Oct 12, 2023 - Transit

Dunedin looks to expand golf cart access

a couple and their dog riding in a golf cart at a Dunedin intersection

A couple ridin' birdie in downtown Dunedin. Photo: Selene San Felice/Axios

Golf carts are already at the forefront of Dunedin's streets, but they could soon be par for the course of city transportation.

Driving the news: A public workshop Thursday is the next step in the city's assessment of its Golf Cart Infrastructure Plan, which will likely expand its golf cart program next year.

  • Transportation planning firm Benesch is reviewing the city's program and boundary map and is looking at adding features like parking, paths and charging stations.

Why it matters: The changes would take Pinellas County's reputation as Florida's golf cart epicenter to the next level.

Context: Legally carting around Dunedin began in 1983 with a city ordinance allowing residents to travel between their homes and the Dunedin Golf Course.

  • In 2011, the Golf Cart Task Force was established with another ordinance allowing the use of golf carts on certain streets.
  • The city's zone-based system began in 2012 and has been expanded with Florida Department of Transportation and Pinellas County roadway crossings in 2014, 2017, and 2018.

The intrigue: A survey of 2,200 residents conducted between June and July showed 46% of respondents ride a golf cart at least three times a week. The city's population is about 36,000.

  • Of those who don't use carts, 44% don't own one but want to.
  • The most requested additions were more crossings, parking and signs; designated paths; public charging; cart wayfinding and safety training.

What they're saying: Nate Murray, 45, is used to guffaws when he tells out-of-towners that he drives a golf cart. They're not just for seniors in The Villages, he tells them.

  • "To the uninitiated, that's exactly what comes to mind. They eyebrow raise," Murray said. "Golf carts are woven into the fabric of the culture of Dunedin… when people visit they say 'Oh, I get it now.'"

What's next: Thursday's workshop, planned for, 5:30-7:30pm at City Hall has been canceled and will be rescheduled for a later date due to severe weather.

  • The task force's final report to the city is planned for winter 2024.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to show Thursday's meeting has been rescheduled due to weather.

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