Proposal to allow ATVs on Katy Trail opposed by many in St. Char - KMOV.com

Proposal to allow ATVs on Katy Trail opposed by many in St. Charles Co.

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ST. CHARLES COUNTY (KMOV.com) – Pedestrians and bikers who use the Katy Trail in St. Charles County could soon be sharing it with motorized vehicles, including ATVs.

Opponents of the proposal decided to deliver a petition with thousands of signatures to lawmakers on April 19. Many businesses on Main Street in St. Charles signed a petition against the proposal.

Some opponents went directly to lawmakers and after many complaints. The lawmaker behind the bill is making changes as a result.

Jodi Devonshire owns a business that is only feet from the Katy Trial called Bike Shop Café. She says the bill would be detrimental for her business.

“We have thousands of visitors a year. We estimate 60 percent of our income comes from the Katy Trail, so even if a tiny bit of that is deterred because of this bill, we’re looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses,” said Devonshire.

Representative Jay Houghton of Columbia is sponsoring the bill. He says the point is to make the Katy Trail accessible for everyone. He says the addition of allowing ATVs on the Katy Trail will allow those unable to bike or walk to use the trail.

After many have raised their concerns about safety and potential damage to the trail, Houghton says he has altered the language to say the bill would only apply to those 60 and older and would only allow the utility vehicles on Wednesdays.

But even one day a week has many users concerned.

“I think it would end up tearing up the trails and add another danger to runners and bikers,” said Devonshire.

The bill has passed out of two committees, but officials say it is not scheduled to go before the full house.

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