• Aug 1st 2011 at 8:02PM
  • 47
Golf cart parking at McIntosh High School in Peachtree City, GA – Click above to watch video after the jump

What would it be like if everyone in your town did all their local driving in golf carts? One only has to look to Peachtree City, GA, a planned community just south of Atlanta, to get an idea. Almost every family in this town of 35,000 has one of the low-speed, low-carbon vehicles. That makes for about 10,000 of them roaming the 90 miles of cart-compatible paths, picking up groceries, taking kids to school and robbing banks doing all the short trips that make up so much of our daily driving.

The phenomenon began after the construction of the first golf course in the sixties when residents wanted a cart-specific path to access the facility. From there it quickly grew, even influencing State legislation in 1974 allowing golf carts on public streets. A survey conducted by the city indicates that carts make a million trips a year that would otherwise be made by larger vehicles. Hit for jump for a nice video piece by AP and let us know if you'd like your town to follow their example.


[Source: Associated Press / Peachtree City]



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  • 47 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hello, I live in this community. I live in Peachtree City. My family just moved here, and with in a year se saw a need for a golf cart. People say right or wrong that it cost about $20 a month to charge your cart. Yes, a new cart is around $8000. But that cart with all the new stuff they have in them will go 50-60 miles. Over 100 mins of driving, now you take hills in and speed the number change. But I drove into the city for work 3 days a week and it is barely over 60 miles round trip. When I at off work we take golf cart everywhere. Young Adults drive them everywhere, I would have to guess there are less high school age driver on the road. The high school parking lot is full of golf carts. I would rather have my kids riding around on a golf cart than driving around with their friends in a car. Young drivers are 13x more likely to get in an accident than older drivers. What if young adults gained experience at less than 20 mile per hour from age 14-15-18 when they went to college. Think of this also... Retirement plus ago people, are also at risk drivers. You mother or father, grandmother or grandfather can still remain mobile after giving up the car keys. Transportation is freddom. So maybe grandma should not be behind the wheel of her caddy. But she is perfectly fine to drive 20 mph anywhere she want to go. These golf cart can be hard sided or soft sided. They have doors they hold 2 people they hold 4 people the hold 8 people. They have heaters, they have radios. They have lights. Heck it is the size of a smart car. They are arbout 1000 lbs with batterys installed Google and Apple has apps for the golf cart paths. There is traffic from the cars but never from the golf carts. Look at the price of other options Club car has a roll over protection system This could be a real option. I am an owner of a car (commuter) an SUV (family) and a truck (home owner) and a golf cart. WHich item get used the most.... golf cart. Reduced drunk driver car crashes. 20 mph hour is a lot beeter than 60. fact is people will drink and drive. do you want hit by a golf cart or a ford f-150 Target, Walmart, Homedepot, Kroger, taco bell drive- thrTplaces to get, places to drink, parks, gyms, college, factorys, school, medical centers, anywhere you can think of....... drive a golf cart. It is quiet. It makes every trip and adventure. Our paths go between the homes into ""green areas" there are deer and many animals to see. This is a better quality of life. Given an option I think this would be the choice for every soccer mom. Come experience it. Visit Peachtree City Ga, You can rent a golf cart grab a map and go. I am from Detroit, motor city, home of the auto industry. I moved here 1 year ago ,I like my gold cart. Made in the USA made in Georgia.
      • 1 Year Ago
      We've lived in Peachtree City since the early '80's and the golf cart paths are what got us sold here. Been a great place to raise children and I must add here an extremely helpful way for my parents He-91 yrs. and She-89 this yr. to get around independently. I also have a very physically handicapped daughter who now remains independent as she can only drive a golf cart and not endanger anyone including herself by using a specially equipped auto. Our little city is made up of villages and each is connected via golfcart. I love the idea I can connect to any facility in town i.e. shops, lake, church, Dr.'s offices, library, parades, etc. via our golf carts. I might mention here....'we don't tell everyone how great it is, because we like the tranquility of it all and everyone would want to stay here'....:)
      • 4 Years Ago
      For some really awsume golf carts that almost everyone has in "The Villages" in Flordia check out the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qrpq5A-KAoA&feature=youtube_gdata_player
      fairfireman21
      • 4 Years Ago
      My town has a lot of these running around, they are legal as long as you have lights, horn, and some even have turn signals. It is a cheaper way to go than most of the new EV's or BEV's, I even see them when the weather is bad. One couple I know use it for everything as long as there is not enouph snow to make it slip and slide everywhere, it is fully enclosed with a clear cover and they throw a heater that runs from the bateries for when it is cold. It is a great idea. Lower emitions, easier to park, great transportation.
