Consider making ATVs street legal

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ron Berg (Jan. 30 Juneau Empire), wrote of all-terrain vehicles being incompatible with long-established trail use. He must not be referring to any time prior to the city's placing three boulders in front of every trail leaving the roadway.

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Personally, I think ATVers should be working in a different direction. Many other states and communities allow ATV use on the street. If you'll go to Whitehorse's Web site, they only disallow their use in certain portions of the downtown district. While waiting for the Bainbridge ferry in Seattle, you'll see many commuters that favor a small vehicle that resembles a big tricycle. It doesn't take much to imagine an ATV in this role.

When gas is $3 per gallon, I'd much rather use my ATV to go to the store than my truck. Heck, 95 percent of my driving is between Lemon Creek and the Mendenhall Valley. Fueling a 400 cc engine instead of a 5400 cc one would be like a continual Christmas.

I hope that some forward-thinking legislator will take another look at the current state statute that says ATVs cannot be modified for street use. It would be a simple matter to make them street legal by the Department of Transportation's standards, and regulate their use. For myself, I would propose any roadway that has an established speed limit of 45 mph.

Skip Lundstrom


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