Lookout Mountain, Ga., Tightening Up On Use Of Golf Carts On City Streets

Friday, July 18, 2014 - by Matthew Smisson

The Lookout Mountain, Ga., City Council on Thursday night took up the first reading of the ordinance pertaining to golf carts on city streets. The council requested that the police department begin citing people who illegally drive golf carts on city streets.

Under the present ordinance golf carts that are registered with city hall are permitted to travel on certain city streets by licensed drivers during daylight hours. The revised ordinance would extend for a period of one year the availability to drive golf carts on the streets of Lookout Mountain, Ga., if registered with city hall.

According to Councilman David Fussell, the city is revisiting the ordinance because it is time to renew it but also he is mainly concerned for citizen’s safety. He warns that citations will be given to those in violation of the ordinance. He stated that it is only a matter of time before an adult or child is hurt if citations are not given to those who operate golf carts illegally.
The council approved the ordinance on first reading adding to the original ordinance that travel on Lula Lake Road is permitted from Hardy Road to McFarland Road and further south past the Methodist Church to Wood Nymph Trail. However, due to state law, golf carts cannot cross through the intersection of Lula Lake Road and McFarland Road and Red Riding Hood Trail because it is a route of a state highway. The only crossing permitted is at the intersection of Cinderella Road and Red Riding Hood Trail. The second reading of the ordinance will be held July 31st.
The council also recognized that low speed vehicles that resemble golf carts fall under the category as regular automobiles and are allowed to travel anywhere that an automobile may travel and can be driven by a licensed driver at any hour of the day.

Several concerned residents of Tinkerbell Lane and Gnome Trail expressed their concerns for traffic on those streets. Neighbors said that numerous incidents over the last 25 years have resulted in near tragic results due to careless drivers and speeding. They have requested that a stop sign be installed at the south intersection of the two roads replacing a yield sign and that a speed bump be installed to slow traffic that cuts through Tinkerbell.

Another concern of residents of those streets is parked construction vehicles in the road that cause moving vehicles to drive through in a serpentine pattern up and down Tinkerbell Lane. Often residents cannot get out of their driveways due to these parked vehicles.

The residents asked that the council and police department enforce parking of said vehicles to one side of the street. The council obliged with their request to replace the yield sign with a stop sign and are investigating the fesability of a speed bump. They also will be enforcing vehicles parked in the street to all be parked on the same side this will insure traffic flow for residents and emergency vehicles.

Construction noise at late hours of the night as well as early morning is also of concern to Gnome Trail and Tinkerbell Lane residents. They stated that as late as 10:45 at night construction on various homes has occurred keeping residents awake. They asked the council to investigate and enforce building construction permit rules and regulations. City Attorney Bill Pickering said that he would review the ordinances pertaining to construction permits and make sure that proper times are observed.
The city council is also amending the city’s charter to increase the spending limit of the city manager to $7,500.00 from $3,000 without having to advertise and receive bids for purchases. The city has recently run into several instances where items needed to be purchased that exceeded the $3,000 limit and they had to put out request for bids due to the charter. Having the increase in the spending limit would allow for needed items to be purchased more efficiently. The last time the charter was amended was in the mid-1990s.
The next regular scheduled meeting will be Thursday, Aug. 21, at 5:30.
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