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HomeBusiness & CommunityBOCC Approves Golf Carts on Part of Shoal Line Boulevard

BOCC Approves Golf Carts on Part of Shoal Line Boulevard

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Residents living in the area of Shoal Line Boulevard between Blue Fish Drive and Calienta Street will have the opportunity to use their golf carts to travel to nearby businesses.

During a June 11 meeting, the Hernando County’s Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to implement a two-phase approach to establishing that section of Shoal Line as the Hernando Beach

Business District and making it safe for golf cart access in both daylight and nighttime hours.
“The purpose here is we allow the people who live there to get on their golf cart and go to a restaurant,” Commissioner John Allocco said. “Now you have less parking issues as well in those areas.
I don’t understand where the benefit would be and it certainly would be a nightmare for enforcement if they were allowed to go around their streets, house to house but they couldn’t just cross over Shoal Line or go up Shoal Line a little bit to go to a restaurant. I think it kind of defeats the purpose.”

“I don’t think you should restrict the citizen’s right to travel,” Commissioner Steve Champion said. “If I live down at Hernando Beach and I want to go down to Brian’s Place and have dinner or something and I’m down one of those side streets, why can’t they? I think it makes it more attractive.”

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Public works director/county engineer Scott Herring presented the findings of a survey of 238-240 residents in Hernando Beach, in which 63 percent favored a potential business district allowing golf cart usage.

“Staff would not be comfortable allowing golf carts on this section of Shoal Line, as it is a collector roadway,” Herring said. “I don’t think that would be appropriate there. You have a percentage of trucks that is approximately 3 percent oversized vehicles on there. I don’t think trucks and golf carts and large commercial vehicles make a safe mix.”

The commissioners disagreed, however, since Florida statutes require business districts to have a 30-mile-per-hour speed limit and other safety measures could be included. “The fact that it is straight and it is very dark, and people are going to take these golf carts out because they’re going to be able to do it at night because they’re going to go to restaurants and stay out and the sun is going to go down and they’re going to be driving,” Board chairwoman Elizabeth Narverud said. “If you do this, I’m not opposed to it if you have some safety things like speed humps or something going through there because on that straightaway, I don’t care what the speed limit is posted, there’s nobody out there enforcing it. Those people come flying down Shoal Line straight through the business district.”

Signage and blinking lights, similar to what’s seen in a school zone, were ultimately recommended. Concerns, though, remained over cars that will violate the speed limit. “We can’t stop everybody from being an idiot. Hopefully, we catch them,” Allocco said. “But the community there wants this. We can make it safer by reducing the speed and putting up some signs that alert people to it. And if the Sheriff’s Department has to do an operation every once in a while out there and catch people in the evening that are flying through there, you need do it anyway.”

It was Commissioner Jerry Campbell who suggested the phased implementation. The first phase would create the business district, lower the speed limit and build in the safety measures, with the added tweak by Champion of allowing golf cart use during daylight hours. The second phase would be allowing nighttime golf cart usage.

“Maybe that’s an approach that we can take that would be a win-win,” Campbell said. “I do think all of us are concerned for safety, priority No. 1. We have our county engineer that is cautioning us, so we want to make sure we get this right.”

“We lower the speed, we put signs up and restrict it to daylight use only until we’re confident that the culture has changed,” Champion said. “Because I think the real danger is

Herring noted that it would be a “slow-rolling implementation” because that section of Shoal Line is about to be resurfaced. No changes will be made until after that project is complete.

Chris Bernhardt
Chris Bernhardt
A resident of Spring Hill since 1986, Chris graduated from Springstead High in 1999 before moving on to earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Central Florida. In summer of 2003 he joined the staff at Hernando Today, working at the paper for 11 years as a sports reporter, the last three as sports coordinator in charge of the paper’s sports coverage. After an initial 3-year stint with Hernando Sun, he spent four years as a staff sports reporter at the Citrus County Chronicle. Follow on X @cpbernhardtjr.
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