Traffic, Trails, and OHVs

ATVs/OHVs

Six (6) ATV/OHV Rental companies have set up shop on 89A. The result is hundreds of ATVs/OHVs destroying our fragile environment and endangering the health of our residents. The dust is destroying the Native American petroglyphs. The ATV Rental companies are supposed to instruct the Tourist on how to “Tread Lightly”. An ATV Rental Rider was caught on 525 on 4/18/22. Watch the video, right from the words of the tourists. “I thought it was ok and this was all free for us to do donuts on.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_3iCNY4PIE

37 States (74%) do not allow OHVs on public roads.  This included rural states like Alaska, Colorado, Nebraska and Oregon.  It includes our neighboring states: California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.  So that is why their residents come to Arizona to get their kicks – driving on our roads and tearing up our beautiful state.  

Recretional Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) and Specialty Vehicle Initiative of America (SVIA) oppose ATVs/OHVs on public roads!

Look at the following letter from two national, not-for-profit trade organizations formed to promote the safe and responsible use of recreational off-highway vehicles. They are against ATVs and OHVs operating on public roads:

Potential Ordinance banning ATVs/OHVs from City Streets

At a recent Council Meeting, Mayor Jablow presented evidence showing that ATVs are not intended to be used on public roads or paved roadways. The Manufacturers clearly state on the Certificate of Origin (title) that “This vehicle is not intended for, and may not be registered for on-road use”.  

The Polaris Product materials warning states, “This vehicle does not have highway safety features that on-road vehicles may have (air bags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, etc.). If another vehicle collides with you, the likelihood of a serious injury or death may be greater.  While it may be legal locally to drive on some public roads in specific parts of the country, your vehicle was not designed or certified as an on-road motor vehicle. Polaris does not support public road use except as may be necessary to cross-roads designated for connecting off highway vehicle trail segments.”

Honda, Kawasaki and CamAm have similar warnings.

It is also now understood that the tires on ATVs are not manufactured for use on public roadways, per the DOT.  And there is no permissible ways to authorize OHV tires for street use. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has sent out a bulletin to manufacturers to stop placing “DOT compliant” on tires. They are NHS (Not for Highway Service).

City leaders met with the DOT and Polaris to discuss this issue. The DOT reaffirmed their position on tire design and confirmed that there are no approved tires for ATV operation on paved roads. Polaris stands by their policy that ATVs do not belong on public or paved roads.  60% of the ATVs in use in Sedona are Polaris.  

The City has the authority and responsibility to regulate health and safety issues for the community.  For this reason, the City is going to pursue passing a city ordinance to prohibit driving of ATVs on public roads that 1) are deemed by the Manufacturer as not intended for on-road use or 2) have tires that are not DOT approved.  This would be effective 30 days after passage. The review of the proposed ordinance will be in May.  The City will also bring this issue to the attention of the Arizona League of Cities and Towns.  The City is also doing an environmental study to evaluate the impact of ATVs on the National Forest and the environment. 

Recently Steve Segner had an article in Sedona.Biz. He says that the issue is “a technicality related to tires.” Clearly, based on the above summary, it is much more. Steve laments that this ordinance will impact the ATV Rental companies.  Yes – they will have to trailer their machines and customers to the off-road location.  There are staging areas available for that purpose.  This will require them to buy equipment and hire more staff cutting into their very large profits!  This change will not break them financially.
Steve’s “consensus solution” proposed is to close Morgan Road (Broken Arrow).  What a convenient solution!  The Jeep Tour Companies would LOVE to get rid of ATVs on this trail!  Not so fast.  This just moves more of the ATV traffic to West Sedona bringing more activity in that part of town and more destruction to the Bear Mountain area.
Mr. Segner wants a solution to “address citizen concerns, protect local businesses and safeguard the natural environment.”  Currently citizens and the natural environment are suffering, while businesses are profiting significantly. This new ordinance will bring those three more into balance.

Red Rock News had an article questioning the ligitamacy of the proposed ordinance. Sedona.Biz did an excellent rebuttal! Here is a link to the article.

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TRAFFIC/TOURISTS

Sedona has always had tourism, but the unsustainable flood of tourists over the past five years is clogging our roads, trails and choking the life out of our town. The solution to traffic is not more roads and more parking, it is less tourists. Is that really possible?? How can we control the number of tourists? Follow this LINK to a document written by one of our members. He provides the data and SOLUTION.

Dry Creek Trailhead Shuttle

One mechanism for controlling the number of tourists is the Trailhead Shuttle. But that only works if hikers have no other easy option to get to the trailhead. Dry Creek Trailhead (Devils Bridge) is a perfect example. Hundreds of cars can park along Dry Creek allowing hikers to walk to the trailhead. That parking needs to be removed and the City needs to relocate the Trailhead Shuttle Parking to the property they purchased in front of the high school. The City is working to progress both. Attached is a paper explaining all of the details.



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