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Survey says . . . gas golf cart ban ahead

Thursday night the Peachtree City Council will consider a ban on gas-powered golf carts that would grandfather existing gas carts for 10 years.

But grandfathered carts too would be banned from the city’s paths and streets in 2020 under the proposal brought forth by city staff.

Currently only 5 percent of the registered carts in the city are gas-powered.

The gas-powered cart ban would not apply to local golf courses and it also would be lifted for the July 4 holiday and other tourism events.

Council will discuss the matter during its meeting at City Hall which begins Thursday at 7 p.m.

An electronic survey of citizens showed 80 percent of 1,550 residents favoring the ban, with 13 percent against and 7 percent neutral.

While numerous respondents said gas golf carts are smelly and noisy, to some residents they have more value than electric carts, in particular due to their extended range without down time necessary for charging.

Gas-powered golf carts are better at negotiating big hills and longer distances, some survey respondents said. Gas carts are also cheaper to maintain, and it’s easier to refill them with gas than wait for an electric cart to be charged, some said on the survey.

A few people responding to the survey even argued that gas golf carts pollute less compared to electric carts once lead battery replacement and electricity generation is factored in.

Of the survey respondents, 96 percent owned a golf cart and 95 percent of the golf cart owners who responded had an electric golf cart, which is similar to the city’s overall percentage of electric to gas carts, staff noted in a memo to City Council.

The city also solicited input from local golf cart dealers, and some concern was expressed about their ability to re-sell gas carts taken in via trade-in from local residents. Dealers also told the city that gas carts are more popular with people who buy the larger six-seat carts or plan to use the cart as their primary means of transportation.

Dealers also use gas carts for rentals because out-of-town visitors usually don’t have a way to recharge electric carts, according to the memo.

Among citizen responses, one noted that a gas golf cart is their family’s primary mode of transportation, and an electric cart would not do because of the long amount of time it takes to recharge.

“Basically if I can’t go there by golf cart I don’t want to go,” the respondent said.

“If you live on the south end of PTC and want to go to the north end plus do a little driving around, the charge on many golf carts won’t last,” said another respondent.

Though the overwhelming majority of survey respondents favored banning gas-powered carts, some questioned why the city was even venturing into the issue since there are so few gas-powered golf carts in operation.

“I do not see why Peachtree City needs to ban these carts as there is no evidence that they are detrimental to the community,” one respondent said. “It will also render personal property worthless which is not the job of local government.”

“My dislike of gas carts does not overcome the freedom of other citizens to make their own choice,” said another survey respondent. “This smacks of the heavy hand of the nanny state.”

“If you are banning the golf carts based on pollution or noise then are you going to ban lawn mowers with the same engines?” asked another respondent.

“Strongly opposed,” wrote another respondent. “In fact will consider legal challenge.”

On the other side of the argument, many respondents noted that they dislike traveling behind gas golf carts because of the smell and noise.

“The gas carts are a nuisance and a hazard,” one respondent said. “They are too loud to be used on riding/walking paths, which are supposed to provide for a relaxing experience and they are capable of going too fast.”

“They are loud and smell bad,” wrote another respondent. “I wouldn’t mind not seeing them anymore.”

Of those supporting the ban, a significant number argued that 10 years was too long a period to grandfather existing carts.

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Comments

Liferfrom65's picture

Make it ten days and get rid of those stinky things. Oh yea, ban lawn mowers with the same engines, won't effect anybody sense no lawn mowers have those engines.

Cyclist's picture

what type of engines are you referring to?

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

I have sen electric lawn mowers but they had electric cords.

Mowers could run on charged battery power, but not in 10 days!

I prefer the ion engines, however.

By 2075 such things will be powered by magnetism from the center of the earth. Or we will have grass that doesn't grow, just stays green.

Use your imagination , man!

A pocketful of pills would feed one food and water for 60 days then also.
Most of the animals will be gone due to the oil companies and nuclear bombs.
Humans will be created from lab samples and be clones of you!

Cyclist's picture

Already there man......................................................Checkout my <a href="http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/07/16/mowercycle-human-powered-lawnmower/"....

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Liferfrom65's picture

I'm reffering to those little two stroke, gas/oil burning engines.

and any other such argument is silly in that they are not allowed on the path system. This is only about things allowed on the path system, not in your yards, the streets, etc.

the only place they pollute and stink?

I have seen lawn mowers on the streets many times.

Unwrap that sack from around your brain!

lots of lawnmowers on the streets. See em' everyday. Like an obstacle course driving to work. Dang idjits trying to mow their streets.

SPQR's picture

Conducting a survey of the majority against the minority is probably one of the more sleazy tactics politicians use to justify something they know is just plain wrong. The majority will almost always inflict pain on a minority if they see a benefit no matter how slight. The survey itself was obviously worded to support an agenda and not to seek honest feedback. It should have stated that the city would be obligated to purchase at fair market value all the now devalued gas golf carts. Who is driving this issue? Could it be that 550 golf carts now purchasing batteries at 700 bucks every few years is a desired economic stimulus?

but it must be a slow news day in the ATL. Check out www.ajc.com, the article in the box on the left "Golf Cart War in Peachtree City". Like we are going to city hall with clubs and bats or something. Ha.

Click on the link in that same box to "Golf Carts in City" and check out the 15 photos they dragged out from as far back as 1997!!! Sorry, but if Chief Murray had that PD cart, it must have been used for stealth maneuvers in the dark of night, I never saw THAT one!

And Mike Steven's "Big Mike's Golf Cart Tours"?? Isn't that the guy who got arrested drunk and half nude with the females on the cart "showing them the town"..(not to mention other thingies....)

I mean, if the AJC is gonna do this story, is the budget so bad they can't send a photographer out here to get some photos that are less than 5 years old??? Thank heaven for The Citizen.

As fast as you can say gas, they took it down!! Too bad, it was a blast from the past. You can still pull up the article in their "Search " box, just type in "golf carts", but the photos are GONE. Oh well, such is life in the online news cycle, I guess.

Nixon's picture

Thanks for the reminder, I had forgotten about Big Mike and his adventures. I think the tale also included a low speed chase, a naked female friend and a wife out of town at a funeral.

I didn't know about the wife part....whooopsie!!

The gas carts that are already registered, that is. Also, I think some allowances need to be made for the gas carts that are already in stock at the local dealers. This could be easily done by having the dealers let City Hall know how many they have and their serial numbers. I think they should be allowed to sell the ones they already have on hand.

I see no need to punish current gas cart owners. If they are registered and legal at this point, let them keep them, and keep the carts inspected as they should already be doing.

While I don't believe there is truly any sufficient justification for any ban on the gas carts at all, your idea makes more sense than any other I've read. Whole issue seems to be driven by mega-whining, which seems to be a City-wide affliction.

And the condition of some of the gas carts is probably what got this started. I have been unfortunate enough to be behind some very loud, smelly, oil burning gas carts. I don't think the inspections are kept up on them, which is currently in the ordinance. For my idea to work, it would have to be stepped up.

are you referring to in the ordinance?

They are supposed to be inspected every 2 years or so. I know it was the last time I looked. Maybe they have taken it out.

This only applied/applies to gas carts.

but couldn't find it. That's not to say it isn't there, but I couldn't find it.

Maybe it was changed the last time they issued numbers.

I agree, I just looked and I don't see it.

More regulations and rules! I didn't know!
I thought most around here wanted anyone to ride a horse around if they felt like it?
I have though come to the conclusion that conservatives want regulations and rules that they like, but no others!

Unless I'm missing something, who is inspecting them?

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