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Pinellas Park council opens most of city to golf cart traffic

PINELLAS PARK — Golf carts puttering down this city's streets could soon be a familiar sight now that the City Council has okayed the idea.

The final approval came in a 4-1 vote at last week's council meeting. Jerry Mullins was the lone vote against the new rule. There was no discussion before the vote.

The golf cart ordinance is an expansion of an existing rule that allowed golf carts on three public streets, primarily in the Mainlands.

The new ordinance expands the golf cart zone to almost the whole city.

The zone is generally bounded on the north by 126th Avenue N, although sections extend as far as Ulmerton Road. On the south, the boundary is generally at 62nd Avenue N, although some portions extend to 58th Avenue N. The eastern boundary is jagged, extending in places to U.S. 19 N; in others, to 28th Street N; and to various places in between. The western limits are also jagged, extending a bit west of 66th Street in places, to Belcher Road in others and to 78th Street N in sections.

It's almost easier to say where golf carts are not allowed: Belcher Road, Bryan Dairy Road, Park Boulevard and other streets that either belong to the county or state or that Pinellas Park believes are too dangerous because of the speed or high volume of traffic. Carts are allowed to cross those roads at 12 designated intersections. Golf carters can get a copy of a detailed map in the city clerk's office at City Hall, 5141 78th Ave. N,

Pinellas Park also has other rules for carters, including age limits (the driver must be older than 14) and times (golf carting is limited to the hours between sunrise and sunset).

By passing the expanded ordinance, Pinellas Park joins cities such as Dunedin and Key West.

One Largo resident has asked that city to allow the carts on public streets. But, earlier this month, the idea found no favor with the police chief or the council, whose members were also concerned about possible liability.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

Pinellas Park council opens most of city to golf cart traffic 04/17/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 2:50pm]
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