River Cities

Miami Springs ponders allowing golf carts on city streets

The Miami Springs City Council last week discussed whether to allow golf carts on city streets.

“If we are going to try to do this, we are gonna have to find money in the budget for it or lower it in places and get the money for it,” said Councilman Billy Bain.

Council members will discuss the idea again at a future meeting.

A memo prepared by City Manager Ron Gorland on Sept. 2 gave leaders three options.

The first option is for “low-speed street legal” golf carts that require “no action.” Here, the owner would be required to:

• Register the golf cart.

• Purchase insurance.

• Spend between $300 and $600 for safety equipment.

No ordinance would be required.

The second option is for “safety-equipped golf carts.” This would require the city to:

• Spend about $20,000 for a traffic study

• Spend $35,000 for signage.

• Set up an inspection process and establish fees for annual renewals.

The third option is for a “plain golf cart” with no extra equipment that would require the city to:

• Spend about $20,000 for a traffic study.

• Spend $35,000 for signage.

The second or third options would require an ordinance change.

But driving golf carts on city streets may not be safe, according to an April 21 memo from Police Chief Pete Baan.

“In my opinion, for safety and liability reasons, the city should not allow golf carts on the city’s roadways,” wrote Baan, who listed several streets that may not be conducive to golf carts, like Le Jeune Road, near Miami International Airport, and Northwest 36th Street.

But Mayor Zavier Garcia said he favors allowing golf carts on the streets.

“It adds to the allure of living in Miami Springs,” said Mayor Zavier Garcia.