September 23, 2014

Golf carts now allowed on most city streets in Grinnell

Grinnell has become the latest in a string of Iowa cities to allow golf carts on some city streets.

“Most people use the golf carts to go from their home to the golf course and the intention of the regulation is to ensure that can continue,” says Gordon Canfield, Grinnell’s mayor.

The Grinnell City Council this week took final action on an ordinance that allows golf carts on city streets, however the slow-moving vehicles will not be allowed on either of the highways that pass through Grinnell, nor will carts be allowed in the city’s downtown area. The ordinance prohibits golf carts in the city’s parks, too.

“We have people who go for joy rides around city parks and exercise their dogs with a golf cart ride and, with little kids around, it’s not really the best thing,” Canfield says.

Grinnell residents who want to drive their golf cart within the city limits have to register the cart with the city. That’s common in many Iowa towns which allow residents to use golf carts off of the golf course. State law allows cities and counties to pass ordinances allowing golf carts on city streets, but the operator must have a valid driver’s license. In addition, the cart itself must be “equipped with a slow moving vehicle sign and a bicycle safety flag.”

The law also states golf carts may only be operated on city streets during daylight hours — “from sunrise to sunset” — and the vehicles must have “adequate brakes.”

(Reporting by Chris Johnson, KGRN, Grinnell)