Bay Roberts working bugs out of new ATV route
By Mark Squibb/June 9, 2022
Just days after opening up a new trail that would allow ATVs to travel along some town roads, the Town of Bay Roberts has had to make adjustments due to complaints from residents.
Interestingly enough, the complaints, of which the Town has received at least three, aren’t about ATVs driving on the road, but along the T’railway.
During a public meeting held on May 24, council agreed that confusing signage along the trail (which was opened to the public on May 20) was to blame.
In a nutshell, council members agreed that signage led drivers to believe that once they cross the CBN Highway near the Esso station, they could either drive along Cross Road or along the T’railway. Drivers would then drive along Long Lane to get back onto Cross Road.
“This is probably something we overlooked at the time, but this is the good thing about getting feedback from residents,” said councillor Dean Franey, who suggested council restrict access along the section of T’railway to non-motorized vehicles and foot traffic.
“We provided ATVS with a route, and that’s the route they’re supposed to be on,” he said. Deputy Mayor Geoff Seymour pointed out the confusion lead to some folks who live on Cross Road having ATVs driving both in front of their homes and along the T’railway behind their homes. Mayor Walter Yetman allowed the signage probably did not clearly enough state that section of T’railway is not a part of the ATV route.
Councilor Frank Deering noted that a resident had pulled him aside over the weekend and told him that someone was liable to be killed near the Shearstown Road/Cross Road intersection, which also serves as an intersection for the T’railway.
The culprit, agreed Deering, was confusing signage.
“We’ve got the signage put in the wrong place,” said Deering. “The signage is sending everyone up the track.”
Both Seymour and Franey concurred that signage, particularly in that area, was confusing and needed to be addressed.
“I actually used it this weekend, and I know, because I live here, but for someone who doesn’t, that part is confusing, so we need better signage,” said Franey, who later added the rest of the signage was pretty straightforward.
Deering, who lives on Long Lane, which connects to the T’railway, said he saw some of the confusion firsthand.
A family of five, according to Deering, had gone up Long Lane, thinking they would be able to connect to the rest of the trail.
“I heard one fellow say, ‘Well, Geoff Seymour will hear from me,’ so I never went no further,” joked Deering.
Seymour, who had raised numerous concerns over proposed ATV routes and their possible impact on residents, rightfully wondered how he came to be blamed for the confusion.
In the end, council resolved to install barricades at four points along the T’railway, designate it as a walking/non-motorized trail, correct the signage at the CBN intersection, and install signs along the T’railway saying ATVS are not permitted.
In a follow up e-mail, Town CAO Nigel Black said the Town has since changed some signage, blocked several access points to the T ’railway, and designated it as a walking/non-motorized trail.
Prior to the new route being approved, Black said Council did not have any regulations in regard to that portion of trail to prohibit ATV use, but that ATV use was also not specifically permitted.