2005-12-01 / News

Island Snowmobile Regulations Approved

By Karen Gould

Protecting Mackinac Island students, limiting speeds, the addition of a temporary stop sign, and prohibiting commercial operation all are included in the snowmobile traffic control regulations approved by the Mackinac Island City Council at its Wednesday, November 9, meeting.

Throughout the snowmobile season, from November 15 to April 15, a snowmobile speed limit of 20 miles per hour will be enforced on public roads in the residential, school, and business districts. On areas other than local streets, a limit of 35 miles per hour is allowed.

Protecting Island students from snowmobile riders is a priority that includes restricting the speed of snowmobiles to 10 miles per hour when students are within 25 feet of the vehicles. Snowmobile riders also are not allowed to operate their machines within 100 feet of the school.

“We recommend people adhere to the speed limit in the city and that they are frugal when traveling outside the city,” said Chief of Police William Lenaghan. “Speed limits will be enforced.”

Chief Lenaghan said the Mackinac County Sheriff’s Department works in cooperation with the Island police department in patrolling the Island on snowmobiles.

During the snowmobile season, a stop sign will be in place on the Island at the corner of Cadotte Avenue and Market Street, with Market Street traffic having the right-of-way.

If snowmobile riders are spending an extended amount of time on the Island, it is recommended they register their machines with the City. The free permit must be visible on the snowmobile. Snowmobiles also must be registered with the Mackinac Island State Park.

Snowmobiles must drive on the right side of roadways and yield to pedestrians, horses, and snowplows.

Wearing a helmet is a state law and if someone is cited for speeding on the Island and is not wearing a helmet, they will also be cited for that offense, said Chief Lenaghan.

Operating a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol also is against state law.

Chief Lenaghan reminds riders to follow speed limits and be cautious while traveling in the Mackinac Island State Park. He said people are cross-country skiing and sledding in the park.

“Be careful out there,” said Chief Lenaghan.

Snowmobile parking restrictions are posted in the downtown area and assist in keeping streets plowed. Streets affected include Main Street between Windermere Point and Fort Street, Market Street between Grand Avenue and Fort Street, and all of Hoban and Astor streets. Posted signs prohibiting parking rotate on a weekly basis from one side of the street to the other to facilitate snowplowing.

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