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After years of planning, Timmins ATVs allowed on some city streets

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Off-road riders in Timmins are rejoicing this week after city council voted to allow them access to some streets in the city’s west end.

After years of planning, the Timmins ATV Club calls the decision a major step forward for local outdoor tourism.

“Very, very excited,” said club president Rick Marin.

Five years in the making, Marin said he got emotional when city council voted to finally allow off-roaders on the road.

“We’re finally going to have tourism in this town, and we’ll be able to leave our home and go to a restaurant, here in town, and gas.”

The permanent street-access bylaw will apply only to some roads in the city’s west end, allowing for connection to sanctioned ATV trails.

Rules include a maximum speed of 20 km/h and a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew.

This is the club’s third attempt at convincing council to allow them to use some city roads to access trails.

Coun. Rock Whissell said the difference was the club now has official trails.

“I think having those official trails, now, is easy for city council — or for Ward 1, anyway — to give them permission to use the roads, to get to the trails,” Whissell said.

Did everything right

Marin said the club worked hard to do everything right.

“We followed all the rules, we got OFATV permits, we got trails, we got apps,” he said.

“We got support -- we have landowner support. We have a lot of support in this town.”

Officials are expecting interest from riders in Timmins and beyond.

“For somebody to leave from Kapuskasing, Hearst or Cochrane … they could come drive with their ATVs, stay overnight and go back home,” Whissell said.

“I think this is a positive thing for the community.”

Street access will only be in available during the regular ATV season from May 1-Oct. 31.

The Timmins Police Service has said it doesn’t support the idea, and so Whissell said it will be up to the off-roading community to prove it wrong.

“Doing it responsibly is the biggest thing,” he said.

“To make sure that this is not going to fall apart and that we’re not going to have to go back on our word, here.”

“Please, buy a pass, support, support,” Marin added.

“Do it right, follow the rules and regulations. We got this, we got this.”

Data and feedback will be collected throughout the ATV season, after which council will decide whether to expand street access to more parts of the city. 

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