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The Villages
Thursday, April 18, 2024

Plenty of tension between walkers and golf carts on multi-modal paths

Residents of The Villages are worried about the tension between walkers and golf carts on the multi-modal paths.

Villagers went to the podium Tuesday afternoon to discuss their concerns before the Multi-Modal Path Discussion Group at Savannah Center. The group is made up of elected officials from throughout Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

Residents described golf carts which are speeding and exhibiting a “King of the Road” superiority over walkers and bicyclists.

Penny Levesque of the Village of Piedmont was walking on the multi-modal path when she was struck by a golf cart. She was bruised and battered, but did not suffer any broken bones. She was shocked that the golf cart that hit her kept going and the lack of concern of other golf cart drivers that passed by her.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

Walker Susan Gill, also of the Village of Piedmont, said she has suffered the verbal abuse of golf cart drivers.

“Something needs to be done. People yell at me to get out of the way, and, believe me, I am cognizant that your golf cart is bigger than me,” Gill said. “It creates a contentious situation.”

Villager Jim Shields is an avid walker who logged hundreds of miles last year.

“I am convinced the golf cart operators don’t see it as a pedestrian path. The bottom line is we have to take responsibility for ourselves,” Shields said.

Village of Palo Alto resident Ken Knodel pointed to the problem of speeding on the multi-modal paths. He said he is frustrated that law enforcement does not have the authority to write speeding tickets on the multi-modal paths. He suggested it’s time for The Villages to use its political clout with the Legislature to change the law so law enforcement can regulate speed on the multi-modal paths.

Sonya Wood is a new resident of the Village of Dabney in Community Development District 14, which is located in the Leesburg area of The Villages. She said she is also concerned about speeding golf carts.

Wood said speed bumps might slow down speeding golf cart drivers, “especially after having a couple of cocktails.”

District Manager Kenneth Blocker said “common courtesy” could go a long way to improving safety on the multi-modal paths.

“Everybody knows what the speed limit is,” he added.

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