Jul 182011
 

Electric golf carts on Lummi Island would make a lot of sense. All the speed limits are 25mph and the golf cart is a vehicle that can be engineered to go that fast. In communities like Sun City, Arizona golf carts are ubiquitous.

Here’s the state law on golf   carts:

http://www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/docs/equipmt/golf_cart.pdf

Apparently we need some action from the County to make golf carts officially legal.

Anyone willing to make a few phone calls?

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  11 Responses to “Golf Carts”

  1. I believe one of our County Council members would need to propose a County Ordinance for adoption by the Council, for the island to be designated a “Golf Cart Zone”, with appropriate sign at the ferry dock. The island seems like an ideal location for this, and there are many benefits, but being that this is Lummi Island, there will be opposition. Street legal Golf Carts can be gas powered, battery powered, or even Propane powered. meaning fueling at the Islander. I think the positive aspects of this far out weigh the negatives. Perhaps we need to find out if Council member Barbara Brenner would be willing to move this forward. What do others think????

  2. Brenner would probably support it, as would Carl Weimer, if they thought Islanders would back them.

  3. This (Lummi as Golf Cart Zone) is something I’ve been thinking about for some time. We recently purchased a 2nd hand (700 miles on the odometer) ZAP electric car from a neighbor in our Redmond condo complex. Paul uses it to commute and from the evil empire (MSFT). We calculated that we are
    saving about $100/month in fuel expense. We plan to eventually trailer it up to the island, and have a fantasy about getting an electric car charging station installed at the island ferry parking (just like they have at most of the park-n-ride lots in King County). Anyway…I love the idea of street legal golf carts on Lummi Island. Based on the research I did prior to buying the ZAP – the golf carts are very affordable transportation options for a small isolated community like Lummi.

  4. “TUITS” (noun), which come in several forms. The most common Tuits are round, as in round-tuits, which is generally a project that never seems to get done.
    When I moved full time to Lummi, a friend offered up his old golf cart for free. “It needs some batteries and the brakes don’t work”. Well, it’s still parked under a tree, the batteries were replaced but not charged in a couple of years, and the brakes still don’t work. The cream colored body now has a distinctive green tint to it.
    It’s still a good idea, and maybe one worth doing now. When some engineer friends of mine in Seattle and I tried to invent an electric bicycle many years ago, we always came up with the same problem. The weight of the lead acid batteries, and losses in the motor and controls limited the range of the vehicle to unpractical levels. With newer battery technologies associated with today’s hybrids and electric cars, and now a growing supply of used batteries, the power to weight problem seems manageable.
    I haven’t run the numbers in a long time on cost to recharge, but for the vehicles we were trying to build, it was pennies a day.
    If the county was to adopt such an ordinance, Lummi Is. would be a perfect place to have one.

  5. I have e-mailed Barbara Brenner ( bbrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us ) asking for her to support this, and she indicated that she is already looking into this, and info should be back shortly. I think Nancy is correct, that they need to feel that the islanders support this idea. I think the only objection that could be raised would relate to safety. There are certainly some automobile speeders on the island, which puts us all in danger, but with the hundreds of county bicycle riders that come over to our shoulder-less roads, I think by also adding a couple hundred golf carts, people would have no choice but to slow down and drive carefully.

  6. Part of the problem for generating interest in this concept, is the old cart-before-the-horse syndrome. I know, I’m not going to go out and start kicking Golf Cart tires until I know I have a place to drive one. I suspect that the old one parked under Mike’s tree could suddenly become quite valuable though.

