Golf carts taking to Chase’s streets

Golf carts taking to Chase’s streets

The Village of Chase a guinea pig for a new provincial plan

Some smaller, softer wheels will soon be plying the streets of Chase.

Come June 5, Chase will be the only town in B.C. where golf carts will travel on its roads in the company of cars and trucks, with provincial and municipal government blessing.

Back in August 2016, the provincial government announced it was going to go ahead with a pilot project in Chase and in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island.

“This project will improve the daily lives of people in small communities,” said Transportation Minister Todd Stone at the time. “This is not for everyone and not for every community, but for a community like Chase, it makes good sense for their citizens. I look forward to the increased use of low-emission vehicles as we work towards our greenhouse-gas reduction goals and aim to increase accessibility in B.C.”

However, the pilots weren’t without road blocks.

Qualicum Beach decided not to go ahead. The town’s chief administrative officer, Daniel Sailland, says a lot of people felt the layout of the town wasn’t favourable for putting golf carts on the road.

“Based on citizen reactions, we opted out. We decided there was no point proceeding if people weren’t going to use it.”

He said the intent was to get people into the downtown core, but that wasn’t going to be easily achieved because the most direct routes had higher-speed roads to navigate.

Instead, he explained, the town is looking at bike lanes and connector trails and paths, and the province supported a new bus loop.

Chase’s pilot project was not without obstacles either.

Drivers of more conventional vehicles in the village were not thrilled with the initial idea of having to adhere to 30 km/h speed limits in town to match the pace of the carts.

“We were supposed to get it up and running last September,” said Joni Heinrich, chief administrative officer for Chase. “The way it was set up, we had a lot of push back from the community. The province had said, everybody and their dog, whether a golf cart or not, had to go 30 km/h. Council said, hold the phone, we’re getting some feedback from the community. Put it on hold till spring.”

The province then agreed to change the regulation, she said, so other drivers have to slow down to 30 km/h when they see a golf cart.

The project is scheduled to last two years, but, says Heinrich, “we’ll try it this year, see how it goes, and if it works out we’ll just say it’s not a pilot anymore.”

Chase passed a bylaw earlier this month approving the use of golf carts, so potential drivers on Chase roads need to get a $25 permit from the village office as well as insurance from ICBC.

The bylaw doesn’t permit golf carts on Chase streets after Nov. 15, or if there’s snow, ice or slush on the roads. They are restricted from driving on a couple of roads, such as the entrances to town. They also can’t be on the roads up to a half hour before dawn and a half hour after dusk.

As for modifications, the golf carts have to be souped-up a little. They’ll need seat belts, a horn, lights, signals and a rear-view mirror.

Heinrich doesn’t expect Chase roads to be overrun with the carts, at least not at first.

“I suspect when it’s in place, we’ll see two or three around, per day, and then see more and more and more. I think it’s going to be cool. I hope everybody can kind of harmonize on the roads.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The BC government provided a graphic of the equipment a golf cart will need to drive on the streets.- Image credit: BC Provincial Government.

The BC government provided a graphic of the equipment a golf cart will need to drive on the streets.- Image credit: BC Provincial Government.

Just Posted

A group of Penticton residents have planned a protest Friday, March 5, 2020 at Gyro Park to voice their concerns over city council’s refusal to allow a temporary winter shelter to stay open. (Google Maps photo)
Penticton protest to go on despite police warning

Desiree Franz says she’s willing to accept the risk of being fined by RCMP

Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson at the controls of the new Penticton Fire Rescue boat on Skaha Lake Friday afternoon. Firefighter Austin Conquergood is on one of the department's two personal watercraft.
Mark Brett/Western News
Kayaker rescued from Okanagan Lake after falling in and calling 911

The Penticton Fire Department’s Marine Rescue pulled him out suffering from severe cold

Thomas Kruger-Allen is expected to be sentenced Friday, March 5, 2021.
Sentencing expected Friday for 2019 Penticton beach attack

Defense wants 12 to 18 months for beach assaults that left one of his victims with brain injury

Penticton’s MLA and former mayor Dan Ashton is speaking out on recent events that have transpired in the city. (Contributed)
Penticton MLA, former mayor concerned over recent events

Communication breakdown between mayor and housing minister, funding cut at addictions centre cause for concern, says MLA

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Riverside Centre includes a theatre hosting local plays, visiting musicians and dance troupes. It is also used for community events such as public meetings and fundraisers. Photo Town of Princeton
COVID-19 numbers provided by Interior Health show Salmon Arm and Revelstoke in the 200-plus range from January 2020 to February 2021 while Vernon, with a larger population, tallied more than 600 over the 14 months. (BC Centre for Disease Control map)
14 months of COVID-19 data show Kamloops cases doubling Vernon’s

Jan. 1, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021: 605 cases reported for Vernon, 243 for Salmon Arm, 1,246 for Kamloops

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s general manager Dan Proulx, left, hosted a virtual Official Opposition town hall meeting with Shadow Cabinet Minister Small Business Pat Kelly, right, and North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold March 3, 2021. (Screenshot)
Tourism key to business recovery in North Okanagan-Shuswap: MP

Easing travel restrictions, limiting taxation and debt management critical to COVID-19 economic recovery

(BCCDC)
42 cases of COVID-19 in the Central Okanagan last week

Officials have identified almost 3,000 cases of the virus in the Central Okanagan throughout the pandemic

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Most Read