In some parts of Ohio, it's typical to pass an Amish buggy on the street. In Canal Winchester, golf carts are more likely.
In some parts of Ohio, it's typical to pass an Amish buggy on the street.
In Canal Winchester, golf carts are more likely.
Dairy Queen general manager Heather Runkle said customers arrive on golf carts several times per week.
"Sometimes they come through the drive-through and sometimes they come in," she said. "It's really funny."
Runkle said there haven't been any problems associated with golf cart traffic.
"They park in the spots just like everybody else," she said.
It's been two years since Canal Winchester Village Council approved the use of golf carts on some village streets after being urged to do so by residents.
Since then, a total of 22 underspeed vehicle inspection certificates have been issued, according to records provided by the village on July 16. Thirteen certificates were issued for golf carts owned by village residents. Another was issued for a Kubota utility vehicle for the Madison Township Fire Department, one was issued for the village and one was issued for the Fairfield County commissioners. The rest went to non-residents from as far away as Thornville and Grove City.
Local golf cart owners said they use the vehicles to go out to eat, get haircuts, run errands and socialize. And yes, some take them golfing.
"I think they're great for the community," Claud Roush said. "I love to drive around and talk to people. I've met people I normally wouldn't meet."
Howard Eggleston said he and his family use their golf cart a few times a month for recreational purposes. He said it has also come in handy for lugging mulch and stone around the yard for landscaping purposes.
Kevin Moore, of Carroll, was issued a certificate for his golf cart last year. He said he drives it at state parks and brings it to Canal Winchester for the Labor Day Festival.
"When you get 100 miles to the gallon, it sure is nice," Moore said.
There haven't been any accidents or citations issued involving golf carts in the past two years, according to Sgt. Kirk Kern of the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office.
Deputy James Nicolia said some golf cart drivers have driven on the wide sidewalk that runs along Dietz Drive, although that's not allowed.
"It is a motor vehicle," Nicolia said. "If you can't take a motor vehicle on it, then you can't take the golf cart on it."
Nicolia said golf carts are limited to roadways with speed limits of 25 mph.
That's something a few golf cart owners said they wish could be changed in a few places, such as near Wal-Mart. Waterloo Street changes from 25 mph to 35 mph near Wal-Mart, which means golf carts can't go there.
To allow that, Kern said either Canal Winchester Village Council would have to authorize golf carts to drive on 35-mph roadways, or the speed limits would need to be changed. He said he doesn't expect either to happen.
"If we change that out to 35-mph roadways, that would mean they'd be allowed out on Gender Road," Kern said. "To change a speed limit, you'd have to have some pretty good reasons to do that."
In order to become street-legal in Canal Winchester, golf carts must have brake lights, headlights, a windshield and a working horn, among other things, and the owners must carry liability insurance.
Once a golf cart owner pays a $25 inspection fee to the village, according to Kern, the sheriff's office inspects the vehicle and issues a certificate. The owner can take then take the certificate to obtain a title and license plates, just like any other motor vehicle.
Nicolia said he doesn't see golf carts on the streets very often.
"It has not replaced the automobile," he said.
Still, golf carts have become a way of life for some.
Robert Fealy uses his electric golf cart every day.
"That's my hobby," Fealy said. "I jump on my golf cart and I go somewhere."