City moves to remove stop lights, set ATV rules

Brett Berntsen
The traffic light at the intersection of West Main Street and and North Locke Avenue is pictured Monday in Farmington. It is one of three downtown lights the City Council is eliminating to improve traffic flow.

FARMINGTON – The City Council on Tuesday approved a plan to remove three traffic lights downtown and took the next step in establishing rules for off-road vehicles on city streets.

The lights, located along Main Street at the intersections of Locke, Allen and Court Avenues, will blink yellow for a 90-day test period before the city decides to nix them permanently. Stop signs will regulate traffic on the cross streets.

Public Works Director David Sypher said the lights were deemed unnecessary, and removing them could save the city $33,000 a year in maintenance and operation costs.

Councilors also agreed to publish an ordinance regulating off-highway vehicles on city streets.

On May 23, changes to a state law take effect, legalizing OHVs on paved roads. Cities, however, have the option to set specific regulations regarding speed and safety.

Farmington is proposing a 35 mph maximum speed limit for all-terrain vehicles like four-wheelers, and a 45 mph maximum for larger machines such as side-by-sides. Vehicles will need safety equipment such as lights, mirrors and horns, and drivers will need to be licensed and insured, as well.

The ordinance will be presented for public comment at the April 26 City Council meeting.

Brett Berntsen covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606.