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Forest Meadows Gets Cops, Boots Out OHVs

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Off highway vehicles (OHVs) can no longer cruise the streets of Forest Meadows.

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors decided Monday to allow the California Highway Patrol to enforce the state´s vehicle code in the gated subdivision. The change will prohibit use of dirt bikes and other non-street legal vehicles.

“It will require that anybody riding those bikes would have to be licensed,” CHP Officer Bryan Duquesnel said. “I don´t know if it´s going to fix the problem. It will get people more aware. If they´re going to operate on the roadways, they have to be equipped.”

Supervisor Merita Callaway, who lives in Forest Meadows, put the item on the board´s agenda.

Motorbikes are tearing up and down the streets, said Irwin Cantieri of Forest Meadows owners association.

Bikes zip up and down the street disturbing residents with the noise and exhaust, Duquesnel said.

“Our security people have limited enforcement powers,” Cantieri said.

“When neighbors ask them ‘don´t ride here,´ they´re told ‘take a hike, you can´t do anything about it,´” Duquesnel said.

“It´s a variety of bikes and age groups that are riding … and really not paying attention,” Duquesnel said.

The riders often run stop signs, said Lt. Les Quinn, commander of the CHP San Andreas office.

“It´s not going to be a routine patrol area for us,” Duquesnel said. “We will respond to calls. We already do that for injury accidents. We haven´t, until now, enforced speed laws.”

Fatalities In Calaveras County were up to 18 last year and 10 so far this year, Quinn said. “In the past we were at five,” he said.

Because the golf course and restaurant are open to the public, many people use the private roads, Callaway said. “We´re having more and more problems with traffic,” Cantieri said.

Signs will be posted throughout the subdivision indicating that vehicle code laws are in effect, Cantieri said. “We already have the signs,” he said. “Now we can put them up.”

Supervisor Tom Tryon voted no on the enforcement and said, “I don´t view these as roads being open to the public.”

“I´ve gone up there and couldn´t get in,” he said.

Public funds shouldn´t be used for a gated community “that provides services for the elite and upper income amongst us. I don´t think it´s appropriate,” Tryon said. “Get rid of the gates and I´ll support it.”

The vote passed 4-1.

Calaveras Enterprise story by Vanessa Turner. For more Calaveras news, click: