Residents in Hillyard soon will have a new way to travel about their neighborhood.
The Spokane City Council on Monday approved a new zone where electric golf carts can drive on streets with speed limits that are 25 mph or slower.
Hillyard resident Richard Burris told the council that he plans to take advantage of the new rules and believes many of his neighbors will, too.
“Spokane has got a real opportunity to be the first city outside the Sun Belt to provide this mobility option,” Burris said.
The council changed the proposal just prior to voting to require golf cart drivers to have golf cart liability insurance.
Councilman Mike Allen cast the lone vote opposed to the change. He said places that allow golf carts on the streets are usually more suburban.
“I just don’t think it’s the right fit for the right area – for safety reasons in particular,” Allen said.
Residents who want to drive golf carts on city streets in that area won’t need a license but will have to register with the city and pay an annual $50 fee. Also, drivers must be at least 16 years old and have driving experience or have taken a driver education class. Safety equipment such as mirrors, lights and turn signals will be required for nighttime travel.
Hillyard Neighborhood Council Chairman Luke Tolley said travel limitations currently within the zone likely will ease with the construction of the North Spokane Corridor.
Only one route exists across the railroad tracks in Hillyard that will be allowed for golf carts, Bridgeport Avenue.
The new Francis Avenue Bridge over the tracks, however, will allow travel by golf carts.
The council on a 4-3 vote rejected a nonbinding resolution proposed by Councilman Jon Snyder requesting that city administrators study alternative routes for golf cart travel separated from auto traffic in the zone, such as in existing alleys.
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