More ATVs could join drivers on some Lane County roads

In February, the City of Oakridge passed an ordinance allowing people to operate ATVs on streets in the city. Now the city wants to expand that to include county roads around Oakridge.

Posted: Jun 4, 2018 7:30 AM
Updated: Jun 4, 2018 5:14 PM

OAKRIDGE, Ore. - The Lane County Board of Commissioners will be discussing a possible change to county roadways that could allow ATVs on county roads year-round around Oakridge.

ATVs, or all-terrain vehicles, are a growing form of tourism in Oakridge.

Currently, you can operate an ATV on state highways if the highway is not maintained for passenger cars, if you are crossing a portion of the highway in certain areas, or if you are on an ATV specific route.

In February, the City of Oakridge passed an ordinance allowing people to operate ATVs on streets in the city, and now they want to expand that to include county roads outside of Oakridge.

The city’s request includes about 22 miles of roads. They hope to get year-round access to county roads that connect to roads into national forest land. 

While this could promote some economic benefit, additional enforcement may be needed to make sure the roads stay safe. That cost hasn’t been determined yet.

There are also some safety concerns. ATVs don’t have the same safety features that other vehicles do, so there could be more injuries on the road.

The Board of Commissioners will consider this during a public meeting tomorrow when they discuss several possible implementation options. If they want to move forward with it, it could be implemented as early as July. Tuesday's public meeting starts at 9 a.m.

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