Harrison’s Age-Friendly Committee is working to see if it can bring golf carts to village roads.
“People are asking why golf carts and not mobility scooters,” councillor Ray Hooper said during Harrison’s council meeting Tuesday (Oct. 1). “You can’t take your partner on a mobility scooter. Either your partner has to walk behind you on a mobility scooter, or they can sit beside you in a golf cart.”
At the meeting, Hooper brought forward a series of recommendations from the Age-Friendly Committee.
The recommendations included things like keeping the boat launch washroom year round, applying to run an Active Age class for seniors at Memorial Hall and spending $1,200 on a social event to thank residents for their help during the tourist season.
Most of these recommendations were not officially endorsed or voted on by council, but will be referred back to a committee of the whole meeting so council can discuss them in greater detail.
The recommendations from the Age-Friendly Committee also included a request that council consider lowering the speed limit throughout the village to allow for the use of golf carts on municipal roads. Hooper clarified later that the speed limits do not actually need to be lowered to allow for carts on the roads, and only the signage would need to be changed.
However, in order for this to happen, the village needs to go through a number of other legislative hoops.
The village would need to consult with the province, develop zones and signage, create a new bylaw and permit, and amend the Motor Vehicle Act to include Harrison as a designated municipality for golf cart users.
Because two of the village’s main roads are owned by the province — Hot Springs Road and Lillooet Avenue — discussions would have to happen around how golf carts could safely cross those roads.
Golf carts would need to be insured through ICBC, as well as have a permit issued by the municipality and be operated by a driver with a valid license. The carts would need to be roadworthy with a rear view mirror, daytime running lights, turn signals, brake lights and seatbelts.
Hooper said the Age-Friendly Committee is currently in conversations with the Village of Chase, which was part of the 2016 Neighbourhood Golf Carts pilot project.
Village staff were also directed to start looking at allowing golf carts on village streets in the summer, and a report will be coming back to council in the future.
If Harrison did decide to allow golf carts on its roads, it would become the third municipality in the province to do so. Currently, only Chase and Qualicum Beach allow golf carts.