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Commission Considers Golf Cart Traffic On Public Streets

By Bryce Abshier

Golf cart traffic on public roads was a topic of debate at a recent Belleview City Commission meeting. One Belleview resident, of SE 108th street, spoke to the commission about her desire to drive a golf cart on public roads. “I wanted to know if there is something that can be done so you can legally ride a golf cart on the back roads in Belleview,” she explained. “I wouldn’t want to go out on the main roads with them. I know I don’t live in The Villages, because I choose not to, I like Belleview. But I would like to know why I cannot ride a golf cart on those roads. There are no posted speed limits on 108th street,” the resident explained.

“From where I am at, there is a mobile home park across the street and the cemetery is there. I can’t even ride my golf cart over there through the cemetery to go up to the park to watch a ballgame,” said the resident. “I have brakes, I have lights, I have turn signals. My cart is safe.” She went on to say she has been stopped on two previous occasions by Belleview Police for operating her cart on the public streets.

Belleview Police Chief Terry Holland offered his thoughts on the matter. “First and foremost, we are not a golf cart community. Two, your golf cart on any road, unless the commission decides to change an ordinance, is unlawful,” said Holland.

“I have no problem with the golf carts per say, and it is becoming a problem in the Diamond Ridge area. I have stopped a lot of people on golf carts,” the chief went on. “Unless we change and create an ordinance that allows it in a specific area where they are allowed. We will have to put up signage notifying the motorists that share the road with golf carts, (that) we allow golf carts on the road. Motorists, in our community right now, are not looking for golf carts. Golf carts are substantially smaller than a car. I had a lady in the office today who got hit on her golf cart, where she was not supposed to be, because motorists are not looking for them,” explained Holland.

“I do think its time for planning and zoning and the commission to start looking at this issue and maybe creating certain zones where golf carts are allowed to be used,” Holland suggested.

City Attorney Fred Landt advised the commission on where to start with this task. “My suggestion would be several things. First that you have a discussion and get the chief particularly to advise you particular areas where these carts would be safe,” said Landt. “You don’t just need signs telling motorists to be aware of carts. You need signs telling carts you can’t go beyond this point,” Landt added. “I also endorse your suggestion that you only allow it if the carts are insured because it is just a matter of time before you have accidents involving them.”

“We should also find out what the budget impact is because we are going to have to create a ton of signs,” said Commissioner Mike Goldman.

“If you require a permit from the city and you charge a fee for it, you would defray some of that cost and you should take into account what it is going to cost when you set the permit fee,” replied Landt.

Commissioners agreed to explore this topic further in the coming months and work towards allowing golf cart traffic in certain areas of Belleview.

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