Monday, June 23, 2014

Mysteries in North Bay

Acting on a tip from a reader, Gossips headed over to the north end of Second Street earlier today, to the landfill that was once the county dump, and discovered two curious things. 

First, there is a pile of discarded cinder blocks at the end of the road or the north edge of the parking lot--whichever way you want to see it. 

The pile of cinder blocks is in plain sight and far from the building, which seems an unusual location whether the blocks were illegally dumped there or are detritus from work going on in the building.

The other curiosity is this: tracks made by something large and heavy that enter the area right next to a sign that says "No Vehicle Access" and go up to the top of the cap.

People are cautioned not to walk on the landfill or let their dogs run there because such activity can damage the cap. So who is driving on it and for what purpose?


  1. Probably the young men who ride their tabs there and even up the bike path onto Harry Howard Avenue.

  2. The cinderblocks were probably left from the demolition work going on inside the factory. Workers had been inside on Friday, and cement dust trails away from the loading dock. The extreme placement of the rubble may mean more to come.

    The ruts are being created by ATVs.

    From the Register Star (1/22/14), "Paden said he wants hiking trails to steer clear of the landfill, altogether. Off-roading by motor vehicles has left portions of the cap’s fabric exposed."

    The main ATV route traverses the landfill from North 2nd Street, up through the woods, then to the high school playing fields.

    When the ATV-ers see people walking at the landfill, they try and lower their profile. Unfortunately this is resulting in sudden and erratic new routes all over the cap.

    Lately they've been opening a new route to the woods in the grasses behind those cinderblocks (on the downslope into the woods where lots of people are leaving dog feces).

    The ATV-ers are also riding at the base of the landfill at the edge of the estuary, after which they emerge back up the hill through the grasses.

    Most of the open grassland riding takes place on the upper slope, but they make loops wherever they please in the grasses or use the open meadow to escape noticing eyes.

    I always stop them and and point out that they're tearing up the place, at which they apologize and carry on.

    Over the weekend I spoke with a man on an ATV (not a teen) about what was going to happen next. I said that if he and his colleagues only made some effort to repair their damage, then maybe an understanding could be reached. As it is, no one lifts a finger to repair the damage they make (a criticism not limited to ATV-ers), but once they're kicked out they'll be the ones who will complain bitterly that they never bothered anyone.

    The fellow replied that the ATVs were causing no damage, and that they were using the place because fewer people were coming there anymore (!).

    I said we both knew that wasn't true, and that the ATV-ers were only assuring their future prohibition.

    "Well" he replied, "we have to roll with the times."

    I should have made that suggestion to the next people who came along, a brand-new, black SUV in which a 40-something year old man, his wife, and two blond tots were out for a ride.

    The door opened, predictably, and out came a black lab which immediately took a dump in the grass out of their sight. Naturally the humans remained in the car.

    I called across the parking lot, "I hope you're going to pick that up."

    The man replied "Buddy, around here I'm not the one you've got to be afraid of," but that comment only made me reach for my phone as I studied his license plate.

    He proceeded to get out of his car and throw refuse on the rubble pile while the woman emerged from the car to scream at me: "We ALWAYS pick up after our animals!"

    But then they didn't pick up after their animal, and just drove away.

  3. These ATVs are also using city streets.


    "An ATV may be operated on any highway which has been designated and posted as open for travel by ATVs in accordance with the provisions of section twenty-four hundred five of this article."

    At first it was only Mill Street, but now the ATVs are traveling from the landfill to Dock Street and then to Front Street.

    I've been told - though I haven't seen it myself - that they travel from North Front Street to South Front Street in order to reach the railroad access roads at South Bay, south of the city.

    I can't find anything about this in our City Code, but because the City of Hudson has adopted the entire state traffic law, city streets must be posted for ATV use to be legal.

  4. The vehicle tracks up the slope are not new. I saw tracks heading up the slope when we first moved here in the summer of 2011.

    1. It isn't a question whether or not the tracks are new. The ground beneath the meadow was carefully engineered, so the issue is whether vehicles belong up there at all.

      It's safe to surmise that whatever caused the tracks is prohibited, as indicated by the sign.

      Where the final hiking trails will be placed is also undecided; it may not be up that center road at all.