FROM A1: ON THE ROAD
While that route doesn’t include Confederation Drive, the bylaw will contain provisions to allow special permission for groups to access other areas of town upon request.
That’s what Cormier expects he’ll be doing this summer in order to get his group to their hotel on Confederation Drive.
He’s excited to see Corner Brook following the example of numerous other communities across Canada that believes allowing ATVs into town will provide an economic boost.
“I’ll be renting 80 rooms for around 150 or 160 people this summer and they will all have to eat, buy gas and maybe need repairs or replace some of their supplies,” said Cormier.
He hopes the city will eventually expand the designated routes so he won’t need to get special permission to access Confederation Drive.
“If you’re going to give permission to ride through town, then you should benefit from it as much as possible,” he said.
Craig Borden owns Rugged Edge, a Corner Brook company that sells ATVs and offers tours. He said Cormier is just one of many tour guides coming to the area this year, not to mention numerous people coming on their own with no guide.
Until now, most ATV riders touring western Newfoundland either end their trips before having to go through Corner Brook or pay to have their machines transported around the city in order to continue their adventures.
Borden said all that ATV traffic being able to get through the city will definitely help Corner Brook’s economy. It could also provide another onshore excursion opportunity for cruise ship visitors, he added.
While snowmobiling is really Rugged Edge’s bread and butter, Borden said the number of inquiries he fields about ATVs touring through the Corner Brook area far outnumbers those about snowmobiling.
“I’ve had, honest to god, 100 to one inquiries about ATVs compared to snowmobiles,” said Borden. “The amount of people interested in this has my mind blown.”
While there has already been a little social media backlash about the city permitting ATVs in the downtown, Borden said the modern machines are just as roadworthy as motorcycles and thinks it’s just a matter of time before people realize they won’t be a problem on city streets.
“I don’t think you’re going to see many locals going back and forth all day long because most people who own ATVs don’t want to be driving them on pavement anyway,” he said. “These access points will mostly just be used by people just trying to get through the city.”
He does expect there will be some people who will leave from strategic locations along the route within the city and head to their cabins on ATV now, rather than drive their cars and trucks to their getaways.
Like Cormier, Borden would like to see the routes expanded so ATVs can better access areas such as Confederation Drive. He noted that being able to get to Massey Drive, for instance, would then link riders with the western side of the city to the trails that link up with Marble Mountain and Pasadena.
Some of the existing trails on the outskirts of Corner Brook were designed for snowmobiling, but Borden said there shouldn’t be too much work required to make them ATV-accessible.
Corner Brook Mayor Jim Parsons said the initial designated route is a bit of a pilot project and the city is definitely going to consider other designated routes in the future. While snowmobiles will not be permitted on this route, Parsons said the city is looking at other areas of the city where snowmobile access may be allowed.
“We’re already hearing a lot of buzz about this,” said Parsons. “When we did a test run of the route, people noticed and we’re already hearing about ATV tour groups changing their plans to stop here in Corner Brook.
“I think it will be a novel opportunity for riders coming into Corner Brook to be able to stop for sushi, or stay in a hotel and maybe go to a bar and see some entertainment.”
Keith Goulding, president of the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade, said local businesses always welcome new ways to get more people in their doors and thinks this is a good move for Corner Brook.
“I like the idea of this corridor because it does keep it mostly away from residential areas,” said Goulding. “People don’t want ATVs in their backyards, but having them go along business areas is going to be great.”
Goulding said there may even be opportunities for new business ideas to crop up along the route that will cater to the new stream of traffic.
SOME FURTHER DETAILS ABOUT THE NEW ATV ROUTE
• Like any other vehicular traffic, ATV riders on the designated routes in Corner Brook will be required to have a valid driver’s licence and liability insurance policy. Any ATV used on city streets will have to be roadworthy, including having its original exhaust equipment in good working order to prevent any excessive or unusual noise
• Drivers of ATVs will have to obey the “rules of the road” as described in Part V of the provincial Highway Traffic Act.
- The designated routes will only be open to ATV traffic from June 1 to Oct. 31.
• ATVs will only be permitted on the route between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
• Speed limits will be posted, requiring ATVs to be operated no faster than 40 kilometres per hour on highways and 20 kilometres per hour on trails or pathways.
• The only section of pathway included between Ballam Bridge and Hilliard’s Road will be the short section of path located between the end of Pier Road and Griffin Drive. Otherwise, ATVs must be driven on the designated roadways.
City of Corner Brook