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  1. amuzme

    amuzme Limited User

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    "The Township of Springwater intends to pass a by-law to remove the common right of passage, prohibit motor vehicles, and restrict access to certain road allowance throughout the Township of Springwater."

    So far:

    I know we sent in some responses. Stephen Van Klink spoke to the Director of Corporate Service but hasn't been able to get involved.

    There is an committee called the Springwater Off-Road Vehicles (SORV) Working Group that has several meetings and recommended prohibition of Motorcycles. This was presented to Council in October.

    ATV's are approved with the condition they "Become demonstrably organized under an association with the requisite insurance, permit system, wardens, trail maintenance program, and usage agreements with the Township."

    The ATV requirements are likely the best we can get so we will be pursuing a recommendation for permission based on the ATVs.

    Next Steps:

    1. The OFTR will send a letter of representation to the Township stating that we are in the process of organizing to the level required for access. We will seek a change to the proposed by-law.

    The letter will also serve to educate them as to who we are, how we use the road allowances, our sucessful history of dealing with land issues by providing the very items they are requesting. The letter will aknowledge that there are motorcyclists that cause concerns and that we can address that via education and enforcement.

    2. We will attend an "Open House" on February 16th in Elmvale

    3. We will determine the process for amending the by-law and then follow that process seek an amendment that permits access similar to the ATVs and Snowmobiles.


    Documents are attached.

    If anyone has already dealt with the township, I need to know about correspondence or phone calls you have made.

    I'll keep you all posted on this new thread.


    Ken Hoeverman

    Attached Files:

  2. BillO

    BillO Limited User

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    Hi Ken and all,

    I actually got wind of this a little while back and gave them a call recently. I spoke with Conor Begley, the research and policy analyst heading up this by-law. My conversation with him centered on his four reports to council. It was actually a very pleasant conversation and we discussed some more of the background behind their position on prohibiting off-road motorcycles. Some of the major concerns came from the company that insures the town. The town insurer is completely against the use of motorcycles on township lands and had advised the town that their rates would go up significantly if motorcycles were not explicitly prohibited. He also noted that no motorcycle organization had ever contacted them regarding working out an agreement with them and they had assumed that we were not organized. He was very open to the fact that not all motorcyclists are not trouble makers and the complaints that they received were mostly on 2 stroke motocross bikes. However, without any agreement from an overseeing organization there is no framework by which they can consider allowing access to motorcyclists. While he did admit that things are fairly well along, he would definitely give consideration if a proposal for such an agreement was presented to him from viable organisation.

    The interesting part about this is the recommendation from their insurance company. This is the part the leaves me feeling cold. Even if the OFORM (are we still going ahead with that name change?) put together a proposal equivalent the OFSC we may still get denied access. Anyway, that may just be my pessimistic side showing through. We do need to get that proposal for agreement in to them soon. Is there anything I can do?

    He also said that the comment form would be taken into consideration. I really urge everyone to fill one of these out. The more he gets, the more credibility the OFORM proposal will have.

    For those of you that want to read more about this, go to this link;

    http://www.springwater.ca/committee.cfm ... QDVTJRMTMG
  3. BillO

    BillO Limited User

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    For those interested, here is the text of the committee’s recommendations to Sringwater town council.

    1. Following an exchange of correspondence with the Township Insurer, it has been determined that the Township must formalize a policy stating which types of uses will be permitted on municipal unopened road allowances. The SORV Working Group recommends that the following types of uses be authorized:
    • pedestrian use (walking, hiking, etc.)
    • horseback riding
    • cross country skiing
    • mountain biking
    • snowmobiling (members of accredited OFSC clubs which have entered into usage agreements with the Township)

    2. SORV members recommend that all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) be permitted to use Springwater’s unopened road allowances only at such time as they become demonstrably organized under an association with the requisite insurance, permit system, wardens, trail maintenance program, and usage agreements with the Township. At this time, there are no ATV groups that presently meet these criteria, which are the same standards applied to OFSC snowmobile associations. The Township shall use the definition of all-terrain vehicles found in the Highway Traffic Act (O. Reg. 316/03), which defines an ATV as an off-road vehicle that:
    (a) has four wheels, the tires of all of which are in contact with the ground;
    (b) has steering handlebars;
    (c) has a seat that is designed to be straddled by the driver; and,
    (d) is designed to carry a driver only and no passengers.

