NEBRASKA CITY – Nebraska City ATV and utility vehicle drivers offered their support Monday for a proposed ordinance that would allow the vehicles to be driven on city streets.
Keaton Blocker, a 32-year resident of Nebraska City, earlier approached city commissioners about taking advantage of the state law that allows the ATVs and UTVs.
He said he enjoys riding them and said he feels it would be proper for Nebraska City to make them available as another form of transportation. He said he has met as many as 50 other residents who agree.
Blocker: “Got to meet with a couple of the other guys and found out a lot of the other smaller towns have an ordinance for ATVs and UTVs. We figured why not try for Nebraska City. It’s a small, home-town feeling.”
Nick Shimmel, owner of A-1 Locksmith, said he favors the ATV, UTV ordinance for leisure riding.
He said the rules for helmets, seatbelts, flags and lights will make the vehicles safe enough for the streets.
Shimmel: “They have brighter headlights and taillights than a lot of vehicles do. A lot of these utility type vehicles do. I don’t think you’re going to see a huge influx of them, that they are going to be everywhere, but I think people would enjoy using them on the streets.”
Proposed rules would limit drivers to 19 years and old and speeds to 30 mph or lower.
Parks Commissioner Pat Wehling asked city attorney David Partsch to include a provision that seat belts are required and there can be no more passengers than the number of seat belts.
City Administrator Grayson Path urged commissioners to be cautious before allowing the vehicles.
He said many communities that have passed ordinances are generally satisfied, but Gretna discontinued its ordinance because its regular traffic grew too heavy. He said there could be problems with ATVs driving in yards and drivers disregarding traffic laws.
The proposal would not allow ATVS and UTVs on the city’s busiest streets, including portions of Central Avenue, 11th Street and Fourth Corso.