Status of Pending Golf Cart Ordinance at Alligator Point

Draft Alligator Point Golf Cart Traffic Study by Dewberry\Preble-Rish .

While the Franklin County Commission is discussing the use of golf carts on the roads of the county, the resolution of this issue is complicated.

Golf cart usage on Alligator Point\Bald Point has been ignored for years until the recent election of a new Sheriff. The new sheriff A.J. “Tony” Smith in his first term, wanting to enforce laws equally and fairly, initiated enforcement of the use of golf carts on county roads (specifically on Alligator Drive).

The commission has voted to consider a county wide golf cart ordinance.

The development of an ordinance is complicated in several ways:

  1. State law allows county government to authorize the use of golf carts with restrictions (see attached Florida Statute 316.212
  2. Alligator Point has a damaged section near Tom Roberts and Chip Morrison roads.
  3. If the ordinance is to be county wide, it includes an area road known as Bluff Road.
  4. This Bluff Road area is a main passageway (approximately 7 miles long) in Franklin County and it is unlikely that 20 mph is reasonable.
  5. Any ordinance would need to consider reducing the speed limit to a maximum of 20 miles per hour (mph).
  6. The draft traffic study recommends the speed limit on Alligator Drive be reduced to 20 mph, (from the Gulf Shore Boulevard to the marina), limit use to daylight hours, and only for a one year trial period, which also may not be practical. (see draft traffic study recommendations)
  7. While Sheriff Smith has been cooperating with the county during this discussion stage, he is enforcing the use of golf carts by underage drivers.
  8. The Florida Department of Transportation has provided additional county wide traffic information which is being sorted to identify the data distinct to the two areas in question.
  9. There has been some discussion on using the proposed bike path from the marina to Bald Point. However, there is insufficient right of way on the North side of Alligator Drive beginning near the “S” curve to the marina.

The commission is waiting for the completion of the DOT traffic information and a recommendation from the county attorney before proceeding.