Registration preparations for city UTVs moving faster than expected

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Less than a week after the Greencastle City Council passed the long-debated UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) ordinance, progress has hit the gas pedal on the registration effort.

“We came back Friday and started taking care of things,” Mayor Lynda Dunbar said, alluding to the Council decision last Thursday night.

“The stickers are ordered. Signs are ordered,” she said Wednesday following the Board of Works meeting at City Hall. “Applications are done and inspection sheets are done.”

Meanwhile, Greencastle UTV enthusiasts will soon have an email address all their own -- UTV@cityofgreencastle.com -- where they can send in their application and certification of liability as well as schedule an inspection appointment with City Police.

“That’s how you’ll get the ability to drive into city limits for your inspection,” the mayor noted.

Mayor Dunbar had previously suggested that it could take until July 1 to have all the UTV ducks in a row -- signs, registration stickers, inspections -- and allow owners to start traveling city streets. It now appears that might all be accomplished much earlier, although Dunbar declined to predict a new date for legal operations.

She explained that the city is treating the orange and green registration stickers “like they do fishing licenses.” In other words, they will always expire July 1 of the next year, regardless of when the sticker is purchased.

“Even if you get your sticker in December this year, it’s going to say 7-1-25 as the expiration date,” Dunbar elaborated.

This year’s registrations are for 2024-25, she said, adding “if you get approved in April or May, you will get extra time (until July 2025).”

As for the signage -- one of the main sticking points in the contested nature of the city ordinance, which passed by a 4-3 vote -- the city has ordered 500 5-x-7-inch signs that will mostly be attached to other existing road markers.

City Attorney Laurie Hardwick said city personnel determined that 365 such signs were needed if one sign were placed at the end of each street.

However, some streets are longer, she noted, and will be posted more than the one time that is required by state statute.

Mayor Dunbar said the city will also work with DePauw University on posting signage on campus and how university officials want to attach the UTV signs to their existing decorative signage.

While the signs and stickers have been ordered, delivery is awaited as the next hurdle in the UTV process.

“As soon as we get the signs,” the mayor said, “the Street Department will put them up. That will take a day or two.”

Meanwhile, residents need to remember that no UTVs are allowed on city streets until the signage is in place and individual registration is completed.

It also should be noted that specifically excluded for use on city streets by the ordinance are golf carts, ATVs, three-wheelers and four-wheelers, all of which are not recreational off-highway vehicles and not allowable by state statute.

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  • This ordinance states UTV ( utility task vehicle) are allowed. Golf carts, ATVs, 3 and 4 wheelers are not allowed. There is one not stated , the Side by Side, this isn't a "task vehicle" - will the side by side be allowed?

    -- Posted by LoneArranger on Fri, Mar 22, 2024, at 8:40 AM
  • Does anyone happen to know what specific Indiana statutes they're referring to regarding the types of vehicles allowed and the sign requirements? I was looking online through the Indiana code but couldn't find it.

    -- Posted by Raker on Fri, Mar 22, 2024, at 11:35 AM
  • I'm telling you, there's no state law requiring street signs for off-road vehicles! It doesn't exist! Prove me wrong! Someone either completely misread a different law or was being purposely misleading to discourage support of the ordinance and the signs are going up to save face, not because of any state laws. The purpose of traffic signs is generally for safety, so how does a sign saying orvs are allowed make a road safer? Orv owners will find out where they can drive when they register, no need for a sign for them or the rest of us!

    So now we will probably be the only city in the state with these signs, and on every street! Not only did they make orv legal but are putting up welcome signs, basically advertising for them to come! Not that I really care, other than the dishonesty of it. Without a law requiring it I think it makes Greencastle look kinda goofy to put these signs everywhere.

    -- Posted by Raker on Sat, Mar 23, 2024, at 1:03 PM
  • Here you go:

    I.C. 9-21-1-3

    (b) An ordinance or regulation adopted under subsection (a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(6), (a)(7), (a)(8), (a)(10), (a)(11), (a)(12), (a)(13), or (a)(14), is effective when signs giving notice of the local traffic regulations are posted upon or at the entrances to the highway or part of the highway that is affected.

    -- Posted by Bob Fensterheim on Sun, Mar 24, 2024, at 10:27 AM
  • IC 9-21-1-3(a) A local authority, with respect to private roads and highways under the authority's jurisdiction, in accordance with sections 2 and 3.3(a) of this chapter, and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, may do the following:

    (14) Regulate or prohibit the operation of low speed vehicles, golf carts, or off-road vehicles on highways in accordance with section 3.3(a) of this chapter.

