Supervisors ask VDOT to study G.I. golf cart issue
Mathews County supervisors have asked the Virginia Department of Transportation to study the issue of allowing golf carts to use legally some public roads on Gwynn’s Island.
During Tuesday’s board meeting in the historic courthouse, Gwynn’s Island resident Dan Hill and civic league president Tom Edwards presented a petition to the board containing a reported 319 signatures of people who they said were in favor of the proposal.
In their written report, they said the island has 602 residents, while only 17 of them had signed a separate petition against the proposal.
Hill showed the board a map with 13 roads that he asked to have designated “golf cart friendly”—Wharf Creek, Callis Wharf, Risby Town, Cherry Point, North Bay Haven, South Bay Haven, Edwards Landing, Gwynnsville, Henry, Gum Thicket, and Buckschase roads, as well as Rose Lane and Chesapeake Drive.
He said that, while Old Ferry Road, the island’s main thoroughfare, is three miles long, the roads listed comprise the remaining 10 miles of the 13 miles of state-maintained roads on the island. All of those roads are neighborhood roads, he said, and would be uniformly 25 miles per hour under the proposal.
According to state law, he said, the golf carts would have to be outfitted with front and rear lights and warning triangles. In addition, he said, the carts could only be driven by licensed drivers at least 16 years of age.
Hill asked that the speed limit on Buckschase Road, which is on the lower end of the island and serves the campground, be reduced from 30 miles per hour to 25. The speed limit on Old Ferry Road would remain the same—45 mph initially, reducing to 35 mph at Callis Wharf Road. Golf cart operators would not be able to travel on or even cross that road without breaking the law.
Supervisor Edwina Casey asked how golf cart drivers would get from Buckschase Road to Cherry Point, and Hill said they wouldn’t do that because they would be subject to being issued a citation.
“Give people an inch and they’ll take a mile,” said Casey.