Peterborough County’s Transportation Master Plan Considers ORV Options

Gene Chartier of Paradigm Consulting made a presentation to Council as a spokesperson for Peterborough County explaining considerations of how the updated Transportation Master Plan would address Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) traffic on County Roads.  Cavan-Monaghan Council has decided to wait until this decision has been made before establishing the regulations regarding ORV traffic on municipal roads in the township.

This issue was triggered by a change to the Highway Traffic Act last January that allowed municipalities across the province to consider opening their roads to ORV traffic.  The default decision for municipalities was that ORV’s would be allowed unless local by-laws were enacted to prohibit them.  This change does not apply to County roads, where ORV use remains prohibited unless specifically permitted.  Before deciding how to proceed, Peterborough County engaged consultants to collect information, consult with stakeholders and recommend a direction.

The three options under consideration are: allowing ORV’s on all County roads; allowing them on a few to create a network; or implementing an outright ban of ORV’s on all County roads.  The pros and cons of allowing ORV traffic on roads are extensive and supporters on both sides of the issue hold their positions enthusiastically, leaving little opportunity for a compromise solution to resolve the impasse.

Without leaning on either side of the discussion, Council focused their comments to the report on the route identified as the one that might be considered should the County proceed to establish a network for ORV traffic allowing connections to points of interest where the vehicles would be welcome.  The selected route travels west from Wallace Point Road in South Monaghan and crosses County Rd. 28 through the roundabout, continuing along County Rd. 21 to County Rd. 10 where it heads south to connect with Challice Line at the southern boundary of the township.

Council had many comments about this, the only route under consideration.  The advisability of encouraging ORV traffic on the roundabout was questioned given this is an already challenging traffic feature for many drivers.  Bringing ORVs within a block of the downtown was felt to be either too close or too far from the centre of town.  An approved route should either allow them to come in to purchase gas and supplies or keep them out of the village entirely.

Council agreed that one of the most significant considerations for municipalities is the cost and effectiveness of enforcement, whether ORVs are allowed on roads or not.  They asked that Police service organizations provide feedback on the issue as well.

The consultant was asked to reconsider the proposed route in Cavan-Monaghan and apply the original quantitative analysis tools that were used in the early discussion stage of the project to determine where a connecting route should be located.

An on-line survey is available for residents to provide feedback on this issue until October 7th at

In the meantime, the decision about ORVs on municipal roads remains in limbo in Cavan-Monaghan as well as Asphodel-Norwood, Otonabee-South Monaghan and Selwyn, which are all waiting to see the County conclusion.  The timeline for the County Council decision has not yet been established, but will form part of the Transportation Master Plan which in theory will be completed by the end of the year.  KG

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