It’s a done deal

Joan Butler
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T’Railway is for walkers only

There seems to be no end in sight to the ongoing saga about the ban on ATVs and dirt bikes on the T’Railway.

The Town of Conception Bay South’s prohibition of motorized vehicles on the former rail bed is embraced by walkers, but definitely not some motorized users — as we are hearing again this week.

To show their opposition to the ban, a group of them got together last week at Foxtrap Marina for a peaceful demonstration and to remind the town that they will continue the fight for their right to use the T’Railway.

Yes, ATV and dirt biker users should be frustrated with the town, because the promised backcountry trail was not ready when they were recently banned from the T’Railway,

But getting the right to be able to again use the T’Railway is not likely, especially after the town has been working for more than 15 years to get them off the old track.

Sadly, it was the irresponsible use by a small group that led to the ongoing problems that resulted in the ban. In some cases, the culprits were young children or teenagers who created and continue to create the problems and complaints.

The question is, how do these children get the bikes? Some managed to purchase them on their own. However, in many cases it was the parents who bought these machines for their children.  

Once they learned to drive their bikes, many were given free rein to drive around the neighbourhood, to go to the store, the ballfield or the T’Railway.     

Then there were the adults, some who grew up with ATVs and dirt bikes and continued the same hobby.

Most adults using the old rail bed were responsible users, but again there was that segment of young and old that generated the bad publicity for all users.

There were drivers who ignored the fact their bikes are not licenced or insured for use on roads and highways. They often sped through neighbourhoods without consideration for legal vehicles or walkers.They used the T’Railway at all hours and tore up adjoining properties. They used the main road and local roads to get to the track, the convenience store or perhaps even the local bar.

Some drivers had no insurance or helmets, and neither did their passengers. Some drove at night with no lights, creating danger for drivers and walkers.

ATV enthusiasts can blame this small segment for the continued pressure for a ban. This group is still defying the non-motorized rule and the one that prohibits their using the main roads.

The T’Railway is finally reserved for walkers and bicyclists, and ATVs and dirt bikes can go to the backcountry where they are meant to be used.

During the recent protest, a man commented that he moved here to the “country” so that he could use his ATV.

We may have been the country one time, but not anymore. C.B.S. today is the second largest town in the province. Like St. John’s and other cities and towns, we have a council and rules and regulations. We may still offer that country feeling, but we are an urban community where you put your bike on your trailer and drive to the backcountry, and not leave your driveway and spin around neighbourhoods.

No doubt the saga will continue, and the recent protest will simply add more support for keeping the T’Railway as it is now, a world class walking and bicycling trail.  

Coast Sounds choir

New members are welcome at the Coastal Sounds Community Choir’s first meeting after the summer break on Wednesday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Admirals Coast Retirement Centre in Upper Gullies. Entering its eighth successful year, the choir is open to all ages and singing backgrounds, and no auditions are required.

Please visit www.coastalsounds.ca, or www.facebook.com/Coastalsoundschoir,  or email info@coastalsounds.ca.

Joan Butler is a lifelong resident of Kelligrews, Conception Bay South.  She can be reached by email at joanbutler@ymail.com.

Organizations: Coastal Sounds Community Choir

Geographic location: Upper Gullies, Kelligrews

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