    3. The SORV Working Group recommends that motorized vehicles as defined by the Highway Traffic Act, including but not limited to dirt bikes, motocross bikes, and automobiles, be prohibited from Springwater’s unopened road allowances. The Township Insurer advises that these types of vehicles are rarely, if ever, sanctioned on any organized trails due to the extremely high liability risk. Dirt bikes and motocross bikes frequently cause a greater nuisance than ATVs due to the noise and fumes generated by two-stroke engines and the reckless habits of some drivers. Note that the ban on motor vehicles does not include snowmobiles that are part of the local OFSC associations, nor farm vehicles and machinery that use unopened road allowances. Once again, the definition of a motorized vehicle will be drawn from the Highway Traffic Act:
    “Motor Vehicle” includes an automobile, motorcycle, motor assisted bicycle unless otherwise indicated in this Act, and any other vehicle propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power, but does not include a street car, or other motor vehicles running only upon rails, or a motorized snow vehicle, traction engine, farm tractor, self-propelled implement of husbandry or road-building machine within the meaning of this Act.

    4. In the event that Council endorses the above-mentioned policies, the Township Insurer notes that signage should be installed at common access points to indicate the types of uses permitted on municipal unopened road allowances. The Township Solicitor, Clerk, and By-law Enforcement Department should be consulted for guidance on public notice, by-law, and signage requirements necessary for implementing the new use policy. Based on input received from the Solicitor, a report will be brought forward detailing the logistics of commencing the process. Constable Mark Kinney offered the assistance of the OPP in advertising the municipality’s off-road vehicles policy using his expertise as a media liaison at the Huronia West detachment. In addition, a section will be added to the Township’s web site to notify the public of decisions taken by Council on this matter, and will include any relevant enforcement statistics provided by the OPP.
  4. amuzme

    amuzme Limited User

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    I am preparing a proposal similar to the one we (OFTR) are sending to the Simcoe County that outlines our plan to organize in a fashion similar to the OFSC and OFATV.

    I have written a letter to the Township advising them that we would like to be considered under the same restrictions as other motorized sports.

    Once these ammended by-laws are passed, in the three areas of concern, the OFTR will need to grow and organize quickly to satisfy the requirements.

    So our primary goal is to seek equivalence. Keep that in mind as you attend open houses or write letters.

    Thanks for your post Bill.

    Attached Files:

  5. BillO

    BillO Limited User

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    This comment from recommendation 3 caught my eye;

    “The Township Insurer advises that these types of vehicles are rarely, if ever, sanctioned on any organized trails due to the extremely high liability risk.”

    Ken, if you’re looking for suggestions to help out with your arguments, we might want to mention to the committee that the township insurer may not have done their homework on this. We might point out that motorcycle events on Ontario trails have been organized and sanctioned frequently and for many, many years. In particular, the Cord has been run for over fifty years and the Terra Nova is coming up to a half century too. Both of those events pre-date the invention of snowmobiles and ATVs. Further, if you take into account the trail rides, enduros and harescrambles more than 20 sanctioned and insured events were organized in Ontario last year which were run on trails in Ontario. I suppose we could get an exact count from the CMA.
  6. amuzme

    amuzme Limited User

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    The OFTR is leading the charge on the 3 land issues in front of us. I am personally affected by all 3 so I put aside some things to get more involved.

    If you read the Simcoe Counry DRAFT proposal, the wording in your quote is verbatum which tells us that a precedent could be established. We need to amend these proposals and then educate other municpalities and forresters. I have obtain contacts for both associations.

