For the past two years, the homeowners of Silver Ridge and connecting roads have been kind to tolerate the constant stream and high decibel noise of ATV users going back and forth on town roads, headed, we’ve been told, to back roads in the Northeast Kingdom.

What was originally called a small local ATV club asked for town permission to travel the three-tenths of a mile of Silver Ridge Road to get gas at the corner store. Real locals had already been slowly driving down to get gas when not allowed by town ordinance. This is a 25 and 35 mph zone for all drivers.

What has actually occurred these past two years is that Silver Ridge and adjoining roads have been constantly used, not just by local ATV neighbors, but ATVs from all over Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Massachussets, Connecticut and other states.

Homeowners and taxpayers of Silver Ridge and connecting roads have been totally taken advantage of by “The Small Local ATV Club.”

From Friday to Monday every week, there is a continual parade — an invasion — of ATVs up and down our road from early morning to after dark. Some days are similar to living at Thunder Road. Trucks pulling long trailers full of large ATVs are parking at the lot below Sunset Motor Inn and connecting to Silver Ridge Road.

Many of these ATVs are huge metal vehicles larger than cars, with big motors, and some seat six people, not a typical small ATV. Some ATVs don’t appear to have license plates or are licensed out of state. Are all these truck/trailer owners paying fees, taxes or licensing to Vermont, to Morristown or the owner of the parking lot?

Some of the children driving ATVs down the road do not appear to be old enough to have a license, yet they are driving on our roads, and many have even younger passengers.

Several homeowners have mentioned that they have to keep their windows closed at least through the weekend because there is so much more dirt and it pours through their windows.

There is no escaping the loud, unmistakable, high-decibel noise and whirring whine of ATVs, some louder than the biggest trucks. We hear them inside our houses and outside in our yards. We hear them long before each one gets to our property and long after they have passed by. As much as we have sincerely tried, we have given up enjoying a peaceful meal on the deck, watching the sun go down, reading a good book outside or just enjoying being in the garden.

Some of the riders do drive reasonably slowly, although surely not 25 mph, while many others drive over 50 mph and, when asked to slow down, just ignore us, or worse, are disrespectful and rude.

We understand that the club cannot be expected to control the behavior of all its individual members and non-members. But it is impossible to take a quiet, peaceful, safe walk or bike ride on our road any more. Walking the dog is out of the question many days, and the dogs are afraid of the loud sounds.

Rather than using Silver Ridge Road as an entryway and exit to the Northeast Kingdom, please Northeast ATV Club, seek out a field further from town that allows parking from all of these large trucks with long trailers. There surely is a farmer somewhere out there who would be happy to be paid for the use of a field he is no longer able to plant, or perhaps the club could ask permission of businesses out in the country that have a lot of extra parking space.

Homeowners and taxpayers on Silver Ridge Road have been living with and putting up with this for the past two years, all the reasons why our town does not allow ATVs on roads in town.

Officials of Morristown and Hyde Park, help us correct this problem. Enough is enough.

Cynthia Cloutier lives on Silver Ridge Road in Morrisville.

(1) comment


This message is directly for Cynthia Cloutier on “Silver Ridge Road”

In Morrisville.

First, I’d like to say, I am a tax paying Morrisville resident who was born and raised here. Secondly, I’d like to add, that I am an ATV owner and driver. I live nearby and use Silver Ridge Road very respectfully to gas up our machines. Both my adult kids also have machines.

Now, with closing Silver Ridge Road we would need to drive to Eden just to fill our machines. Traveling to Eden gives them the revenue our town needs and deserves. How is that fair to us? To the residents who pay town taxes, insurance, trail fees and registration to keep our machines legal?

You my friend are exaggerating about the size of these machines. I’m not quite sure where you’re getting your information from, but I would highly suggest you do some research. The noise level of these machines are no different than a snow machine that currently pass through your area (which you haven’t seemed to get all worked up over). These machines are required to wear helmets and seat belts. Most machines won’t go past a certain speed if the seat belt isn’t fastened.

Your bicycle you ride doesn’t require registration, insurance, you don’t need to take any courses, helmet wearing or inspections. Yet you ride in the middle of the road, you don’t follow the road signs and fly right through intersections.

Then you have the winter sports fans who ride snow machines, right down the main road in the center of Morrisville and not one person complains. They smell a whole lot worse, they are driving high rate of speed at all hours of the night, parking their trucks and trailers in the same spot we would and not one complaint by you.

It seems to me like you need to take a ride on a side by side. Grab a helmet, I would be more than happy to take you for a ride. And if you don’t want to, that’s fine too, but enough is enough. You write these letters to the select board and to the newspaper but never seem to be able to back up your thoughts and feelings. I was at the select board meeting when your letter was mentioned and you were no where to be found.

We don’t all need to agree with everything; and we sure don’t need to take away something someone loves to do because dust flies by and we have speeders. Let’s work together on this so all tax payers can be happy. It’s simple.

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