WUFT News

Leesburg ‘Mixing Pick-up Trucks and Golf Carts’ in New Downtown Zone

By on February 14th, 2014
Jayson Nobles, manager of Nobles Golf Carts, said that he prefers to drive a golf cart because it saves money on fuel. "It's quieter, easier and more fun than a car," he said.

Rachel Kurland / WUFT News

Jayson Nobles, manager of Nobles Golf Carts, said that he prefers to drive a golf cart because it saves money on fuel. "It's quieter, easier and more fun than a car," he said.

LEESBURG, Fla. — Leesburg drivers are driving downtown in a more convenient way: By golf cart.

Last year, city residents asked for golf-cart access to and from downtown.

“Enough people started asking for it that our commissioners asked us to take a look at it,” said Robert Sargent, public information officer for the City of Leesburg.

Now the city is trying to install a golf-cart crossing at U.S. Highway 441 and State Road 44, also known as Dixie Avenue.

In December, city commissioners approved access to the central part of downtown. A month later, golf-cart drivers were allowed to drive around the southern portion of downtown Main Street. On Feb. 7, the northern district of Main Street opened up.

But golf-cart goers are looking for simpler paths to get around.

“That section of 441 is very highly traveled,” Sargent said.

There are between four and six lanes on the highway. The speed limit is 45 at that intersection, but golf cart drivers can only go up to 25 mph.

Within the area, U.S. 441 and Dixie Avenue cut through most of the golf-cart district.

“Having golf cart access to downtown adds an extra level of convenience for our local residents,” Sargent said.

Downtown Leesburg hosts many local events, so golf cart drivers — who must be 18 or older — want an easier way to get there.

Part of Main Street is run by Lake County, which falls inside the city’s golf cart district. About 70 signs around town designate where drivers are allowed to be, but crossing major highways is currently prohibited.

Jim Stivender Jr., the public works director for the Lake County Department of Public Works, said county commissioners want to support the city and its golf cart districts.

However, he said he has heard some complaints about golf carts getting too close to other drivers on the road.

“Mixing pick-up trucks and golf carts can be a bad situation,” he said. “So far we’ve had some issues, but most of them have been very minor.”

The city needs permission from the Florida Department of Transportation to create these crossings. The city would also like to install crossings at Dixie Avenue and Canal Street and U.S. 441 and 3rd Street.

Rick Morrow, the district traffic operations engineer for the Florida Department of Transportation, said the state can only permit golf carts on state roads and highways by request.

He said he would have to evaluate Leesburg based on different criteria — speed limits, number of highway lanes and amount of lanes on the side streets — to consider allowing highway crossings.

“The golf carts would only be crossing the road at a signalized intersection,” he said. “Whether someone crossing 441 is in a car, golf cart, bicycle or on foot, we want to make that a safe opportunity for them.”

Jayson Nobles, manager of Nobles Golf Carts, sells, repairs and services golf carts. As an owner, he prefers driving a golf cart if he can because it saves money on fuel.

Nobles said he sells about 50 to 70 golf carts a month, but it’s too soon to tell if business will improve due to future changes in the golf cart district.

“It’s quieter, easier and more fun than a car,” he said.


This entry was posted in Florida and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

BearHunt1

Protestors Voice Concern Over Proposed Bear Hunt

Protesters voiced their opposition to the proposed bear hunt on Monday outside of the Ocala office for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. The FWC is expected to vote on the issue Wednesday.


John King, recreational fisherman from Dunnellon, Fla., shows off a red snapper caught during the 2013 season. King said recreational fishermen should have longer than 10 days to catch and keep red snapper this year.

Amendment 40 Splits Red Snapper Season, Extending For Charters

Red snapper season was divided on June 1 into two recreational sectors: federal for-hire charter captains and private recreational fishermen. The season for recreational fisherman will be limited to 10 consecutive days, ending at 12:01 a.m. on June 11.


House, Senate Still Stuck in Health Debate

Florida legislators began a special session Monday to pass a budget for the year beginning July 1. But the House and Senate are still in a stalemate over whether to adopt a Senate proposal use Medicaid expansion money from the Affordable Care Act to help lower-income Floridians purchase private health insurance.


Court Limits Damages In UCF Player’s Death

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday the parents of University of Central Florida football player, Ereck Plancher, are limited to collecting $200,000 in a lawsuit they filed against UCF Athletics Association, Inc. Plancher collapsed and died in March 2008 after off-season football drills supervised by football coach George O’Leary.


Florida: Pot Strain Likely Available Later This Year

Florida officials predict a strain of marijuana, known as Charlotte’s Web, will be available for medical purposes later this year. The Department of Health released a statement that said they are moving quickly to allow access to it.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments