Letter: Golf carts on city streets, Costs outweigh benefits

To the editor:

In columnist Stephanie Haines’ opinion article (“Road Legal,” July 27, A8,) Haines said, “When I first saw something about allowing golf carts on city streets, I thought it was completely goofy. But after I thought about it for a second, I concluded it was a brilliant idea … The best reason to favor the carts is fuel efficiency.”

She had a few good points, but it is more goofy than brilliant. As far as fuel efficiency, I would think that would be marginal at best. If there is data to substantiate this opinion, it should be made available.

Haines said, “If you are just grabbing a loaf of bread or returning books to the library, you could do this easily while consuming a whole lot less energy.”

The question would be where can you get a loaf of bread that is not in a location on a state/national highway or in an area without heavy traffic, and could anyone imagine a driver in a golf cart around the library area? I know of acquaintances who have wrecked their golf carts on the golf course.

Haines said, “One of the arguments I heard against allowing golf carts is that it would slow traffic. I would see this as a safety asset rather than a hazard.”

It is beyond comprehension that this could be argumentative. A safety asset? A large percentage of accidents are caused by the difference in speed, not speed in itself. Slow cart v. high speed (normal) vehicle = ?

Haines said, “There could be other streets designated as cart-free zones.” Who would designate the “other streets?”

Haines said, “There must be safety standards: license plates, turn signals, seat belts, safety flags, …lights.”

Signage, insurance etc. What would be the cost to enforce this? And litigation cost?

Haines said, “We can work together to make this happen for the benefit of all.”

Benefit of all? It is for a few at the expense of most.

All this being said, we can’t forget most of these users will be known for cutting corners at intersections when turning, not stopping at stop signs and in the neighborhood where I live driving on the wrong side of the street. And now we want to put them in golf carts on the streets of Greenfield?

 Ronn Berry