Could electric golf carts replace some of the car traffic in Olde Town? The City of Conyers is working on a policy to encourage just that.
“It’s a clean energy initiative,” said Mayor Randy Mills at the city’s January annual retreat in Stone Mountain, where the idea was first discussed.
Mills and City Council members expressed excitement about the idea, saying it would help promote Conyers as a “green” community. Electric golf carts also would appeal to both older residents and to young people who are environmentally conscious, Mills said.
Work on a golf cart ordinance is now underway, with Councilman Vince Evans crafting it in the city’s Economic Development Committee, although he estimated it would be months before it is ready for presentation. At the March 5 City Council meeting, Mills indicated the Conyers policy will be modeled on one in Covington.
Originally passed in 2008, the Covington ordinance allows anyone with a driver’s license to operate a golf cart on streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. They also need a golf cart permit.
Another possible model officials discussed is Peachtree City in Fayette County, which is famous for having thousands of residents who use golf carts instead of cars.
For Conyers, one big challenge is how golf cart drivers would get to Olde Town from other parts of the city. City Councilman Chris Bowen pointed out that golf carts driving on city streets could be dangerous and dedicated paths might be needed. City Chief Operating Officer David Spann suggested that combination golf cart and bicycle lanes might be an option.
However, Evans told the News on March 5 that the ordinance now underway does not involve any special lanes or paths.
He estimated it will be three to four months before the ordinance is ready for formal presentation and review.
The golf cart idea came from some level of community demand. City Councilman John Fountain said various people around town have talked to him about wishing they could drive golf carts in the city.