FARMINGTON — The Reed’s Mills Road will be closed to ATV traffic per the Franklin County Commissioners, following a unanimous vote at Tuesday’s meeting.
Earlier this summer the commissioners allowed road access at the request of the ATV club when the club lost access to a section of trails heading to Rangeley. the commissioners granted access with the understanding that ATV traffic should behave respectfully and should not pose a threat to other traffic on the road.
There have been multiple complaints of ATV operators behaving recklessly and endangering other traffic and persons on the roadway. In addition, there have been reports of the ATVs traveling on private roads and private property where they do not have permission to be. These reports are apparently related to the road access on Reed’s Mills; the private roads are accessed from Reed’s Mills Road.
It was not believed that local club members and operators are causing these issues; it was more likely ‘weekender’ traffic.
Commissioner Clyde Barker, who represents Madrid Township as part of District Three, said that he spent twenty minutes sitting at an intersection on Reed’s Mills Road; during that time he observed an ATV and a side-by-side driving recklessly on the road and failing to give right of way to a pulp truck.
Barker felt they made a mistake in allowing ATV access on the road, and wanted it rectified.
Sergeant Jacob Richards from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office lives in the area and has been monitoring the traffic when possible. It is often hard for law enforcement to catch them in the act of reckless driving, as they cannot be in the area 24/7 and by the time an officer arrives the offenders have left the immediate area. The Maine Warden Service has been involved in the issue as well.
The commissioners voted unanimously to revoke the ATV access that had been granted. They gave the ATV club until September 15 to remove access signage.