City approves use of golf carts on streets

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Geoffrey Ritter
Weekend Times

Citizens of Carbondale now may operate golf carts on many city streets following action last week by city leaders.

The city council voted unanimously Feb. 23 to approve the use of the vehicles following requests from “a couple” of people in Carbondale, according to Interim City Manager Gary Williams.

The golf carts will be required to comply with a number of structural requirements, including headlights, tail lights, turn signals, slow-moving vehicle signs and others. 

They will not be able to operate on streets with posted speed limits exceeding 30 miles per hour, and the vehicles themselves will not be permitted to travel more than 25 miles per hour. They can only operate between sunrise and sunset.

The city already allowed the use of other types of low-speed vehicles, although only one such license is in use within the city limits. Golf carts also will have to be licensed.

The new change to city law still does not allow the use of all-terrain vehicles on city streets.

Among the streets the carts will not be allowed on are Main Street, Walnut Street, Illinois Avenue, University Avenue, Giant City Road, New Era Road, Old Murphysboro Road, Reed Station Road, South Wall Street and West Mill Street. Carts will only be allowed on those roads if drivers are crossing them at a four-way stop or traffic light while traveling on an otherwise approved road.

Williams said requests for such action were limited, and they also came from one portion of the city.

“They’re folks on the southwest side that is largely residential, people that have been here for a long period of time, and we would foresee them using them to visit their neighbors, maybe to drive to Murdale, the Co-op, the farmer’s market, just small areas within the neighborhood,” Williams said.

Most members of the council were vocal in their support of the new change.

“I think this is a very, very good idea,” Councilman Lee Fronabarger said. “More communities with a lot of retirees are passing these types of ordinances, and I think it’s a plus for the community.”