      mazdamattyp5
      • 4 Years Ago
      I LOVE this. I'd be all over this in my city if we could pull it off but sadly we have very steep hills everywhere that would kill these carts. Sure they'll EVENTUALLY get up them but the line of cars behind you would be PISSED. I'd love to rip down to the Publix on a golf cart or over to the walgreens to pick up a rx. It would be great. I just don't think it's feasible in my city.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @mazdamattyp5
        I've driven a golf cart up fairly steep hills. Remember that electric motors have full torque at 0 RPM, so the power falls off quite differently than it does for a gasoline engine. But, I agree, the line of cars is always pissed off about anything smaller than they are. (Bicycles are about the same speed as city buses, and are faster than garbage trucks. But some people in my town howl about cyclists slowing them down, but don't howl about garbage trucks and buses. Weird. None of the bicycle-haters in my office have had an answer to this, either. For the record, there are more bicycle-commuters than bike-haters in my office, and the bicycle commuters whine a lot less.)
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 4 Years Ago
        @mazdamattyp5
        golf carts are built for hilly terrain..
        • 4 Years Ago
        @mazdamattyp5
        The paths in PTC are for golf carts only, carts aren't allowed on the streets. Which is fine because the paths can get you almost anywhere in PTC that the roads can. They are an excellent alternative to driving if you have time (the paths don't always provide a direct route and carts are slow) and if whatever you need is in the city. Oh and @Wize Adz. That may be true but it uses more electricity to climb the hills and also the electronics can be damaged by prolonged low RPM with full power applied because of the heat that is produced.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Although I have no experience in this type of environment, it makes a lot of sense. Hopefully their teen mortality rate for accidents is exceptionally low. I absolutely HATE getting in my vehicle to drive 2 miles for milk because it is too dangerous to walk or ride a bike. I applaud Peachtree City.
      KEVIN
      • 4 Years Ago
      In long term NEV to remain on road, there should be public transportation for long distance (train). And train should be able to carry NEV. In other word NEV and train need to be compatible with each other. So todays freeway will be replaced by train.
        fairfireman21
        • 4 Years Ago
        @KEVIN
        I suppose that would work if everyplace had 2 sets of tracks, because freight is also moved on the tracks. I hate Amtrac for the simple fct that I was to arrive at my destination 4 hours before I did, I could have drove the same distance and make it there sooner. Also with everyone not having the same work hours means you would have to have hundreds if not thousands or more extra trains.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @KEVIN
        Fair enough, and I'd like to see a usable passenger train system in this country. However, many households already own more than one car. My house, for instance, currently owns a Prius and a beater pickup. If we trade the pickup truck for a conventional minivan, and we trade the Prius for an electric vehicle, then we can cut 90% of our already-minimal gasoline usage, and we don't need to wait for anyone to build us a train. (I will vote and pay taxes to build the train, but that's another matter. I prefer to ride Amtrak now, but I usually don't have time for it, so I'm prepared to pay higher taxes so that I can ride a bullet train where I need to go.)
      squngy
      • 4 Years Ago
      I suppose no one considered a bicycle? You know, the vehicle with no emissions that cost almost nothing and is about as fast as a golf cart... Sure you can't go shopping with it or drop the kids of, but other than that :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        @squngy
        I commute via bicycle when the weather is suitable, and when I don't have to carry the kid, and when I don't have to carry anything other than my backpack with me to work. It's great! But look at those qualifiers. A cargo bicycle might suit my needs better when it comes to kid transport and light loads. I still need a car sometimes, though, even though mine spends most of its time rusting in the driveway.
