For decades, golf cart drivers have used sidewalks to travel

Hillsboro County, Florida. A $1 million Cypress Village Boulevard mobility improvement project is supposed to steer golf cart drivers away from using sidewalks to increase pedestrian safety.

What you need to know

  • Locals have been using their golf carts on the sidewalks, something the county government is looking to change
  • The county government wants to establish two golf cart use only courses
  • Residents are concerned about the increased traffic in the area

The four-lane avenue has now been reduced to two lanes for cars, with exterior lanes designated for golf cart use between Upper Creek Drive and 19th Street.

Corinna Bush, who lives in Cypress Creek Village (opposite Sun City Center), says the project does not meet the needs of her community. Bush traded her car keys for a golf cart when she moved to Hillsborough County from Chicago.

“I just love this golf cart,” Bush said. “It’s so comfortable.” This is her main mode of transportation now to run errands and get to doctor’s appointments along Cypress Village Boulevard.

“I don’t really understand what it’s going to be for anyone to drive a golf cart there compared to what they already have,” Bush said, referring to the sidewalks.

She says all golf cart drivers in the area have been using the sidewalks for decades. Hillsborough County is looking to change this behavior with its new golf cart lanes along the street.

“That would be dangerous,” Bush said.

In its initial statement, the district told Spectrum Bay News 9 that the width of the boulevard sidewalk is 5 feet and as a result the use of a golf cart is prohibited, per Florida law.

However, the Cypress Creek Village Homeowners Association measured the width of the sidewalk itself at 6 feet 9 inches and says golf cart drivers complied with the law. Hillsborough County responded again, saying, “No golf carts are allowed on sidewalks, unless the course is for golf carts.”

It’s not uncommon to ride golf carts on sidewalks in the area, says Bush. It also says reducing lanes could lead to more traffic, which could lead to more accidents.

Cars go 50 miles per hour on this road [Cypress Village Boulevard]Bush said. “Anyone who lives between either exit gets out at 674 and then goes down the street and back at 19 because there’s no way out.”

“The single lane slows down traffic, but it creates all the other safety issues,” said Sunny Lazar, who lives in Cypress Creek Village.

He fears that golf cart riders are always at a disadvantage when driving alongside other motorists. He and his neighbors have sent letters to the county about their concerns.