SPOKANE, Wash. - Monday night Spokane City Council members discussed and approved by a vote of 6-1 on something the city has never seen before: golf carts on Spokane streets.
Speaking in front of the Council Monday evening, Hillyard residents explained what kind of effect golf carts would have on their community. They believe this new form of transportation would reduce pollution and cars on streets while improving mobility and transportation options for those who may not be able to drive. Sponsored by council member Amber Waldref, the two year pilot program would establish an electric golf cart zone in northeast Spokane for those wanting to travel a short distance. It would allow anyone at least 16 years old who has completed driver's education, or has a license, to drive a golf cart on residential streets in the area with speed limits of 25 miles an hour or less. Drivers would be able to travel during the day and night as long as their golf cart has the appropriate safety equipment. Currently cities like Liberty Lake, and Cheney have similar ordinances but Spokane is by far the biggest city to look into golf cart zones. Council members are excited to try something that's never been done before but want to make sure it's also safe. Owners must be insured and will have to pay an annual $50 fee to register their vehicle. The city will also place signs warning drivers of golf carts being on the road. If successful, they hope it can be looked at in other Spokane city neighborhoods. The ordinance is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2013.