NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Leaders in North Kansas City were considering a new way to get around, but the measure ultimately failed on Tuesday night.
NKC councilmembers considered a proposal to permit golf carts on city streets, allowing them to drive and park right alongside cars and trucks. Some voiced their disapproval, citing safety concerns.
The council had been considering this idea for almost a year, but it didn’t pass.
Dustin Lofdahl, who owns Luxury Golf Carts Kansas City in Grandview, has tricked-out carts with price tags starting around $10,000. They include turn signals, seat belts, seating for four to six people and rechargeable batteries. Lofdahl said they’re often popular with people who live in golf course communities.
“You would register these and put plates on them, and any road with a speed limit under 35 miles per hour, you can drive them,” Lofdahl explained. “It’s easy to get around your neighborhoods. It’s easy to take your kids to school.”
North Kansas City councilmembers appeared split as to whether or not to allow carts on their streets. The proposal they considered would confine golf carts mostly to neighborhoods and away from highways with speeds faster than 25 miles per hour.
The carts they’d permit have features often seen in cars. At least one councilmember compared the safety concerns to those associated with scooters and bikes.
“(Consituents) said they don’t feel like the streets are big enough. They feel like it’s going to add more congestion. They’re concerned about safety,” Amie Clark, a city councilmember representing the city’s Fourth Ward, said at an August meeting.
“The evidence seems to suggest that the hazards and safety issues aren’t there, and I suspect that would be the same with golf carts,” Anthony Super, who represents the city’s First Ward, said at the same meeting in August.
A handful of cities on both sides of the state line permit golf carts on streets in some capacity. In Missouri, that incudes Lee’s Summit and Excelsior Springs. On the Kansas side, Shawnee, Lenexa and Olathe have provisions for carts in some regard.
All of them have regulations on where and who can drive them, including speed limits.