PIC Recommendations to City on Golf Cart Issues Unaddressed; Carts Not Designed for Public Places

Peaks Island Golf Carts Lined up for Customers Several Years Ago.

Golf carts on Peaks Island have become a real nuisance for year round residents of the popular summer time destination. The sheer numbers every year clog the narrow roads, put undue pressure on the insufficient infrastructure on the Island and have caused accidents due to carelessness by cart renters. Golf carts are for golf courses and private property; they are not designed for public use on public property.

So, the Peaks community spent last year addressing common concerns regarding the use of golf carts on the city streets of Peaks Island, according to Randy Schaeffer, chair of the Peaks Island Council, “PIC.” A survey was taken. Public forums were held to determine how to best resolve the concerns. A PIC Committee held many meetings. At a special meeting on November 14, 2018 and at the regular PIC meeting on November 28, 2018, it was voted to recommend that the PIC pursue further action.

On December 12, 2018, Chair Schaeffer wrote a two-page memorandum to the Portland City Council containing eleven recommendations on how to curtail the issues on Peaks that reoccur every year with increasing intensity. Licensing was one option and an adequate police presence on the Island to carry out state statutes and city ordinances was another. The memorandum also called for the eventual introduction of electrically powered carts. Copies of the December 12 memorandum were also sent to Mike Murray and city manager Jon Jennings.

City staff has received the recommendations from the PIC and is currently working on code amendments that will be brought forward to a future Sustainability Committee meeting. Eventually the recommendations will go to the City Council wrote Jessica Grondin, city spokeswoman, to this blogger recently.

“We are awaiting more word regarding next steps,” emailed Chair Schaeffer to this blogger recently.