Golf carts are now legal on most streets north of US 98 in Eastpoint.



At Tuesday’s county meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to allow the use of golf carts on streets north of US 98 between the river and County Road 65 except for North Bayshore Road. Carts may not be driven south of US 98 and may not cross the highway.



County Planner Alan Pierce said the carts are prohibited on North Bayshore Drive because the speed limit is 35 miles per hour and the road is narrow. He said carts may use a bike path that runs parallel to Bayshore for part of its length.



Carts will be allowed on Twin Lakes and Old Ferry Dock Road, both of which have 35 mph speed limits.



In a telephone interview after the ordinance passed, Michael Allen, who lives on North Bayshore expressed concern over the use of golf carts on the path.  He said the bike path is frequently used by children and dog walkers. He said it is not wide enough for both carts and pedestrians.



Allen said he plans to make a formal request to the county commission that carts be barred from the path.



County Attorney Michael Shuler said the ordinance is based on the St. George Island gold cart orndiance,. He said the county can consider adding streets south of the highway in the future. He said night use is not covered by the local rule, but requirements for the use of carts at night is spelled out in state law.



Pierce said he did not believe the Florida Department of Transportation would approve a golf cart crossing on US 98 pointing out that they refused to do so in Apalachicola.



Chairman Cheryl Sanders said the board will consider passing a similar ordinance for other unincorporated areas of the county if requested by residents.



Alan Pfeiffer, president of the Alligator Point Taxpayers Association (APTA), said the speed limit on State Route 370 would preclude golf cart use. He said carts driven by young children have become a serious problem on Alligator and Bald Points and that golf carts are being driven at unsafe speeds. He said APTA will discuss a golf cart ordinance at its next meeting.



Commissioner Pinki Jackel joked that Eastpoint residents were reving their golf cart engines in anticipation of the ordinance allowing use of the carts on the streets.



After the meeting, Pierce said the ordinance will be tweaked as golf cart owners adapt to the change.