CHASE – The brakes have been pumped on a project that would’ve allowed golf carts on roads in Chase and Qualicum Beach.
Chase resident Lesley Turner was excited when she heard news a pilot project would take place in her town. Last August, the province gave September 2016 as the start date for the project, but put a hold on it in October.
Turner says she invested money getting her golf cart road-ready by adding headlights, seatbelts, a rearview mirror and a horn, but isn’t able to get the cart insured so she can drive on the roads in Chase.
“There’s no reason we can’t drive them now. I just want to know what the heck is going on,” Turner says.
She’s looked for answers on her own but came up short. She contacted ICBC and the village office but says no one seemed to know what was going on.
"It’s almost like everyone is blaming everyone else but no one has an answer," she says. "If it doesn’t go through, then I’ve done all this for nothing.”
In August 2016, Transportation Minister Todd Stone announced the pilot project saying lower emissions and increased accessibility was part of the reasons to launch the project.
“This is not for everyone and not for every community, but for a community like Chase, it makes good sense for their citizens,” Stone said in the release.
But in a release issued a couple months later in October, Stone said public feedback came in with concerns about the proposed 30 km/h speed limit.
“I believe it makes sense for us to take some time over the winter to address the concerns we've heard to make sure that this project is a success in the spring for your communities,” Stone said.
Sean O’Flaherty, the corporate officer with the Villiage of Chase, says there was debate about the project and those opposed made their voices heard.
“We had a town hall meeting and the people came out, like they do in Chase. They are involved and passionate and they felt like it was done too quickly and council agreed with them,” O’Flaherty says.
He says they were able to rework the pilot program without a change in the existing speed limit.
O’Flaherty expects the golf cart bylaw will be ready for public viewing and feedback by the end of May.
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