City again to consider allowing golf cart usage on municipal streets

YORK – Once again, an ordinance has come before the York City Council that would allow for the use of golf carts on city streets.

Last year, the idea was struck down in a split vote by the council. Those opposed mostly voiced their worries about safety and regulating the situation, due to the traffic volume and patterns in the municipality.

Mayor Barry Redfern told the council this ordinance came to the city again and it was sent to the ordinance committee. “So now we are bringing it to the council, for a first reading. We want to have three readings.”

“The initial ordinance (the one that was denied) also included the use of ATVs, the requirements for flags and more work for the police department,” said Councilmember Tony North, who is a member of the ordinance committee. “This would be strictly for golf carts and would have a lot less regulations. This at first started as a special event ordinance (as an example to allow chamber employees to use golf carts for special events like Yorkfest and Sip N’ Stroll) and then it evolved into this.”

“Why do people randomly need to use golf carts in town?” asked Councilmember Vicki Northrop. “My concern is about safety, our traffic, the safety of kids, our areas of high-speed traffic, tail-gating and so many other aspects. For events, for special use, whatever, fine. But I don’t think we just allow anyone to just drive golf carts out there whenever. And other people feel the same way.”

“My concern when this was brought back up was the safety part of it,” Mayor Redfern said. “Just recently, I saw someone get hit by a vehicle while riding an electric bike and it wasn’t good. And I know what golf carts can look like in an accident.”

“And I have concerns about people abiding by the rules, because they are on a golf cart” and that can be a more relaxed situation, Northop added.

The proposed ordinance says golf carts could be operated within the corporate limits of the city on streets that have speed limits less than 35 miles an hour. They could not be operated on the following streets except to cross the street: Blackburn Avenue, Delaware Avenue, Division Avenue, Nebraska Avenue, Nobes Road, Platte Avenue and 25th Street. They could be used between sunrise and sunset. And they could not be driven over 20 mph. The driver would have to have a current driver’s license and liability insurance.

A second reading will be held at the next regular city council meeting.

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