Reader Response: No golf carts on N. Mankato streets

Trey Mewes, The Free Press, Mankato, Minn.
·3 min read

Apr. 19—The Free Press

A majority of area respondents oppose allowing golf carts on some North Mankato streets, according to a Free Press online question.

Out of 261 total respondents, 201 voters — more than 77% — don't support a potential ordinance allowing golf carts on North Mankato streets. Another 60 voters supported the proposal.

The North Mankato City Council set aside the issue last week after members present were split on whether to put the idea to a public hearing. Council members said they wanted more information.

Last October, a resident approached the council about changing city ordinance to allow for motorized golf carts on streets. The traffic and safety committee, however, recommended against the idea. But some council members asked staff and the committee to do more research and bring back alternatives.

After several discussions, the traffic and safety committee drew up a draft ordinance that the council could approve if it chose to move ahead with the idea.

The draft ordinance would allow golf carts but not ATVs, side-by-sides or similar recreational vehicles on streets.

A golf cart owner would have to apply for a one-year permit to drive on streets, must be a licensed driver and have proof of insurance, and their golf cart would only be allowed to operate from sunrise to sunset April through October.

The vehicles would be prohibited from city park property and biking/hiking trails.

If eventually passed the golf carts would only be allowed on most city streets, not on higher traffic roads such as Lookout Drive and Lor Ray Drive. They could, however, cross those and other higher-speed roads, just not drive on them. They would not be allowed to cross anywhere on Highway 14.

The Free Press online question, sent out Friday, asked, "Should North Mankato allow golf carts on city streets?"

There were two options to answer, "yes" or "no."

Most commenters said they'd be for allowing golf carts with some restrictions, while other commenters said they thought it could be too dangerous or create too many headaches for the city.

"In smaller rural towns such as St Clair or Janesville that don't have major thoroughfares they are fine but in towns that a part of a metro area I can see nothing but problems with them being allowed on the streets," Joseph David DeLory wrote."

Linda Good wrote, "Although I no longer live in North Mankato, I live in an area that has many golf carts or ATVs. What I observe is that a lot of underage children are driving these motorized vehicles and transporting their younger siblings or friends with them. It is my opinion that only licensed drivers should be behind the wheel. If they become on-road vehicles, they should be licensed with proof of insurance."

Pete Wachtel wrote, "I don't see a problem with it as long as they yield to full-size vehicles, obey all traffic laws, have working headlights, turn signals and brake lights. I think operating these stops at sundown. I also agree that they must be a licensed driver and carry insurance."

"I don't see a problem as long as they are licensed, have lights and have a licensed driver," Harry Jeness wrote. "Elderly citizens need another alternative to get around town."

Jerry Groebner wrote, "Golf carts have gotten to be a common casual form of transportation, especially for senior citizens. In some cases, they are a safer form of transportation, especially if reflexes have slowed. Most cities that allow them to have restrictions as to what streets they can be used on such as city streets only, not on state or federal highways nor on county/state roads, all of which usually have heavier traffic."

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