Spatially and geographically, most of Florida seems ordained for golf carts. She's a state of suburbs, of cul-de-sacs, of low, flat passages and smooth roadways. She's also a state of retirement, of leisure, of limited personal mobility.
Roam Florida and you see them, of course, clustered in the golf-centric retirement enclaves like the Villages and Sun City Center, slow and easy places where the automobile and the golf cart peacefully coexist, where each knows its place.
Not so much in the high-speed cities, where traffic jams clog arteries and fender-benders are the norm.
That's why the latest municipality to join the street-legal golf cart craze is something of a shocker.
A few weeks ago, the Pinellas Park City Council changed a rule that allowed golf carts on just three public streets. The new ordinance expands the zone to almost the whole city.
Move over, pickup trucks.
The expansion came on the heels of a similar move by the city of Dunedin.
Gas prices being what they are, one of the Pinellas Park council members asked: Why can't we do that?
Well . . .
"We're kind of known as being user friendly anyway," said Tim Caddell, government relations administrator for the city, pointing out that some city streets even have horse crossings.
So the leaders went to work, identifying about a dozen traffic-heavy streets where golf carts would be prohibited.
U.S. 19, for instance. And Bryan Dairy Road. Belcher Road. Park Boulevard.
"It's a little more difficult for a city that's already built out," Caddell said. "It's one of those things that, I guess they'll see how it works."
Ben Montgomery, Times staff writer