Policy Announced for Snowmobiling on the 1000 Islands Parkway "North Lane" for 2014/15 Season
MORRISBURG, Ontario – The St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) announced today that it will again permit snowmobile access on the 1000 Islands Parkway “north lane,” for the 2014/15 snowmobiling season. Last winter the SLPC allowed access on a trial basis which was successful with no incidents reported. This summer, the SLPC held a public consultation meeting in July in Lansdowne with residents, businesses and snowmobile enthusiasts to discuss all aspects of the test program and to gather information that would assist the SLPC in making a decision on a go forward plan. Input from stakeholders and the public consultation, benchmark data and a thorough review of legislation was considered and a policy was developed and approved by the SLPC Board of Commissioners.
“Over several months we have heard from the snowmobiling community, businesses and many Parkway residents, about last season’s trial access. The public consultation that we held in July was very helpful to our team in understanding the concerns of stakeholders. I think we have struck a balance that will provide recreational access for snowmobilers, be supportive to the business community while at the same time being respectful to the residents living along the Parkway and sensitive to public safety considerations,” said Darren Dalgleish, GM and CEO of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. “The Board has approved this plan, and it is our intention to continue to monitor this access and review this policy. Outdoor winter recreational activities, including snowmobiling, are major contributors to the economic well-being of local communities.” Dalgleish went on to say “We acknowledge that this speed limit is slower than that during the pilot program, however, it is consistent with the province-wide standards set by the Motorized Snow Vehicle Act (MSVA) as it relates to park land.”
Snowmobiles will be able to travel along the ‘north lane’ of the 1000 Islands Parkway with the following parameters:
Speed limit: 20 km/hr along the entire north lane. The parameters were adjusted to include a reduced speed of 20 km/hr that reflects the prescribed speed for “public parks” contained in section 14 of the MSVA. Snowmobiles are being allowed onto the north lane under SLPC’s Act and Regulations which define all of the land holdings of the SLPC, including roads, as “Parks” aligning with the MSVA category.
The north lane is used by pedestrians, vehicles, skiers and snowshoers throughout the winter and among all property categories, it most closely fits the criteria of a public park. The reduced speed limit reflects consultation with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Ministry of Transportation, the regional director of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) and a thorough review of legislation.
Hours: Hours have been adjusted to allow access from 7:00 a.m. to midnight (in response to input from the business community and snowmobilers expressed at the public consultation).
Location: North lane immediately north of the existing 3 metre wide paved trail. The north lane of the parkway is not maintained for snowmobiling and therefore, is not a trail as defined in section 1 of the MSVA where “trail means the whole of any trail established and maintained by a recreational organization for the use of motorized snow vehicles”.
Driveways: Residents have been asked not to pile snow in the north lane right-of-way.
Signage: Stop signs exist at all road intersections. Speed, hours and risk signs will be installed on all existing trail marker sign posts. Vehicle restriction signs will remain and refer to no snowmobiles on the paved trail. “Driveway Ahead” signs will be mounted on orange pylons placed at north edge of paved trail on either side of driveway areas.
Liability: Snowmobilers will use trail at their own risk since it is not a groomed trail but will be responsible to adhere to all of the parameters as defined by SLPC. Users of the trail must adhere to all of the requirements of the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act. Snowmobile access for the season will commence and end depending upon weather conditions. Signage for speed, hours, risk, driveway ahead etc. will be fully in place December 1, 2014.