Sylvan Lake clears way for snowmobile route

A route has been set up so snowmobilers can zip into Sylvan Lake to gas up and chowdown.

A route has been set up so snowmobilers can zip into Sylvan Lake to gas up and chowdown.

Town council passed a bylaw on Monday creating a designated route on 32ndStreet for snowmobilers to reach gas stations at the east end of Lakeshore Drive. A hotel, restaurant and convenience store are within reach.

The season would run Dec. 1 to March 31 and allows travel only on designated routes and in permitted areas.

Two gas stations on either side of 33rd Street (the eastern end of Lakeshore Drive) are designated for snowmobile use.

Council asked for public feedback and two residents near the route were opposed to the disruption snowmobilers would create. Two others didn’t oppose the route, but wanted the hours changed.

A 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. travel window had been originally proposed. However, council amended that to reduce the hours to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Council also opted to limit snowmobiles to 20 km/h on the route, add concrete barriers to the corridor as well as posting information signs and a stop sign.

“We also committed to reviewing the whole program in June,” said Sylvan Mayor Sean McIntyre.

“We’re getting feedback from residents again to what kind of effect those changes have had on the neighbourhood.”

Area club David Thompson Trail Riders are behind the snowmobile route initiative. They requested council consider a way for their members snowmobiling on the lake to get access to gas and food without having to load their snowmobiles on trailers.

For years, snowmobilers were allowed to use Sylvan Lake streets to get to and from the lake. But in January 2010, council overturned a bylaw that had allowed limited travel for snowmobiles and ATVs.

Those who travel outside permitted areas face a $443 fine, or $310 if paid within 10 days.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com