Should all-terrain vehicles be street-legal in Sitka? When the Sitka Assembly meets tonight, it will consider opting out of new state regulations allowing ATVs on roads with a speed limit less than 45 miles per hour. 

The new road rules paving the way for ATV use are set to go into effect in January, but local public safety officials are calling for the assembly to opt out due to safety concerns. In a memo, Sitka police chief Robert Baty and fire chief Craig Warren oppose the state’s regulations and believe it will increase injuries and fatal accidents on local roadways. Sitka’s Police And Fire Commission unanimously recommends opting out, and the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police also opposes the new rules. 

In some jurisdictions, ATVs are also referred to as off-highway vehicles, or OHVs. In Sitka, they’re commonly seen this time of year plowing snow on neighborhood sidewalks.

In other business, the Sitka Assembly will hear presentations from the state’s chief medical officer Dr. Anne Zink, and a quarterly report from Visit Sitka. It will also discuss creating a ‘place names’ task force that will study local traditional place names and recommend updates to the Assembly. 

The Sitka Assembly meets tonight at 6 p.m. Raven News will broadcast the meeting live following Alaska News Nightly.