Orange Park, FL

Orange Park approves use of golf carts on some city streets

Julie Morgan
Golf cartPhoto byIsaac Taylor

The Orange Park Town Council has approved the use of golf carts on certain town streets. The council approved the measure 4-0. Councilwoman Susana Thompson was not in attendance at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Town Manager Sarah Campbell said this has recently been a hot topic. She mentioned to the council that residents have been calling to find out what the ordinance means for them.

Ultimately it means “police officers will enforce behavior that they find that’s not consistent with this ordinance or that is unsafe in any way,” said Campbell.

Campbell made a point to focus on a few requirements in the ordinance, including what constitutes a golf cart, the legal driving age, and where you are allowed to drive the vehicles.

Low-speed vehicles and golf carts are different because low-speed vehicles “can operate at a higher speed than golf carts,” said Campbell. “This ordinance is specifically for golf carts and those owners who do not want to go through with the additional time and expense of converting their golf cart into a street legal vehicle.”

Even though it’s not a car or truck, there is an age requirement. The ordinance says you must be at least 16 years of age and have a valid driver’s license to drive a golf cart on town streets.

The golf carts are also not allowed on state or county roads or any town street with a posted speed limit greater than 25 mph. This automatically rules out driving or crossing Park Avenue, Kingsley Avenue, Wells Road, and Doctors Lake Drive.

The golf cart discussion is not new. Mayor Randy Anderson said residents have been asking for golf carts for “many, many, many, many years.”

Now that the ordinance has passed, the next step is to install signage. The town will use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to pay for the signs. It will cost the town $23,500 to install 104 signs.

One resident, Angela Wester, called for more education about the ordinance. Another resident suggested the town create a permit and require a class.

However, there’s no need to register, get a sticker, or provide documentation in advance.

“I’m hoping it grows the sense of community and our home,” said Councilman Doug Benefield. Mayor Anderson echoed that sentiment but was more focused on residents shopping locally.

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