Linn County wants public input on a proposal to allow ATVs on some roads

ATV ordinance public hearing in Central City

Falcon Civic Center, 137 N 4th St — Tuesday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m.

ATV ordinance public hearing in Cedar Rapids

Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd St SW — Wednesday, March 4 at 10 a.m.

“ATVing on Blackcomb Mountain” by Traveloscopy via Flickr

The Linn County Board of Supervisors is considering letting people drive all-terrain and off-road vehicles on secondary roads, and wants to hear what residents think.

Almost half of Iowa’s counties have passed an ATV ordinance. The vehicles are currently not allowed on Linn County roads, but there are eight parks around the state where riders can go, including Lakeview OHV park in Johnson County.

The first public hearing will be on Tuesday, March 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Falcon Civic Center, 137 N 4th St in Central City.

The second will be on Wednesday, March 4, at 10 a.m. during the board’s morning meeting at the Linn County Public Service Center, 935 2nd St SW in Cedar Rapids.

Supervisor Brent Oleson said the use of ATVs is a way to help the county’s “rural communities thrive.”

“It is important to be innovative in how we promote our rural communities for economic and cultural development,” Oleson said. “I am a huge proponent of our parks, trails and natural resources being a draw for people, which benefits host communities and those nearby those attractions.”

The ordinance would allow all-terrain vehicles or off-road utility vehicles to be driven on secondary roads, which are typically gravel or asphalt. There would be 28 restricted roadways if the ordinance is approved.

Among the rules that riders would need to follow are having a valid driver’s license and proper equipment, and not going over the speed limit of 35 miles per hour. Violating rules outlined in the ordinance would result in a misdemeanor fine of $65 to $625 and/or up to 30 days in jail.

Linn County engineer Brad Ketels told the Gazette he opposes the ordinance because ATVs do not make the county’s roads any safer. Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner also raised concerns about safety.

After the hearing on Wednesday morning, the board will undergo their first consideration of the ordinance. A new ordinance needs to be voted on three times in order to pass.