Meeker, Rangely, RBC are OHV-friendly

MEEKER I “Whereas, a committee formed in Rio Blanco County to promote economic development and increase tourism by providing for the operation of off-highway vehicles in Rio Blanco County and Northwest Colorado, made a presentation to the Town Board of Trustees (Town Board) proposing the Town consider the adoption of legislation permitting the operation of off-highway vehicles within the Town of Meeker, in conjunction with such an effort in Rio Blanco County and Northwest Colorado;” reads the opening of Ordinance No. 7-2011, recently adopted by trustees of the town of Meeker.
Officials in Meeker, Rangely and Rio Blanco County want it to be known they are “OHV-friendly communities” but there are rules.
“We are trying to participate in a regional concept,” said Meeker town administrator Scott Meszaros.
All streets and alleyways are open to OHV travel in town, with the exception of Market Street (Colorado State Highway 13), which riders can cross but not travel on and all drivers must possess a valid driver’s license. Many unlicensed riders have been seen on Meeker streets since the ordinance passed.
“Anyone under 16 cannot be driving on the streets,” Meeker Chief of Police Bob Hervey said.
Hervey said all riders must abide by all state and town ordinances and OHVs must have a registration sticker from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Division.
“Like any other new ordinance, we will try to issue warnings but warnings are not across the line, it depends on the violation,” Hervey said. “We will continue to use our discretion.”
Rangely has allowed OHV travel on all their streets for several years and riders do not need to be licensed but they must take the most direct route to the trail heads and may not drive along (only cross) Main Street (Highway 64).
“They can’t just drive them to the store,” Rangely Police Lieutenant Roy Kinney. “We get a couple of complaints a week and we stop and talk to them. We don’t cite often but we can impound their vehicle and take away their privilege if they don’t follow the rules.”
Rules and regulations of the newly designated Wagon Wheel Trail system on the eastern end of Rio Blanco County will be published in next week’s issue of the Herald Times.