Could Golf Carts Solve Some of San Diego’s Transportation Woes?

They’re fun. They’re cute. They’ll hold your woods and irons while you navigate the golf course. But could golf carts also be the answer to our transportation woes? Some transportation gurus think so.

The San Diego Association of Governments has noticed a big increase throughout the county in the use of golf carts and low-speed vehicles — golf carts being two-seaters and LSVs, as they’re called, being four-seaters.

So, a group of traffic engineers from throughout the county looked at LSVs (often called NEVs, for “neighborhood electric vehicles”) on September 21 and saw a lot of potential for use of electric carts in transportation, according to City of Carlsbad traffic engineer Doug Bilse.

“We have a lot of questions about using them on the streets, and we learned that local jurisdictions need to take action to allow people to use these vehicles on the roads,” Bilse said.

State law prohibits driving golf carts anywhere speed limits exceed 25 miles per hour. But that hasn’t stopped engineers from imagining a future where their use is much more prevalent.

“Engineers can design wider bike paths that the [low-speed vehicles] can use — right now we’re making them five feet wide, and [low-speed vehicles] need seven feet,” to make room for the vehicles, Bilse said. “We try to think about future use when we design the roads."

What could go wrong? 


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