DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A request from the Abbot Explorers ATV Club to use about 2 miles of the back Shirley-Blanchard Road for all-terrain vehicle traffic was denied Tuesday by Piscataquis County commissioners.
George Hardy, who made the request in a letter on the club’s behalf, wrote that the reason for the request is to bypass a steep grade in the trail that circumvents an old railroad bridge. He said the grade is difficult for novice and older residents to navigate.
Piscataquis County Sheriff John Goggin was not in favor of the move. “It’s at best a very winding, curvy road; it’s a dangerous road even for motor vehicles passing on it,” he said at the commissioners’ meeting Tuesday. Had the request been for a short distance, he said, he likely would have no problem.
Commissioner Tom Lizotte said each request is evaluated on its merits. In some cases the commissioners have allowed all-terrain vehicles the use of public roads while they have not in other instances. This request is substituting a public road for an all-terrain vehicle trail which is not acceptable, he said.