    As to your comment I have quoted our long history on several occasions and it does carry some weight. When they "created" the Ganaraska trail in some of the Simcoe Forests they simply banged up some signs on our single track then the users complained about us. In my encounters I stick to the protocol of engine off, helmet off. smile and talk to them.

    The OFTR has prepared a document of introduction and recommendations that addresses each statement. The main issues are repeated in all 3 proposals. We can refute the claims all we want but it seems we won't get access until we follow the same path as the snowmobiles and ATVs.

    I will post the document in the next few days in the Simcoe country thread and invite suggestions that we can consider.
  7. amuzme

    amuzme Limited User

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    Great points Ed.

    Insurance is a big issue with them but bringing insurance to the table is probably not enough.

    Our goal is to get a recommendation that provides insurance. Then get the insurance. The "Equality" approach worked for the ATVs. If the insurance already existed the changes to the recommendation would read the same so we are focusing on the wording in the proposal.

    Brian Helliwell has provided me with letters from the Niagra Region and Limerick Forrest stating that successful aggreements are in place. These will be on hand for the open houses and presentations.


    Ken
  8. amuzme

    amuzme Limited User

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    Update

    The Township has respponded to our first letter. It is interesting how he tried to steer us over to the SImcoe Forest Issue. This is partly my fault if you read the first paragraph I did mention the forests rather than te road allowances.

    Attached is his letter and my response requesting the OFTR be allowed to participate in the working group (SORV) that is making the recommendations.

    Ken

    Attached Files:

  9. amuzme

    amuzme Limited User

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    A little bit of progress.


    Glimmer of hope here....

    He works in the same building as the Simcoe County.
  10. Klinkster

    Klinkster Limited User

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    Open House is this Thrusday, Feb 16th
    Elmvale Arena
    14 George St
    Elmvale
    7pm to 9pm

    Don't sit at home expecting someone else to go.
  11. OrangeKoolaid

    OrangeKoolaid Ride Organizer

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    Springwater Township

    Anyone aware if tonites meeting in Elmvale is cancelled to due inclement weather..

    There have been allot of cancelations over the radio today but I haven't heard of this one being cancelled???

    Don
  12. XR600

    XR600 Limited User

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    Meeting tonight is on

    I just noticed on the Springwater Township website that tonights meeting at the arena is a go.

    See ya there
    Rick
  13. amuzme

    amuzme Limited User

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    Update

    Great Open House last night with a very good turn out for Motorcycles.

    There were several new faces that heard about the issue from OFTR members that have been forwarding the recent OFTR emails.

    Our goal at this Open House was to gain a chair at the SORV and I have a verbal conformation from Begley and the Chief Administrative Officer that we are being considered.

    Attached is my letter to Conor Begley who represents the Township requesting we join the working group.

    He promised to get back to me early next week.

    I'll keep you posted.


    Ken

    Attached Files:

  14. XR600

    XR600 Limited User

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    Last nights meeting

    This is my just my personal experience and opinion from the last nights meeting. Take it for what it is. I was there for 1 3/4 hours, I didn’t leave with a warm fuzzy feeling.

    Attendance at last nights meeting was surprisingly strong considering the freezing rain, thunder and lightning. I managed to talk with a few people who were interested and in support of the motorcycling side of this situation, but the majority of those in attendance seemed to be in support of ATV use. I had a conversation with Wolf Schutt, a member of the Georgian Trail Riders (GTR) ATV club who was of the opinion that all ORV groups should be working together to establish a usage system which will meet the needs of all groups involved and address the concerns of citizens and council. The ATV clubs are being excluded from use “until such time they can become organized” in similar fashion to the OFSC but the proposed by-law excludes Dirt Bikes without this provision. What was most disturbing was that in direct conversation with Winanne Grant (Chief Administrative Officer) and another Twsp. employee who’s name escapes me I was told that “The Township insurance provider would not provide them with a policy should they allow the use of Dirt Bikes on un-opened road allowances.” They also stated outright that the use of Dirt Bikes on the un-opened road allowances was a closed door and that they “were not pursuing usage agreements for this type of recreation”.They did however acknowledge that there would be another meeting of the SORV (Springwater Off-road Vehicle Working Group) and that there would be a representative of “the Dirt Bike group” in attendance and given the opportunity to make a presentation to the members. This is as Ken stated earlier a glimmer of hope. The schedule for the By-law to be considered is March 20/06 at the earliest, but I was told that it will not likely happen this early due to the amount of obvious concern of those in attendance last.

