Are you allowed to have an All Terrain Vehicle, or ATV, in Schenectady? Yes! Can you ride up and down city streets with your ATV or dirt bike? NO! I have seen them used for fun while others use them working around their property. In Schenectady, in particular, some are riding ATV's and dirt bikes illegally and City Councilwoman Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas is looking to put a stop to it.

Times Union is reporting that city officials will introduce legislation to ban ATVs and dirt bikes within city limits. The proposed legislation seeks to detain anyone operating the vehicles, and impound and eventually dispose of the machines.

Isn't riding an ATV on city streets already illegal in Schenectady? The answer is YES, it IS illegal. According to, you cannot ride an ATV on public roadway unless it has been designated and posted for ATV use by the local or state authorities.

So if it is already illegal to ride on the streets of Schenectady what difference would this piece of legislature make? News 10 ABC indicates that this plan would seek an amendment of the City Code that would allow Schenectady Police to detain anyone operating these vehicles in the City. The vehicles would then be impounded and cannot be released until the owner provides proof of ownership and pays administrative fees similar to those charged for impounded cars. If vehicles aren’t legally claimed within 45 days, the Police Chief or Sheriff can use their discretion to dispose of them.

Zalewski-Wildzunas believes it’s an approach that will work because the vehicles are often unregistered and/or stolen. Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford said any legislation that helps the police address quality of life issues is always welcomed.



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