ELECTRIC GOLF CART ACCESS FOR FAIRFIELD BEACH AREA DURING THE SUMMER
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In July 2009, the State of Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation authorizing towns in the state to allow golf carts on roads, with certain restrictions. Under the legislation, local traffic authorities are allowed to set regulations for golf carts on roads with a speed limit of 25 mph or lower, and the carts cannot be driven at night, and operators must have a driver's license.
Many beach communities have embraced this unique opportunity — a staple in communities down south — and worked with their local police departments to create a golf cart program. If you’ve ever been to the Indian Town or Cornfield Point communities of Old Saybrook, Connecticut or Pine Orchard in Branford, Connecticut you will see successful programs in action. Ask the residents there, golf carts are an integral part of their communities given their many benefits.
Let’s do the same for Fairfield Beach! Please sign our petition so that we can begin to work with First Selectman Tetreau and Fairfield Police Chief MacNamara to create such a program for the Fairfield Beach, making our wonderful beach community even better. The below image provides the proposed areas of use, but is subject to change during creation of the new program, if approved.
If you’re wondering why this is beneficial, besides being fun, there many benefits to such a program, including:
- Reducing traffic and creating a proven calming effect on speeding in our neighborhoods, which poses danger to our children who often play in the street due to having small yards.
- Reduces motor vehicle emissions supporting cleaner air in the community.
- Cuts-down on annual fuel costs, improving the environment since golf carts are electric powered.
- Creates community, as regular drives will create connection across the entire beach area.
- Provides easier access to many of town beaches and marina, without driving.
- Provides convenience with taking items to the beach, such as umbrellas and coolers, which is idea for beach area residents that live further than 2 to 3 blocks from the beach.
- Reduces parking issues at the town beach as residents can drive their golf carts instead of cars.
- Creates benefit for local shop owners in the area as residents will be more likely to frequent their locations — instead of driving into town, also reducing traffic in town.
- Increases mobility for the elderly and others who have difficulty getting around.
- Creates revenue (or at a minimum is cost neutral) for the town since golf carts will need to be registered with associated fees.
- Supports beach events such as 1/2 marathons and 5Ks who will use golf carts, instead of cars to better run their events.
- Increases property value due to the reasons above, and because it adds a local uniqueness that other towns will admire.
We need your support to create the needed influence to establish such a program. Please, sign the petition and pass along to your friends. Most importantly, this petition initiative is meant to seek feedback both positive and negative. Many of us think this is a great initiative but we only want to move forward if the vast majority of Fairfield Beach residents think the same. All ideas welcomed.
RTM Lead Sponsors: Brian Farnen and Mark McDermott
(subject to further revisions based on neighborhood and Police Commission feedback)
1. The Town of Fairfield shall permit operation of a golf cart on the following public roads set forth below within the Town of Fairfield that have a maximum permissible speed of twenty-five (25) miles per hour:
Bay Edge Court
East Paulding Road
East Paulding Street
Fairfield Beach Road (East of College Place only)
Field Point Drive
Ocean Reef Drive
Old Dam Road
Old Dam Road East
Old Orchard Park
Old Post Road
One Rod Highway
Pine Creek Avenue
Richard White Way
South Benson Road
South Benson Commons
South Pine Creek (south of South Meadow Road only)
Sunnie Holme Drive
Town Hall Green
West Morgan Avenue
Whetstone Hill Court
2. The operation of a golf cart on such public roads shall be permitted during the hours of one half hour after sunrise and one-half hour before sunset from Memorial Day to Labor Day. No golf carts shall be driven on the permitted public roads of the Town of Fairfield, unless the following requirements are satisfied by the owner or operator of the golf cart:
a) The golf cart shall be equipped with an operable horn in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes ß 14-80;
b) The golf cart shall be equipped with a flag, in such a position that it is visible by other motor vehicle operators;
c) The operator of the golf cart shall have and carry a valid Connecticut motor vehicle operator’s license while operating the golf cart and be eighteen years of age or older;
d) The owner of the golf cart must maintain proper insurance on the golf cart if required by the Department of Motor Vehicles;
e) The golf cart shall be electric powered only;
f) The seating capacity shall not be exceeded nor shall the operator or any passenger be permitted to stand while the golf cart is in operation;
f) No person shall be permitted to operate a golf cart on designated public roads without first obtaining a permit that is valid for a period of three years, inspection for compliance and a sticker from the Parks and Recreation Department. The sticker must be adhered to the back of the golf cart in a visible manner; and
g) Golf carts may only be parked in the same manner and at the same places designated for parking of motor vehicles. The stopping, standing, or parking of golf carts in areas where parking is not allowed or in any place that impede the flow of traffic, pedestrian walkways, or a passageway is prohibited.
h) The golf cart shall have seat belts for each occupant.
3. Golf cart means a four-wheeled electric vehicle originally and specifically intended/constructed for golf courses to transport one to six people and whose speed attainable in one mile does not exceed 25 miles per hour on a paved, level surface.
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