Golf carts cruising Toledo streets won't be seen for a least a short time. Objections weren't directed at allowing them on the streets during a Monday, June 11, city council public hearing on a new ordinance which would have legalized their use.
Those speaking took aim at a requirement for lights on the golf carts and a call was made to expand the new ordinance to allow for year-around travel for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
Council members decided to hold two more readings for the proposed golf cart regulations which includes a provision for ATVs when being used for snow removal.
The second reading is set for this coming Monday, June 25, at 7 p.m.
Toledo resident Les Koch said he favored allowing the use of carts but urged the ordinance match that of neighboring Tama. Golf carts have been allowed on city streets there for several years.
"Nobody plays golf in the dark," Koch said in objecting to provisions requiring headlights and taillights. He maintained "only 10 percent of the golf carts used at the Tama-Toledo Country Club have lights."
Highlights of Ordinance Provisions
Golf Cart Regulations
(As provided in the proposed ordinance)
Must be registered with city clerk / administrator - $5 fee - after inspection of cart to assured requirements are met - renewal on annual basis
Proof of liability insurance provided
registration sticker must be displayed on vehicle
Golf carts must have slow moving vehicle sign, display bicycle safety flag at least five feet above street level, adequate brakes, headlights, taillights
operate between sunrise and sunset
25 mph speed limit
must be at least 18 years-old to operate on street
cannot not be operated on Business Route 30, U.S. Highway 63 or South Tama Recreation Trail
seat required for each occupant
Must be registered with city clerk / administrator - $5 fee - after inspection of cart to assured requirements are met - renewal on annual basis - must provide proof ATV is registered as required by Iowa law
can be operated on city streets for snow removal via attached snowplow or blade or for special events authorized by the city council
ATVs must be equipped as required by the Code of Iowa including muffler, headlight, taillight and brakes. City requires orange fluorescent bicycle safety flag to be displayed at least five feet above street surface.
be at least 18 years-old to operate
speed limited to 25 mph or less if posted
cannot be operated on Business Route 30 or U.S. Highway 63
Koch said he found it would cost $200 to install lights on a golf cart.
He said the requirement for a slow-moving vehicle sign on the rear of the golf cart and a five-foot high bicycle safety flag was more than riding lawn mowers on city streets had to display.
Resident Sandy Hixson and Jan Wheeler questioned why the operation of ATVs, except under limited circumstances, was continuing to be prohibited. Hixson maintained "four wheels" whether on a golf cart or an ATV were "four wheels."
They said they believed limiting the ordinance to golf carts was somewhat discriminatory.
Council member Brian Sokol said safety concerns were the issue, primarily because of speeds attainable by ATVs.
Hixson said enforcement of a speed limit would apply just as with a car.
Nancy Burk, city attorney, said the ordinance was a "green transportation" initiative.
"When you don't have alternative transportation in a small community, it allows the aging population to use (other means) than a motor vehicle," she said.
Wheeler responded, "I'd like to be able to drive my four-wheeler to Fareway to get groceries. It's cheaper than a car."