The proponents of Article 23 tout an economic development advantage of allowing snowmobile access to downtown Goffstown. My unscientific survey of the typical snowmobiler fits the profile of the typical automobile driving consumer in Goffstown - that is they park their machines close to the place where they will open their wallets. My second unscientific premise is that the typical snowmobiler is like the typical motorcyclist in that they would be happiest parking their machines within sight. My conclusion is that there is precious little financial gain in store for the business owners of Goffstown's Main Street to be had if Article 23 passes.
The proponents of Article 23 tout that the enforcement issue will be provided by New Hampshire Fish and Game officers; therefore, there will be no local expenditure to police the snowmobilers. Goffstown wears out police cars at an alarming rate to patrol 140 miles of town maintained roadways. That is, on average, roughly 2000 times a year for every mile of road in town provided with a GPD presence. I highly commend the enforcement job the Goffstown; however, clock your own speed on almost any open straight section of road. My bet is you exceed the posted speed limit. Another unscientific study done this morning, I saw an average one one GPD unit per every two miles traveled and the prevailing speeds were generally above the posted speed limit. The grossly understaffed New Hampshire Fish and Game department cannot and will not provide meaningful enforcement.
I was one of the people who shepherded the original purchase of the rail trail using a Federal Transportation Enhancement grant. The fine print of that agreement supports the argument at snowmobiles are exempted from the definition of motorized vehicles; however, this is trumped within the fine print where it gives the local governing body the authority to regulate use of the trail. When the Goffstown Trail Trail was purchased, the local governing body decided to exclude snowmobiles for the entire length of the trail in order to entice the neighboring property owners to embrace the purchase - without their support, there would be no trail today. Reversing this decision would be a hardship on many residents to serve the non-critical needs of a very few Goffstown residents.
Since there is not a creditable economic reason to allow virtually unenforced snowmobile access from Danis Park Road to Goffstown Village, please vote no on Article 23. Article 16 is up to you; however, it may be letting the camel's nose into the tent by allowing snowmobile access to a short, virtually non-residential portion of the trail from the Villa Ball Fields to the Shell Station at Tatro Drive.