Fort Myers City Council Debates Golf Carts on City Streets: A Drive Toward the Future or a Swing and a Miss?

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As we step into the new year, the Fort Myers City Council finds itself facing an intriguing question: Should golf carts be allowed on city streets? This isn’t just a quirky thought experiment, it’s a real-world policy debate that could shape the way we move around our city.

The Street Golf Cart Conundrum

We’ve all seen golf carts nipping around the green, but how about cruising down the main street? It’s a sight that might become more common if the city council decides to pass an ordinance allowing golf carts on city streets.

Victor Pereira, a Fort Myers resident, is all for it: “I feel like it’s great. We can get there faster. And it’s just easy.” Joey Patriarca, a Cape Coral resident, shares this sentiment, “Why wouldn’t you want a golf cart run around? As long as it’s got lights and everything? I don’t see a problem with any of that.”

But not everyone is ready to tee off in this direction.

Safety First

Safety is, understandably, the primary concern. Fort Myers Police Chief Jason Fields recently led a two-week operation looking at what enforcing golf cart laws might look like. The findings? Of the 19 stops made, seven were in violation because they were driven by juveniles.

Fred Burson, a council member for Fort Myers representing Ward 5, voiced his concerns, “Will drafting an ordinance promoting safety actually make it worse than it already is?” It’s a valid question, and one that the council will need to grapple with as it considers the proposal.

The Road Ahead

If the city decides to go ahead with the ordinance, it won’t be as simple as giving golf carts the green light. There would need to be a study conducted, new signage posted, and areas designated where golf carts would be allowed.

Alternatively, the city could stick to the status quo and continue following state ordinances, which allow both low-speed vehicles and golf carts on the roads with certain restrictions and regulations.

The Final Verdict?

As of now, it’s unclear what direction the city will choose. The next city council meeting is scheduled for January 2, 2024. Until then, residents like Don Metrione are left to ponder, “The way it is now, I don’t think it’s really a serious problem. If people just pay attention, both cars and golf carts.”

No matter the outcome, this debate serves as a fascinating glimpse into the potential future of urban mobility. Could golf carts become a common sight on city streets? Only time will tell. But one thing’s for sure: This isn’t your typical round of golf.

(Source: WINK News)

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