Foley discusses golf cart ordinance

By Jessica Vaughn / jessica@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 7/5/18

FOLEY – Foley officials have worked closely with the police department for years to create a golf cart ordinance that would allow individuals to drive their golf carts on designated streets in the …

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Foley discusses golf cart ordinance

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FOLEY – Foley officials have worked closely with the police department for years to create a golf cart ordinance that would allow individuals to drive their golf carts on designated streets in the city. The ordinance has been put on hold multiple times for revisions and to give officials time to investigate problem areas to create the safest and most efficient ordinance. At the June 2 council, Chief of Police David Wilson discussed the current ordinance which he feels is ready for approval.

“We’ve done a lot of work on this, some of the council members have given good input on it as it’s gone back and forth,” said Wilson. “We’ve gone over some of the ideas and thoughts on the ordinance, and we’ve also had golfers put in input as well.”

Much of the proposed designated driving areas are within the downtown area and neighborhoods Parish Lakes and Glen Lakes, both which have approached Foley about golf cart ordinances in the past. With councilman Ralph Hellmich, Wilson has worked to design a map of Foley’s downtown that highlights the streets on which golf carts may one day be allowed.

“We’ve had legal review the current ordinance, which would approve certain streets, which cannot be over 25-miles an hour, to be designated as cart streets,” Wilson said.

Wilson would like to see the inclusion of golf carts in phases, with phase one being to work with the previously stated neighborhoods to see how the ordinance does. The ordinance is also very detailed on what the golf carts will have to have in order to be approved, and all carts must be inspected by the city prior to being driven on designated streets.

“We’re going to use our Community Services Unit for inspections, and make it a community service like a neighborhood project once we kick it off,” Wilson said. “Then we have to put up signage.”

There is a fee of $25 to get a cart inspected for approval. A decal will be put onto approved carts to signify they’ve passed inspection and paid the fee. The inspection will check to make sure that everything on the cart is in working order, including blinkers, headlights, tail lights, seat belts, and horns.

“One of the reasons we included Old Foley was part of the long-range plan for connectivity in Foley,” said Hellmich.

Towards this goal, Hellmich stated he was approached a few years ago about adding the alleyways of downtown to the golf cart ordinance, which has now been done.

“We’re doing a lot downtown and we want to try to make the connectivity of the outlying areas for people who do want to utilize it,” said Hellmich. “The idea was that the alleys are all 15-miles an hour, so you don’t have to put special signage other than identify it for a golf cart.”

Hellmich said the majority of the alleys in Foley go east to west, until you get to the core of Foley. One alley runs north to south, between Alston Street and Highway 59.

“You can basically feed into the system and get to the central part of Foley in any of the Old Foley area,” Hellmich said. “We thought that would be a good idea to utilize the alley system to get it there.”

He stated the only problem was the alley running between Alston Street and Highway 59 doesn’t have much cross-connection.

“In order to cross that barrier we decided that Alston Street being a low speed road anyway at 30-miles an hour, all we have to do is reduce that one street, and possibly Pine Street and Oak Street to low-speed roads because they go the whole distance and the alleys do connect to those roads,” Hellmich said. “All you have to do is drop them five-miles an hour and then put signage there and that would allow carts to travel to city events downtown.”

The speed limits on Pine Street and Oak Street will not be considered for reduction until phase two, after the council is able to see how the golf cart ordinance works out and if the speed reductions will be necessary.

“By utilizing this alley system it does not cost that much more money in regard to signage, and it keeps the carts off the main roads, except for the few of those designated that allow them to get to downtown,” said Hellmich.

Hellmich stated once the ordinance was in effect, the city’s website could display the map of designated cart streets as well as detailed information on every aspect that would need to be approved to receive a permit, as well as information on contacting the police department for cart inspection.

“The biggest thing we’re trying to emphasize is the safety aspect of this,” said Hellmich. “We can modify things and add to it, but once again this is another tool for us to get connectivity to our downtown area, and that’s the goal we’re working towards.”

For more information on Foley and the discussion of the golf cart ordinance, check their website at CityOfFoley.org.