On September 12 th , 2017 the City Council of Lowell, MA will take up a proposed ordinance to ban
personal watercraft access on city controlled waters of the Merrimack River. This total prohibition
would extend from the Rourke Bridge down to Pawtucket Falls, including all canals within the
City of Lowell.
The proposed ordinance is in response to two tragic incidents which occurred on these public waters. The first involved a fatal hit and run on an experienced personal watercraft rider. To date, the offender has not been apprehended. The second incident involved an alleged drunken operator on an unregistered watercraft striking another watercraft, 10:30 at night, tragically killing the passenger.
As horrific and illegal as these acts are, they were 100% preventable. Everything that occurred is already illegal under Massachusetts law. The City of Lowell needs to strictly enforce existing law, not ban lawful watercraft users from public waters.
You may never ride the Merrimack River in Lowell, but that doesn’t mean you can’t speak up. When one jurisdiction starts bans on public waterways, others follow suit. It’s easier for politicians to ban certain groups of boaters than it is to enable the enforcement of existing boating laws. It’s unfair and unjust.
I urge you to make your voice heard at the Tuesday, September 12 th Lowell City Council meeting. City Hall is located at 375 Merrimack Street in Lowell. The meetings are called to order at 6:30 p.m. Tell the city council to enforce the existing law boating laws, rather than punish all riders for the acts of a few.
Lowell’s process to speak out against this loss of public access requires speakers to register over the phone only after the meeting agenda is published, usually the Friday before the Tuesday meeting. Go to www.lowellma.gov click on Government, then click on Agendas & Minutes. The September 12 th 2017 Agenda should be present by Friday, September 8 th . When it is, please call the City Clerk’s office at 978-674- 4161 and add your name to the list to speak out for better enforcement -- not restrictions on your access.
We realize this is a cumbersome process. However, it comes down to the public making their voices clear. When PWC owners stand as one in large numbers, we win. When we stay silent, access is lost forever. It’s as simple as that. Speak up now and defend your Right to Ride. Your voice is the one that counts most.
If you can’t make the council meeting, please call the City Council (Names and numbers on the back) and in a polite but firm way, make your voice heard. Inform every rider you know to do the same, and don’t forget family and friends. Every voice counts.