          Ernie Dunbar
          • 4 Years Ago
          Actually, I've done this too, but without those qualifiers. By getting one of these: http://www.weeride.com/Stagecoach-Trailer (I would actually recommend something similar, but *not* this one - the quality isn't very high) It's not the greatest trailer for cargo alone, but it worked great for grocery shopping when we only had our oldest. Having more than one kid makes it a lot more impractical, so we started getting our groceries delivered. Otherwise, both kids share it reasonably well for the time being. Biking in the rain only requires better clothing, by the way.
        EJ
        • 4 Years Ago
        @squngy
        "Sure you can't go shopping with it or drop the kids of, but other than that :)" Xtracycles and Surly Big Dummys, even without any of the many trailers available, can carry more than most people need to.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @squngy
        Actually, you can shop and drop off kids... tandem bikes or trailers can haul the kids and then the empty trailer or panniers or rack can hold a decent load of shopping goods. See xtracycle inc, they started by making extensions you could mount to normal bike for better cargo/passenger hauling, and now offer full customizations.
        Edge
        • 4 Years Ago
        @squngy
        I do my main shopping every week on my bike. I can carry a huge load, by hanging the bags on the handlebars.
        Peter
        • 4 Years Ago
        @squngy
        I have gone grocery shopping on a bicycle many times (even this year). I bought a bike attachment rickshaw thingy for an infant for my son, and if the kids are big enough they can bicycle as well. The community has built a bicycle trail alongside the bit of highway between my home and my office (nothing fancy - basically a paved shoulder with dividers). No ebike necessary (you can use your muscles!). The limiting factor in Canada is the weather and the infrastructure.
      imoore
      • 4 Years Ago
      I could accept this if the vehicle in question was a ZENN, Think, or Leaf. At least they provide some form of safety for its passengers and also protect them from the elements. Casual or not, it makes no sense to consider a golf cart as acceptable as alternative transportation.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have been living in Peachtree City, GA for about 10 years now and love it! It was a great way to allow our teens some freedom without the worry a car can bring at 15 or 16. Each of our children were allowed to drive the golf cart to school provided they waited til they were 17 to get their drivers licenses. This saved us a ton of money on insurance. The nicest thing about having the golf carts is that you get to know the people in your community a lot better this way. If you meet one of your neighbors on the golf cart path, you'll pull over to the side and catch up for a bit before heading on your way. If you were in your car, at most all you'd do is wave to them on your way by. It leads to a much more peaceful, relaxed way of life. This is considered one of the premier retirement communities because of all the golf courses, activities geared toward retirees and golf cart transportation. Remember, though, this was not done as an afterthought. Peachtree City was planned by developers from the onset to include the 90 miles of cart paths and they run through the greenspace between neighborhoods and through wooded or park type areas. It may not be so easy to do in other communities that didn't set up for it in the beginning. I will say that when gas was $4 a gallon, I took my golf cart every time that I could to avoid buying gas at those high prices.
      EVnerdGene
      • 4 Years Ago
      "low carbon vehicles" ? As of my last visit about three years ago, the majority of these carts were gas. Listen to the YouTube and you'll notice that most of them sound like noisy little one-bangers.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 4 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        that's just blatantly false. I've relistened to the video and not one has a combustion engine sound. all of the close ones are verifiably electric. your theory doesn't quite fit the narrative of the story either...
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          I asked someone from one of the PTC golf cart parade videos and they answered: "95% are electric the other gas. PTC wants to do away with gas"
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          sure it's to be expected the story focuses on the carts. are you sure about the gas percentage? the videos I can find of carts in peachtree seem to all be electric.
          Christopher Burns
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          I live in PTC. About 30% - 40% are gas. Most if not all the rental ones are. 75% of the driver are teens, preteens or people over 70 who can not drive any more. The soccer moms around town still drive there big SUVs with 1 or 2 kids. If you go to the local WAL-MART you will see 1 cart for ever 100 Car, Truck or SUV. So the story is one sided.
      Koenigsegg
      • 1 Year Ago
      i'd rather drive a Smart!
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