GLOVERSVILLE - Following public discussion at the Common Council meeting Tuesday, the city police department is urging those in the community to report any people riding their snowmobile on city streets or sidewalks, Police Chief Donald VanDeusen said.
The topic came up after 6th Ward Councilman Wrandy Siarkowski said he had been advised about and witnessed riders using the city streets following snow storms. He questioned whether such activity is permitted within the city limits.
"I don't believe that they have business riding on the bike trail in the city," Siarkowski said. "I would like to defer to the chief as far as what the rules are concerning this type of activity. I find it to be very dangerous."
First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth said she too has noticed the problem and said she followed a rider with a passenger driving from Stewarts, on East Fulton Street, down the sidewalk until it reached Allen Street.
VanDeusen said those in the public should report such activity because while snowmobiles are difficult to catch in the act, they do leave a very noticeable track that can be followed to where they may have went.
"Unlike a car, where there can be thousands of tracks out there, the snowmobile tracks are easy to spot and we can follow them to the last place they went," the chief said. "It is illegal to operate a snowmobile on the sidewalk, a public street or the Rail Trail. There is no place in the city, other than their private property, where they should be operating a snowmobile."
There are already markers on the Rail Trail prohibiting the use of vehicles, but VanDeusen said the riders understand that the police are at a disadvantage while on the trail.
The chief said even if the department had snowmobiles to operate they wouldn't chase those on the trail because of the liability of someone being hurt.
Wentworth questioned the use of the vehicles within a property like cemeteries, but the chief said his department would need the permission of the land owner to prohibit such activity because it's private.
"We will do the best we can to locate and identify people using them in the city," VanDeusen said.
People can report such activity by calling 736-2100 or 773-4506.