Letter to the Editor: 

We read the front-page news article from the June 5 edition relating to the ATV club’s proposal to open the Highway 70 bridge in Eagle River with a little confusion. 

In one statement Roger Flaherty, club president, stated that “allowing the ATV/UTV crossing at the Catfish Lake bridge on Highway 70 would reduce the 10- to 15-mile distance to the 5- to 7½-mile range.” That statement was referring to the distance to get from one side of Eagle River to the other.

We thought the ATV/UTV experience was all about the ride. Really, if you need to get somewhere faster, wouldn’t you just use your vehicle that is already legal on the roadways? 

The clubs are persistent and will keep trying to convince towns to expand their rights. They cite the economic benefit (yet unproven) and use it as leverage. What is the desire to ride in a toy, often completely enclosed, on the same road with automobiles? Oh . . . is it that children can then drive without a license? Or that anyone who lost their license because of too many operating while intoxicated can now drive again? 

You need a license to ride a motorcycle and it has to be a street-legal bike. Anyone traveling with traffic on a highway should need the same.

Seems like the clubs promised to police themselves and to provide all signage. Where is the evidence of that happening? The signage is not adequate to inform riders to keep off of all side roads and stay on the route. 

Yesterday, we saw two ATVs on Highway 45 north of town coming out of Chain O’ Lakes Road and heading toward town. The abuse is endless, so giving them the ability to ride with traffic on the Highway 70 bridge is inviting serious problems. 

We would like to openly thank Jim Egan, town of Washington chairman, for being the voice of reason.

George and Marie Adams

Eagle River