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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

For decades golf cart drivers used sidewalks, project aims to change that

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla.  A million-dollar 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 sidewalks, something the county government is looking to change
  • The county government wishes to create two lanes just for golf cart use
  • Residents worry that will increase traffic in the area

The four-lane boulevard is now reduced to two lanes for cars, with the outer lanes designated for golf cart use between Upper Creek Drive and 19th Avenue. 

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

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

“I really don’t understand what anyone who drives a golf cart would benefit from there as opposed to what they already have,” said Bush, referring to sidewalks. 

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

“That’s going to be dangerous,” said Bush. 

In their initial statement, the County told Spectrum Bay News 9 the Boulevard’s sidewalk width is 5 feet and as a result golf cart use is prohibited, according to a Florida statute. 

However, the Cypress Creek Village Homeowners Association measured the same sidewalk width at 6 feet 9 inches and says golf cart drivers have complied with the law. Hillsborough County responded again saying, “golf carts are not allowed on sidewalks, unless the path is otherwise designated for golf carts.”

Bush says it is not out of the norm for golf carts to ride on sidewalks in the area. She also says reducing lanes could create more traffic, which could lead to more accidents.

“The cars go 50 miles per hour down that road [Cypress Village Boulevard],” said Bush. “Anyone who lives in between either exits at 674 and then takes the boulevard and back up to 19 because there isn’t an exit.”

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

He fears golf cart riders will always be at a disadvantage when driving beside other motorists. He and his neighbors have sent letters to the County about their concerns. 

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