Residents in Superior’s Itasca neighborhood would like to find solutions to the speeds some recreational riders are traveling on the trails in Superior.
Whether all-terrain or utility task vehicles, motor bikes or snowmobiles in the winter, residents say speed, noise and safety for pedestrian access to the trails are problematic.
And Councilor Jenny Van Sickle is seeking reduced speed limits on the trails to help combat the problems some are creating. The city’s Public Safety Committee is slated to address the matter when it meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, in Room 204 of the Government Center.
“When we moved out here, it was a nice, quiet trail,” said Guy Moen, whose property abuts the Osaugie Trail. “It was mostly bicycles, walkers and dog walkers, and kids playing on the trail. That was a real draw to the neighborhood to have that, and now, I don’t mind the four-wheelers coming into town if that’s what everybody wants, but why do they steal our trail? Why don’t they have their own trail? If they can’t respect the neighborhood, and go through nice and slow and quiet, then I don’t think they shouldn’t be on it.
"Basically, I just want a little respect for the neighborhood.”
Moen said even sitting in his yard to enjoy a fire or a barbecue required noise-suppression headphones at times.
Bob Schmidt, who lives about a half-block from the Osaugie Trail, said that not everyone who uses the trail causes problems. He’s seen large groups, up to 30 people, go through the area without causing problems.
“It’s no different than people driving on the highway,” Schmidt said. “There’s a certain percentage that just can’t follow the speed limits. Some of it’s quite extensive … whatever the small percentage is, it’s a real problem.”
Schmidt said he typically notices the vehicles — ATVs in the summer, snowmobiles in the winter — when they head to the Holiday Station to fuel up and when they head to local establishments for food and drink. Usually when they come back, they go right past his window and are speeding through the area, he said. He’s even had some riders go across his front yard to get back to the trail.
“If you were walking on the trail or had an animal on a leash, you wouldn’t get out of the way if they didn’t see you,” Schmidt said. “The trail is not that wide. I don’t know what solution there would be. If we can’t control the excessive speed on U.S. 2 and 53, how are they going to control it?”
Moen said the current posted speed limit is 25 mph, but people rarely follow it. In addition to a reduced speed limit, he said he would like to see more enforcement on the trails.
Van Sickle is seeking a reduction to 15 mph and enforcement of stop signs, which Moen described as the “starting line for the racetrack.”
“Any suggestions people have to improve it would be nice,” Schmidt said.