Snowmachines, parking limited in peninsula cities

Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2003

An area that offers as much open space as the Kenai Peninsula beckons snowmachiners and other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy winter weather like few other places, but within peninsula cities winter also brings some restrictions.

Some snowmachine restrictions also apply in rural areas.

For safety reasons, snowmachining is not allowed on streets in Soldotna or Kenai and to aid in snow removal, parking on city streets is also restricted.

Public safety is the biggest reason snowmachines are prohibited from city streets in Soldotna according to police Sgt. Tod McGillivray.

"The last thing drivers expect to see when driving down a city street in Soldotna is a snowmachine darting out in front of them," McGillivray said.

Kenai police Sgt. Scott McBride listed several reasons snowmachines are prohibited from streets in that city.

"Those vehicles are designed for use in snow, not on the roadway. They're fast and they don't have the protective body of a car," McBride said.

"They're also not licensed because they're not set up for roadway use with equipment such as lighting and brakes," he said.

To facilitate snow removal, both cities also prohibit parking of cars, trucks and other vehicles on city streets.

In Kenai, the parking restriction is from 4 to 8 a.m., everyday between Oct. 1 and May 1.

The city of Soldotna bans parking on all side streets all year, according to McGillivray.

In rural areas, snowmachines may not be used on highways unless use of the highway by other motor vehicles is impossible because of snow or ice accumulation or other natural causes.

A snowmachine may be used on a highway when it is posted or otherwise designated as being open to travel by off-highway vehicles.

If snowmachiners must travel on established roadways shared with cars and trucks, snowmachines must be brought to a complete stop before crossing and must yield to any traffic on the highway.

Snowmachiners must cross roadways at right angles and must be sure they have enough time to cross safely without interfering with other traffic on the roadway.

If crossing a bridge or culvert on a highway, snowmachines may drive only at the extreme right-hand edge of the bridge or culvert and only when the crossing can be completed with safety and without interfering with other traffic.

Winter rules

Snowmachines prohibited on city streets in Kenai and Soldotna.

No parking on Soldotna side streets at any time.

No parking on Kenai streets from 4 to 8 a.m.

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