Concerns about speeding dominated a meeting Wednesday of the Multi-Modal Path Discussion Group at Savannah Center.
Numerous residents attended the meeting and were eager to offer their ideas for improving safety on the paths.
Property Owners Association President Cliff Wiener, who also serves as a supervisor in Community Development District 4, chaired the meeting.
He said that Street Legal golf carts, Atomic golf carts, motorized scooters and tiny Smart Cars account for some of the fastest-moving vehicles sharing the paths with conventional golf carts, bicyclists and walkers. He questioned whether a vehicle with a license plate that can legally travel on the street also belongs on the multi-modal path.
“I just can’t believe that something that can drive on the street can also drive on the golf cart path,” Wiener said. “They are absolutely flying by.”
Legal counsel for The Villages District Office in 2010 prepared a memo in an attempt to define what vehicles belong on the multi-modal paths. At the time, the attorney offered an opinion that motorized scooters and other such vehicles were not the intended users of the paths.
The 13-year-old opinion was written prior to the proliferation of all types of new vehicles, including electric bicycles. Deputy District Manager Carrie Duckett said she would ask District Counsel to review and update that 2010 opinion.
Meeting attendees said there simply isn’t enough education offered for residents about proper conduct on the multi-modal paths. Particularly, for new residents.
“They make you go to Pickleball 101 before you can play. You should have to do something similar for golf carts,” said Villager Doug Blanding.
Alice Fisher of the Village of Santiago said sales representatives for The Villages should take the lead in providing information about multi-modal path safety to new homeowners.
“The people selling houses need to provide information to new residents,” Fisher said “I think that’s your best bet.”
However, Community Development District 2 Supervisor Jim Conti said educational efforts can only go so far.
“How many people have been here a long time and still break the rules?” he asked.