  7. Here are the Golf Car Ordinances that have been passed by our neighboring Counties:

    · Cheney Ordinance No. V-51 http://www.mrsc.org/ords/C47ov-51.pdf ( 153 KB) – Use of golf carts or similar vehicles on public property, passed 10/10

    · Grant County Ordinance/Resolution No. 11-024 http://www.mrsc.org/Ords/g76o11-024.pdf ( 1.09 MB) – Regulates use of golf carts on public property; provides for golf cart zones, passed 04/04/11

    · La Conner Ordinance No. 1050 – Regulates golf carts, passed 7/23/10

    · Liberty Lake Ordinance No. 186 http://www.libertylakewa.gov/documents/ordinances/Ordinance%20No.%20186.pdf ( 180 KB) – Regulates golf carts or similar vehicles, passed 10/05/10

    · Orting Ordinance No. 903 http://www.cityoforting.org/uploads/Ordinance_903.pdf ( 220 KB) – Establishes a golf cart zone, passed 2/09/11

  8. Great job of research Ed. Have you sent that along to B.Brenner?
    She would like to get something going on this by the end of the year.

  9. Here is an update:

    On Aug 1, 2011, at 6:07 PM, Ed & Helen Scott wrote:

    > Thanks for the update Barbara,
    >
    > Here are the Golf Car Ordinances that have been passed by our neighboring Counties:
    >
    > · Cheney Ordinance No. V-51 http://www.mrsc.org/ords/C47ov-51.pdf ( 153 KB) – Use of golf carts or similar vehicles on public property, passed 10/10
    >
    > · Grant County Ordinance/Resolution No. 11-024 http://www.mrsc.org/Ords/g76o11-024.pdf ( 1.09 MB) – Regulates use of golf carts on public property; provides for golf cart zones, passed 04/04/11
    >
    > · La Conner Ordinance No. 1050 – Regulates golf carts, passed 7/23/10
    >
    > · Liberty Lake Ordinance No. 186 http://www.libertylakewa.gov/documents/ordinances/Ordinance%20No.%20186.pdf ( 180 KB) – Regulates golf carts or similar vehicles, passed 10/05/10
    >
    > · Orting Ordinance No. 903 http://www.cityoforting.org/uploads/Ordinance_903.pdf ( 220 KB) – Establishes a golf cart zone, passed 2/09/11
    >
    > Ed Scott
    >
    >
    > On 8/1/2011 5:20 PM, BBGUN1010@aol.com wrote:
    >> Joe,
    >>
    >> Thank you for the information and I look forward to what comes out of your discussion with Sgt. Gatterman. I was not requesting lower speed limits. I would simply like to see a discussion of golf carts being allowed on roads where 25 MPH currently exists. I know the state specifically requires the limits not to be higher than 25 MPH. I would like to know what changes would need to be made to county code to allow it in county areas where the current speed limit is 25 MPH or less.
    >>
    >> Barbara Brenner
    >>
    >>
    >> In a message dated 8/1/2011 3:30:22 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, BBrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us writes:
    >>
    >> —–Original Message—–
    >> Date: Mon, 01 Aug 2011 15:30:01 -0700
    >> From: “Joe Rutan”
    >> To: ,”Barbara Brenner”
    >> Subject: Golf Carts on County Roads
    >>
    >>
    >> Hello Council Member Brenner,
    >>
    >> I apologize for my delay in responding to you regarding golf carts on County roads. As per our discussion last Tuesday the PW department’s issue will be that we make our recommendations to the Council regarding any requests to lower sped limits to 25 in order to allow golf carts based on accepted engineering standards and that there is “connectivity” of routes. Other than that the issues really are within the realm and responsibility of the Sheriff’s Office. I just found out why I haven’t received a return call from Sgt. Gatterman to discuss the issue, he is on vacation. I will attempt to make contact with Sheriff Elfo to discuss. Stay tuned for more information….
    >>
    >>
    >> Joe Rutan, P.E.
    >> Co. Engineer/Asst. Dir. Public Works
    >> 322 N. Commercial Street
    >> Bellingham, WA 98225-4052
    >> 360-715-7450

  10. This was Barbara Brenner’s reply to my email to her this evening with the ifo on other county ordinances:

    Thank you Ed. I am copying this to Bellingham City Council Members to see if they have discussed it. I will also send to the small cities.

    Barbara Brenner, Whatcom County Council Member

  11. great work, ed. keep it up & letting us all know what’s going on. Maybe you could give a brief update at the September LICA meeting, or at least let the LICA board know this is going on.

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