The Galveston City Council has revised City Ordinance No. 21 in response to residents' complaints about the traffic and safety issues raised regarding the proliferation of golf carts on the seawall. The current ordinance prohibits golf carts from roads with speeds greater than 35 mph and Avenues O and P.

The revision expanded and clarified those prohibitions to include the Pelican Island Causeway and “streets designated as part of the state highway system.”

Understandably, golf carts shouldn't be on major thoroughfares obstructing traffic flow and creating safety hazards. But this action excludes Seawall Boulevard, one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city. The city council is in effect incentivizing east-west island traffic to move from the commercial 35 mph Seawall Boulevard onto the residential 30 mph Avenues O and P through our neighborhoods where our children and grandchildren play.

And, this action is being taken in the name of “safety?” I don’t think so.

The city council should rescind their changes to Ordinance No. 21 and stop putting Seawall Boulevard rental commercial business interest over that of resident voters and taxpayers and simply get the golf carts off Seawall Boulevard.

Richard Cacioppo

Galveston

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(7) comments

Thomas Carpenter

[thumbup]

Kenneth Diestler

I am having a difficult time finding the positive effect of this ordinance--more fees, more time spent on compliance, more inspections only to make the reasonable use of a golf cart more difficult and doing little to nothing to remedy any traffic problems.

Michael Jozwiak

Is anyone policing/enforcing the golf cart rules? I encountered 4 on Seawall yesterday. Only 1 had seat belt users. One riding in left lane going slow. One couple riding facing rear, not using seatbelts, but holding a 2-3 y/o on their lap. One on the sidewalk going in reverse. There is going to be another disaster! What agency will enforce the new rules?

Wayne D Holt

Michael, there are, for all intents and purposes, no traffic enforcement other than for automobiles and trucks. You know, the ones the streets were designed for.

I don't know about other parts of Galveston but the streets of downtown resemble a rolling Museum of Transportation Oddities, both day and night.

The lack of setbacks at intersections only adds to the festive spirit as some idiot laying prone on a motorized skate board cruises through; he must have bought the Brakes Optional model. Others with a sublimated death wish like to pop out from between cars and drive head-on the wrong way into traffic in the middle of the lane.

Golf carts and slingshots with stadium-ready speaker systems blast out incomprehensible "lyrics" to the grateful residents cowering in their highly taxed homes, fully understanding they "never should have bought there" if they weren't down for sonic assault on a regular basis.

If there is traffic law enforcement beyond the marshals' ticketing routine, I haven't seen it. But I'm sure there is a fee that's been overlooked that is the key to fixing all this.

Jeannette Guest

To those opposed to golf carts slingshot surreys electric scooters skateboards one wheels and the proliferation of other mobile oddities, how about this for a solution , ban cars and trucks from Seawall Blvd.?

In many cities in California , cars trucks and motorcyccles have been banned from oceanfront streets creating a circus like atmosphere and making those streets adjacent to the water safer for everyone during the busy summer season.Stop your combining and offer a solution instead.

Bailey Jones

I like this idea. Get the trolleys going again to ferry folks around. There's plenty of room near the causeway for giant parking lots.

Richard Cacioppo

My complaint is for government providing solutions that just expand government without solving the problem. The problem I have is for relatively small “slow moving” vehicles on the street with larger faster moving cars. I did offer a solution to that problem - remove golf carts from Seawall.

I don’t necessarily have an issue with surreys, scooters, skateboards, etc. on the sidewalks. Tourist seem to enjoy these items. Closing a portion of the Seawall to vehicular traffic is a good idea. However, it would take a coordinated and comprehensive approach and a lot of resources. I would suggest blocking out an area east and west of the intersection of Rosenberg and Pleasure Pier would make sense. But that blocked traffic will have to be re-routed somewhere. The logical route would be a block inland just off the Seawall. This would require condemning neighborhood homes and clearing space for the new thoroughfare. Since this would be a windfall for the business/property owners in this “circus like atmosphere” area, maybe they could be assessed fee/taxes to defray the cost for this property acquisition and re-routing the street.

The reinstated Galveston Trolleys could serve this tourist area well and add to the atmosphere. Trolley routes could be expanded from Strand/Seawall areas to park and ride/tourist collection points may at I-45 Causeway and Ferry Landing which would have the added benefit of minimizing additional tourist traffic in the city.

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