All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and golf carts could be a new mode of transportation on Ramsey city streets.
The Ramsey City Council will consider a ordinance amendment June 12 that could allow residents to use ATVs and golf carts on city streets to get around town. The proposed ordinance will address the use and regulations as well as penalties for using the non-traditional road vehicles.
ATVs and golf carts will not be allowed in city ditches, easements and walking trails, nor will they be allowed on county roads or ditches, said Police Chief Jim Way.
If the proposed ordinance passes, ATV riders will have to follow the same regulations as motorcycle riders.
If they are under 18, they have to wear a helmet, have a valid driver’s licences and insurance, Way said.
The ATVs will also have to be registered with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), he said.
The rules of the road will also apply to golf cart drivers if the ordinance passes.
Golf carts will be able to cross county roads to get to another city street, but they will not be able to drive on the county roads, Way said.
And there will no loading up the carts with extra people allowed.
The carts can only carry what they were designed for or officers will be issuing tickets, Way said.
While all cart drivers will have to have a current driver’s licence and insurance, it has yet to be determined what additional equipment may be needed on the cart.
Some cities that allow golf carts on the roads require them to have seat belts, mirrors and horns. The Ramsey council has not discussed the requirements yet, Way said.
According to state statute, the golf carts will have to display a slow moving caution sign on them.
If approved, the ordinance will also require ATV and golf cart drivers who want to drive on the roads to get a city permit.
The price of the permit has also not been determined yet, Way said.
When introduced on a 5-1 vote at the May 8 city council meeting, Councilmember Sarah Strommen said she could not support it.
This gives her some heartburn because of the potential conflict it could cause with the other vehicles on the road, she said.
Strommen said she feels the proposed ordinance could cause confusion on what is required, safety requirements and who will have the right of way.
“I don’t think it will be clear for people reading it,” she said.
This will change the rules of the road and there will be the potential for a serious accident. It could have tragic consequences, Strommen said.
Having the ability to use ATVs and golf carts on the roads is something he has pushed for three years, said Mayor Bob Ramsey.
“I am encouraging this. I think it’s a good thing for Ramsey,” he said.
“(This) is about liberty for me. It’s about options. We talk about multimodal transportation and transit and this is just another way of getting around.”
Ramsey would encourage the county look into opening up the shoulders of the county roads to allow people to get where they are going in the city, including the COR, he said.
Tammy Sakry is at firstname.lastname@example.org