    I would suggest that if you have not already done so, download the comment sheet from the Springwater Twsp. website and fax, email, or snail mail it in ASAP.
    http://www.springwater.ca/articles/publ ... ntform.pdf
  15. LE CAPITAINE

    LE CAPITAINE Limited User

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    OK, quick question,

    On the comments form are we going to check the box (dirtbikes/motocross bikes) because this really does not describe us. We are Dual Sport bikes..Street legal, fully insured, licenced drivers.

    Thoughts, comments...


    Also what about printing off a hundred or so copies of this letter and bringing them to the AGM and get everyone to fill one out while they are there, have envelopes and stamps as well.

    We could also print off and make copies of this letter and take them around to every dealer that sells off road bikes as well as dual sport bikes and explain to them that unless we all work together to fight these closures, in 10 years they might as well close their doors as there won't be any places left to ride.

    I will go to Inglis cycle and xtreme toys here in london and see both of them on this. anyone else out there willing to go to their local shop and get them to help out. even if we just get the owner, staff, and a couple of customers from each shop to fill one out we see several hundred more letters sent in.
  16. amuzme

    amuzme Limited User

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    Comment Form

    I circled the "Motocross Bikes" on my form and then put "no" beside it.

    I also added "and motorcycles" to all of the ATV questions.

    The Dual Sport vs Dirt Bike is a bit of a rut I fell into at the Simcoe meeting. They got confused and it weakened the point until I broke it into "Racing Motorcycles" vs "Dirt Bikes".

    Our goal is to appear to be "reasonable" people that are concerned about our rights of passage. The amount of forms submitted will be noticed so everyone should try to get one out.

    A clear consistant message is important. We are presenting ourselves as mature responsable citizens so try not to appear fanatical. Some other groups are taking the angry emotional approach and it may have already damaged thier cause from what I saw last night.

    I have attached a sample of how I think it might look. Any suggestions are appreciated. They need to be received by March 10.

    The ODSC AGM is a great idea. If someone could organize that it would be great.

    Ken

    Attached Files:

  17. 400 KTM Pilot

    400 KTM Pilot Limited User

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    I think a major stumbling block is defining what a "dirt bike" is.
    Differentiating motocross bikes, from dual sport licensed machines and thier purposes is a difficult task to present to the general public. "They" have the mind set that any motorcycle that rides off of pavement is a "dirt bike" therefore noisy, dusty and has obnoxious operators. That has been my experience.
  18. amuzme

    amuzme Limited User

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    Actually our major stumbling block is getting a recommendation to use.

    To get that we need to be on the SORV.

    To get on the SORV we need to seem like reasonable people so a mature response on the comment forms will put us in a favourable position.

    Part of our position is that anyone on any vehicle can be an "obnoxious operator" and that is why we need enforcement and education. The officials I have been able to meet in person seem to accept this.

    The Officials in both Simcoe issues have also acted very impartial and don't seem to have any built in resentments and the other groups seem co-operative.

    CKL is a whole different story where they seem to be controlled by the other user groups. So your point is correct in that situation.


    Ken
  19. amuzme

    amuzme Limited User

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    We are in!!

  20. gybeman

    gybeman Limited User

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    Contrats and well done Ken! Hopefully it will lead to the same results the CKL meeting.
    Mike