Off road vehicle enthusiasts have been working for nearly four years to open the KVR through Princeton.

Off road vehicle enthusiasts have been working for nearly four years to open the KVR through Princeton.

KVR through Princeton will remain closed to off-road vehicles during COVID crisis

Local ATV groups ask council to delay opening of trail

People who have been waiting literally years for the KVR through Princeton to be open to motorized vehicles are just going to have to wait a little longer.

Last week, town council agreed with a recommendation from ATV groups that the trail should not open as scheduled this spring.

Ed Vermette, president of the Princeton ATV Club, sent a letter to the municipality.

It read in part: “Due to (COVID-19), we believe we must act responsibly under the present circumstances.

“We are suggesting a temporary hold on opening the KVR until the (COVID-19) pandemic settles.

“This is not a decision we take lightly after all we have been through to get to this point.

Related: Princeton council votes to open parts of KVR to motorized vehicles

“We do not want to encourage locals or people from the cities congregating in rural communities, this could add to the problems we are all currently facing.

“It could also create unnecessary situations for our first responders and health workers in the event of an accident.

“Opening the trail at this time could send the wrong message and encourage people to come ride into or out of Princeton.”

The letter was co-signed by Vic Bartel, president of the Similkameen Riders ATV Club.

Mayor Spencer Coyne accepted the letter, and thanked the groups for their recommendation.

In an interview, Vermette told the Spotlight with the town’s co-operation they were hoping to open the trail May 1.

New signage is already produced, and being stored at the town’s public works yard.

After a period of consultation last fall, the municipality approved a series of rules and improvements for the trail, and to open it up for mixed use for a one year trial.

While Vermette and Bartel both consulted with their memberships, Vermette said the decision was “really a no brainer.”

Vermette said it’s possible ATVs will be kept off the trail for the entire season.

“I think we have to leave that up to government, for when they say it is safe for people to go back out.”

Princeton CAO Lyle Thomas said when the trail does open, the one year trial period will begin on that date.

Related: Petition fights ATV bylaw

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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