The installation of traffic signs for the Pine Island Golf Cart Ordinance began last week and is anticipated to be completed by June 7, weather permitting.
Four Lee County Commissioners voted in favor of the Pine Island Golf Cart Ordinance Tuesday morning, April 23, in a public hearing, with Commissioner Frank Mann dissenting.
In order to operate a golf cart on designated roads, which does not include Pine Island Road east of Stringfellow Road, or Stringfellow Road between the Jug Creek Bridge in Bokeelia and St. Jude Boulevard in St. James City, an individual must have a valid driver's license in their home state or country.
The various signs being installed on Pine Island.
The golf carts must be equipped with efficient brakes, reliable steering apparatus, safe tires, a rearview mirror and red reflectorized warning devices on the rear and front of the golf cart.
In addition, the golf carts may not be operated on the designated roads between sunset and sunrise hours. The ordinance also states that the number of occupants in the golf cart will be limited to the number of seats. Every occupant must be seated while the golf cart is in motion.
Department of Transportation Senior Project Manager Bryan Miller said approximately 150 traffic signs have been manufactured for Pine Island to implement the Lee County Ordinance No. 13-08, Pine Island Golf Cart Ordinance.
He said there are approximately 60 double-faced sign assemblies that will be posted on the county-maintained local streets off of Stringfellow Road between Judd Creek in Bokeelia and St. Jude Boulevard in St. James City, as well as on the side streets in the short section of Pine Island Road just east of Stringfellow Road.
"These assemblies will have 'Golf Cart, OK, Sunrise to Sunset' on one sign with a 'Golf Cart, Prohibited, Beyond This Point' sign on the back side and will be erected at the entry/exit points off of the main roads," Miller said. "The total number of signs for this application will be about 120 signs."
Sixteen individual signs that read "OK" and "Prohibited" will also be erected on Stringfellow Road. He said these signs will be installed in advance of and within the permitted limits of on-road golf cart operations on Stringfellow Road from Judd Creek north and in St. James City area from St. Jude Boulevard, South.
There will also be six yellow signs that read "AHEAD" with a golf cart symbol to warn individuals of the use of golf carts. Miller said these will be installed in advance of Judd Creek in Bokeelia, in advance of St. Jude Boulevard in St. James City area, and in advance of the two designated golf cart crossings of Stringfellow Road at Phillips Street and Barrancas Avenue.
Other double faced signs will include "No Motor Vehicle," which will be installed at approximately eight locations along Stringfellow Road. Miller said these will act as a reminder to users of the shared-use path that motor vehicles, including golf carts, are not permitted to be operated on the shared-use path.
"A few of these signs are already in place from prior concerns with golf cart operation on the paths," he said.
The ordinance also states that the operation of a golf cart in an unsafe manner is prohibited, golf carts may not be operated in a manner that will obstruct or interfere with normal traffic flow, the golf cart may not be driven or parked in drainage or landscape areas adjacent to the designated roads, golf cart operators are required to observe all applicable state and local traffic laws as if they were operating any other motor vehicle and operators and passengers of golf carts must comply with all applicable state laws.
Phil Buchanan, who wrote the golf cart proposal, said although all the signs are not up yet, the ordinance is in full force and residents of the island should expect the Sheriff's Office to enforce it.
He said he expects to see tickets or warnings issued mainly for allowing children to drive golf carts, failure to signal when turning and operating a golf cart on the bike path, all of which are still non-criminal infractions under Florida Statutes despite our new ordinance.
"The Lee County Sheriff's Office has the responsibility for enforcement of the traffic provisions of the Ordinance. The Lee County Department of Transportation will address safety issues should they arise with the implementation of the Pine Island Golf Cart Ordinance," Miller added.