [Bar and Restaurant], Rustique [Pizzeria],” Michael Vanbite said.

“I don’t know why people think that all of a sudden if we do get this approved, that we’re going to have two million UTV’s on the road. You know, that’s nuts. They are $30,000 a piece guys,” another Suamico resident in support of the proposal named Steve said.

A subcommittee has met eight times in the past nine months to discuss this issue and there wasn’t a vote taken Monday on approving the ordinance.

The proposal would permit driving in certain times of the day/night and drivers would not be able to go faster than 35mph unless signage states they have to drive slower. If there’s a speed limit sign that displays 45mph, however, drivers of these recreational vehicles still would only be able to travel a maximum of 35 mph.

The village sent out a generic survey in February of 2020 with several questions, including one on ATV/UTV’s. Half the respondents were for it and the other half weren’t, according to the village board.

Moreover, only about 10 percent of the population participated, which one trustee said is considered a successful participation rate.

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