Letter to the Editor: ATVs Are a Bad Idea for North Duluth Avenue

I live on North Duluth Avenue, and I absolutely do not want our peaceful road, nestled between the ledge of the Niagara Escarpment and the west side of the Sturgeon Bay shipping channel, to become an ATV route.

The Sturgeon Bay Traffic Committee recently proposed an ATV/UTV route along North Duluth from County C to Bullhead Point. On Feb. 18, the Town of Nasewaupee approved the section from there to the dead end at Potawatomi State Park and Waterfront Mary’s, in the Town of Nasewaupee. It’s now up to the city whether North Duluth is opened up to ATVs.

The road is not safe for ATV/UTVs. Approaching Bullhead Point, it dips down a hill that turns into a sharp curve at the foot, creating short sight lines for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. The road narrows to 18 feet, with the wooded ledge on the left and homes and cottages perched along the narrow bank of the channel, many a few feet from the road. This includes Cliff Dwellers Resort, with an office and pool opposite the townhouses.

ATV/UTVs are noisy. If a route is posted here, who’s to stop parades of 10, 20 or more? West of Potawatomi Park along the bay, hundreds of ATVs with trucks and trailers lined the roads for ice fishing last weekend. You can bet North Duluth would become an attractive destination with a waterfront bar at the end.

Duluth Avenue is a marked bike route. It’s part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, one of 11 such trails in the country, including the Appalachian Trail. It connects to Potawatomi Park, the 1,200-mile trail’s eastern terminus. Last August, Sturgeon Bay was named an Ice Age National Trail Community. We often see people with full backpacking gear hiking on North Duluth.

Last fall, the city’s traffic committee began talking about ATV routes in Sturgeon Bay. If you agree that ATVs would be a bad idea on North Duluth or within the city limits, contact the Sturgeon Bay Common Council before the traffic committee meets March 22.

Margaret LeBrun

Nasewaupee, Wisconsin