Although ATVs like this are most associated with off-road use, a growing number of communities – including Union Grove – are looking into the possibility of allowing ATVs and other similar vehicles to use village streets.

Officials want input from the public on possibility

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

Could the more urbanized Union Grove permit the use of such rural transports as ATVs, UTVs and golf carts on municipal roadways?

It is an exploratory path that has been a talking point at recent Village Board meetings and is expected to continue in the road ahead.

Village President Steve Wicklund first brought up the topic in early July, citing comments he has fielded from residents within the community. In the weeks since, Village Administrator Mike Hawes has looked more deeply into the matter.

Based on a cursory review of state statute, Hawes said there are some tools available to the village on setting parameters on the dos and don’ts of such recreational vehicles.

“Municipalities are able to adopt ordinances allowing ATVs and UTVs on municipal roads and certain highways,” Hawes said. “Regulations on golf carts are provided (in a passage of state statute).”

Hawes pointed to eight communities across the state with some of the similar characteristics to Union Grove with formal ordinances in place for ATVs, UTVs and golf carts on the local books.

For example, the Village of Cross Plains in Dane County last year agreed to open all municipal streets for ATV and UTV routes, with a few caveats. The village’s main thoroughfare, running on a federal highway, prohibits such vehicles, though drivers can cross over it.

The board and Hawes are expected to continue discussing the issue at the next regular meeting, scheduled for Aug. 9. During the discussion, next steps could be considered, including a public meeting on the topic or the administration of a survey.

“I would agree that we need some public input,” Wicklund said. “Talk to your friends, talk to your neighbors.”