Proposal for golf carts to be used in downtown Winston-Salem

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — City leaders are exploring the idea of allowing golf carts to be used on city streets in the Central Business District.

The Public Safety Committee, made up of city council members, discussed the possible ordnance this week that would allow golf carts that follow the exact same rules as vehicles. The idea was first brought to city leaders by a businessman looking for an easier way for people to get around the different districts of downtown.

“I’d have to say that’s a first,” said resident Katie Riley. “I think it makes sense but I think they could find something cuter!”

The proposed ordinance would require the driver to have a valid driver’s license and follow all traffic laws, except they will not be allowed to go faster that 20 mph. All passengers would be required to follow traffic laws including wearing a seat belt. The city police department would inspect the golf carts each year for a $25 fee.

“Golf carts will move more people at a faster time,” said businessman and downtown resident Mike Coe. “You don’t have to crank a car. That way there would be less cars to be out here causing traffic problems.”

Some residents worry golf carts could hurt downtown’s image.

“Downtown is the cool thing to do now and I don’t think that golf carts are going to give that image,” said resident Sarah Maveety. “I don’t think that’s what Winston-Salem wants.”

Other North Carolina communities, including Bermuda Run, Pine Knoll Shores and Morganton, allow golf carts on public streets.

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