Monday, December 21, 2009

Golf Carts for the Masses?

Visit our little new urban neighborhood when the weather is warm and you're likely to see a small flotilla of golf carts cruising through the neighborhood's narrow streets.  In fact, the trend became so popular that the development--with its private roads--had to establish regulations for who (primarily how old you had to be) and where you could drive the golf carts (NOT on the sidewalks).

Now, I'll admit that my wife and I abstained from this trend.  Partly because we live just a block or so from the pool and market and YMCA.  But, also because some might reasonably suggest that the point of living in a walkable and bikable neighborhood is to, well, walk and bike. 

That's not to say that I've never enjoyed a nice golf cart ride through the interconnected grid of The Waters.  And, while my little objections don't nearly reach the level of this neighborhood golf cart battle, we've continued to resist the urge to electrify our TND experience.

But, there are now some serious questions regarding whether even a faux Luddite like me can resist this tantalizing carrot:  free golf carts for those who make income. 

Don't believe me?  Check out the full story here.

As you can imagine, both municipalities and homeowners associations might be faced with an even more pressing need to draft on-street golf cart regulations than ever before...

--Chad Emerson, Faulkner U.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/land_use/2009/12/golf-carts-for-the-masses.html

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Comments

Chad -

Georgia has its own golf cart oriented city - Peachtree City. Residents get around on the many miles of cart tracks. There are even occasionally golf cart accidents.

I also recently read an article somewhere (maybe the NY Times?) about a retirement community in Florida where folks have their golf carts tricked out as hot rods, fire engines, etc. (There's even some controversy about older folks who no longer have drivers licenses puttering around in golf carts.) Maybe it's time to embrace this sub-culture as part of the car-free community culture?

Posted by: Jamie Baker Roskie | Dec 22, 2009 8:31:28 AM

Jamie,

I've been to Peachtree City and it is quite an interesting place. The first time I was there I commented to my wife how this relatively small town had such an impressive amount of walking and biking trails.

No sooner did I say that, did four adults in a golf cart come tooling around a corner of a path.

My first thought was "Man, wait until the cops see this and give them a well-deserved ticket!"

It wasn't until reading more about Peachtree City in a brochure later that evening that I realized they were entirely path legal.

I wonder if they have many problems with cart/pedestrian accidents?

Posted by: Chad Emerson | Dec 24, 2009 6:56:12 AM

Chad - Here's an interesting article about golf cart accidents, featuring Peachtree City and also profiling a young girl who was in a devastating golf cart accident. So, there are upsides and downsides to the golf cart phenomemon. http://onlineathens.com/stories/061906/news_20060619034.shtml

Posted by: Jamie Baker Roskie | Dec 26, 2009 4:37:15 PM