NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Take a walk near Mourning Dove Circle on the New Haven/East Haven line and you’ll find a wooded area with paths and jumps designed for all terrain vehicles. For the outdoor motor enthusiast, the spot may appear to be the perfect place to open up the throttle and ride, the only problem with that idea is the wooded area is Bishop Woods Bird Sanctuary and riding motor vehicles here is illegal.
Despite what the rules are, neighbors will tell you it seems many choose to ignore them. Which, interestingly enough, we found plenty of reminders posted near several visible path entrances.
“It’s clearly signed everywhere,” said Ian Crandall of New Haven.
This isn’t a new problem. Some neighbors telling us it’s been an issue for around five years. Nevertheless some, like Audrey Blanchard, insist it’s getting worse.
“It has definitely been getting worse,” said Blanchard. “I actually for the first time had to write into the police last year and they came up several times.”
Audrey isn’t the only one we met who lives near the sanctuary that says they’ve tried to get people stop riding near their homes, but to no avail.
“I personally have for the past two years been contacting New Haven police,” said Crandall.
We brought the concerns of neighbors to Laurence Grotheer, New Haven’s Director of Communications. Grotheer says the problem with ATVs isn’t just limited to this area, but rather is an issue city-wide.
“The New Haven Police Department has been in touch with their counterparts in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC,” said Grotheer. “This is an urban issue nationwide.”
Despite the challenges, Grotheer insists the city is actively taking steps to fix the problem.
“The police department for one thing has set up a tip line at the non-emergency number,” said Grotheer.
Officials with the city also say police and members of the parks and recreation department are increasing their presence in the area.
If you would like to call in a tip to the New Haven Police Department the number is 1-866-888-TIPS.