As the city continues to look at expanding the use of golf carts around Foley a major north-south artery for carts is being planned for connectivity to OWA from the north.

The city passed an ordinance amendment on Feb. 7 allowing golf carts to use a north-south path from following Pecan Street and Pride Drive from Michigan Avenue on the north down to OWA Boulevard.

“The idea for this route is twofold,” City Administrator Michael Thompson said. “The tribe plans to build an RV park along this route so we want the RV’ers to be able to get in their golf cart and ride to OWA. And, a number of subdivisions have/or are being built from Michigan southward on Pecan so it will give those residents a golf cart option to OWA.”

The 1.3-mile route would start on the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Pecan Street/Pride Drive and go south using the west side of the road for access into OWA and neighborhoods along the route.

“The two OWA boulevards are private roads owned and maintained by the Poarch Creek tribe so they control use of carts both on their roads and sidewalks,” Thompson.

Lt. Glenn Hartenstein, formerly head of the Community Safety Division, said most of the golf cart usage in Foley are mainly in neighbor with golf courses or near courses.

“Those streets, the majority of those, are around the golf cart community neighborhoods like Glen Lakes and that’s what they are designed for,” Hartenstein said. “There are some sections of the golf cart community where they were building new construction and until the builders finish building on those streets and the streets actually become city streets (current rules will then apply). During the construction period, these streets in those neighborhoods are not technically considered city streets yet until they are completed and everything’s been put in.”

In a 2018 update, the city designated 24 more streets for golf cart usage and as more subdivisions are built and streets handed over to the city others will be added periodically. Among the rules covering cart usage, signs must be placed on roadways that allow carts on them. Speed limit on roadways allowing carts must be 25 mph or less.

“Designated Cart Street shall mean the following public streets within … Foley designated under this section for the use carts, to be marked with appropriate signage, approved by the police chief, advising that street may be utilized by carts,” the ordinance states. “In designating public streets on which golf carts may be legally operated, the Act requires the city to determine that golf carts may safely travel on such designated streets after consideration of factors including, but not limited to, the speed, volume, and character of motor vehicle traffic using the street.”

Other rules include having approved seat belts, headlights, brake lights, turn signals, windshield, rearview mirror, efficient brakes, horn, reliable steering, safe tires, red reflector device on front and rear and carts must have an orange warning flag displayed at least six feet above the ground. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have similar rules but neither requires seatbelts or the orange flag display.

All drivers must be 16 and hold a valid driver’s license and each cart must have liability insurance. Children under age five are not allowed to ride in golf carts on designated city streets.

All carts must be inspected by the Foley Police Department, pay a yearly $25 fee and given a permit sticker that must be displayed at all times. Hours of operation are sunrise to 10 p.m. and headlights must be on during any operations on cart-designated streets.