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EPA would ban gas carts from roads

Peachtree City is currently considering a plan that will not allow new registrations of gas-powered carts and in 10 years will ban all gas-powered carts from the cart path system.

A vocal minority is expressing the view that this is government interference and an infringement of their rights.

There is a different perspective. This is an example of government acting on behalf of the citizenry and attempting to correct a long-ignored problem.

There were enough complaints about gas-powered carts that a survey was done that showed 80 percent of Peachtree City residents want to ban them, largely because of the unmuffled noise and the “smell.”

This smell is the exhaust from an engine that has no emissions controls. We are allowing vehicles on our cart paths that the EPA would not allow on our highways. We are walking and exercising alongside vehicles that emit eight times the carbon monoxide of a full-sized car.

Peachtree City has 18 tunnels on the cart path system, and if you have ever followed a gas-powered cart through a tunnel, you know how noxious and persistent the fumes are. Carbon monoxide, which can’t be smelled, is linked to a large number of health problems.

The cart paths are to be used and enjoyed by everyone. The reason an overwhelming majority of Peachtree City residents want gas-powered carts banned is because they spoil the cart path experience.

A small number of people chose to buy gas-powered carts because they felt those carts better suited their needs. However, the ability to use a gas-powered cart on the cart paths of Peachtree City is not a right; it is a privilege.

When that privilege interferes with the right of everyone to breathe clean air while on a cart path, that privilege needs to be revoked.

The way the ordinance is set up, current owners of gas-powered carts can continue to use them for 10 years, by which time most of the already old and tired engines will have died. Any time during those 10 years they can sell their cart or wait till the ban goes in effect.

The ordinance is about as fair as you can get. Some people will not be happy with this ordinance, but the alternative is that everyone on the cart paths will continue to be subjected to the noise and air pollution of a few.

If you would like to have your views on this subject expressed to the mayor and City Council, you can email them at council@peachtree-city.org or call them at 770-487-7657.

Rick Schultz

Peachtree City, Ga.

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