    (b) An ordinance or regulation adopted under subsection (a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(6), (a)(7), (a)(8), (a)(10), (a)(11), (a)(12), (a)(13), or (a)(14), is effective when signs giving notice of the local traffic regulations are posted upon or at the entrances to the highway or part of the highway that is affected.

    It's a pedantic, inaccurate reading of the law, and possibly done on purpose to discourage support for the ordinance! If you look at other Indiana cities or towns that allow ORVs and/or golf carts, which probably should have been done beforehand, you would see that nobody has these signs. You're not regulating off-road vehicles by simply allowing them to freely travel on every road everywhere in the city (besides state roads). That's not really a regulation, if anything it's a deregulation! The regulation is the other requirements the driver has to meet. They already have to follow the same traffic laws as other vehicles.

    If there were certain roads that the council decided not to allow travel, those would be "regulated" or "prohibited" and would probably need a sign. Show me another city or town that allows golf carts or off-road vehicles (there are many) that has a single one these signs, let alone on every street!

    -- Posted by Raker on Sun, Mar 24, 2024, at 12:43 PM
  • After further thought about, I think I went in a little too hard about these signs. I can see how someone would interpret the law in the way they did without any ulterior motive or hypocrisy involved. I'm sure the signs will look fine. In the grand scheme of things this is pretty near the bottom of things government does to make me scratch my head Have a great day.

    -- Posted by Raker on Tue, Mar 26, 2024, at 6:11 PM
  • RAKER! For gosh sakes, you are the ultimate left-leaning member of the BG comment section. Those of us with little, or none, persuasive skills look up to you. Don't give up so easily! If you can't get anyway with facts, then try something really liberal, such as complain about the increasing amount of eye pollution that Greencastle residents now face. 365 signs? Good grief. Just driving to WALMART is really going to stress my eyes! Take your argument to the streets! Stand underneath the buzz bomb and scream at the passersby like the DePauw kids do. Get your message out there, and don't give up. We have enough signs.

    -- Posted by Prince of Stardust Hills on Tue, Mar 26, 2024, at 10:07 PM
  • The signs are coming regardless what anyone says about it, so I feel like we might as well accept it. This is actually pretty harmless compared to the endless list of objectionable things conservatives do on a regular basis...

    -- Posted by Raker on Wed, Mar 27, 2024, at 11:43 AM
  • RAKER, please start listing those objectional things conservatives do on a REGULAR BASIS...

    Please educate those of us who don't possess your insights, comprehension, imagination, and worldly experience. I will happily share your endless list with my friends.

    And BTW, just a reminder, I have never called you a LEFT-WING nut job, as have other commenters in the Banner.

    -- Posted by Prince of Stardust Hills on Wed, Mar 27, 2024, at 9:38 PM
  • Not sure that just because an individual has SSSLLC political theology means he/ she is a nut job.

    Just a person who has specific views, that is all.

    -- Posted by beg on Thu, Mar 28, 2024, at 9:41 AM
  • Again, I agree with beg. And again, I always enjoy RADER's comments and insights. Still, I wish he would start an endless list of the objectional things conservatives do and make it available to his readers. His loyal group of followers would read it with interest!

    -- Posted by Prince of Stardust Hills on Thu, Mar 28, 2024, at 11:07 AM
  • I think this says it best- "The problem anywhere you go in the world, in any era, will always be right-wingers. That will always be the scourge on the human condition, is that, you know, nationalism, racism, any kind of right-wing mentality, in any human, in any era, in any country, in any system, will always be the problem that needs to be worked out, that needs to be addressed, spoken about. And unfortunately, whether it be Putin or Netanyahu or Trump, or any of the republicans here, or any of the right wing in England or France and the Middle East, anywhere that it is they will all be of the same mind, even though they don't know it, they're all on the same path... it is absolutely absurd to me, indefensible, indefensible to say you are a republican, there is not one reason you could give that would be true that any reasonable person could say yes, I see why you're a republican, there's absolutely no defensible reason that you could say that you are a current republican" -Janeane Garofalo on The Majority Report with Sam Seder, aired March 29, 2024

    -- Posted by Raker on Sat, Mar 30, 2024, at 1:51 PM
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