Whitehall officials and residents adapt to snowmobiles

B y Lee Tugas

The population of ATV’s and snowmobiles rises and falls with the snowfall. This year, they are obviously on the rise.

Whether or not they are a nuisance or a mechanized delight, very much depends, in Whitehall, at least, on your point of view.

Worrisome to police and railroad police

To Village Police Chief Matt Dickinson and Special Agent Mike Tracy of Canadian Pacific Railway Police, snowmobiles that illegally cross Canadian Pacific rail tracks are a serious concern.

A particularly troublesome place, Dickenson said, is the spot under the railroad overpass near the Sunoco Station on Route 4. Both men reminded snowmobile drivers of the obvious: follow the rules of the road, and cross tracks at official railway crossings.

Even at crossings one needs to be careful. Dickinson and Tracy both cited the Feb. 5 case of a pickup truck hit by a northbound Amtrak train at an actual crossing.

That accident hospitalized Brian Woods, 28, of Crown Point, an employee of International Paper in Ticonderoga. CP rail is continuing to investigate that matter.

Tracy referred to the Ticonderoga incident simply to remind drivers of small motorized vehicles just how formidable a train, be it passenger or freight, can be.

“People have no idea just how powerful a fast-moving train can be,” Tracy said.

“I’ve a zero tolerance for illegal rail crossings,” Dickinson added.

A matter of give and take

Since no tracks pass by Pine Lake, a more lenient view can be taken by James Allen, owner of Allen Forestry of Fort Ann. Reporting to the Whitehall Village Board on timber harvesting of village-owned land, Allen said he was concerned with encounters with snowmobile operators.

Allen said he preferred to deal with snowmobile drivers himself, since he found man-to-man negotiation preferable to resorting to law enforcement.

Difference of opinion

Telisky said he personally believed it was a problem.

“Somewhere in Middle Granville, a homeowner has put up an orange snow fence, as high as that overhead light,” Telisky said, pointing to a florescent light about eight-feet high.

“He put it out there so they have to go out onto the road and not on his lawn,” Telisky said.

Jane Gendron, of Whitehall, also expressed concern about snowmobiles.

A self-described walker, Gendron said, “I am going to go home, but I will be mindful of the snowmobiles.”

Trustee Walt Sandford defended the outdoor tradition of a winter spent astride a snowmobile.

“We are talking about a minority,” Sandford said. “There are plenty of ATV and snowmobile drivers who are responsible.”

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , ,

Weekender – 08/28/15

Lakes Classifieds – 08/28/15

Lakes Region Freepress – 08/28/15

Northshire Freepress – 08/28/15

Classifieds 08/27/15

Washington County Fair in full swing

407624_345593242132090_322483287_n

By Linda Ellingsworth There’s still plenty of time to experience the excitement of the Washington County Fair. A celebration of […]

Coin drops hurt by bridge work

Bridge

By Dan King Those who volunteer their time to serve the people of Whitehall say their coin drop operations have […]

Working together: town, village fixing waterline

DSC_1921

By Dan King For the past week and a half the town and village of Whitehall have been working together […]

Washington County Board opposes Common Core

Schulz 2

By Dan King The third time was indeed a charm for Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff and activist Bob Schulz. Haff […]

Townwide sale next weekend

Lawn sale 006

By Dan King Bargain seekers will converge on Whitehall Labor Day Weekend, as they seek the best deals around. The […]

Three vying for public safety position

By Christina Scanlon Washington County supervisors have narrowed the field to three candidates for county public safety director and will […]

Recycled teens applauded

By Christina Scanlon Nine honorary members of the Mettowee Valley Senior Citizens were honored last week at a luncheon filled […]