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OUR VIEW: Go ahead and give OK to golf carts

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It wasn't long ago that we would have cringed at the thought of allowing golf carts on streets within the city of Mitchell. It just seemed that the slower, smaller vehicles would cause headaches to regular, and conventional, cars and trucks that motor along the city's busy roadways.

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That, however, was before four-wheelers and mo-ped-like conveyances became commonplace on this city's streets. Nowadays, it's difficult to drive anywhere in town and not encounter someone buzzing along on four-wheelers, which not long ago were limited to places like pastures and mountain paths.

We suspect gas prices have prompted the change. Either way, it is what it is, and we suspect there's no going back. It's likely people in the 1950s were saying the same thing about motorcycles.

So we are not surprised to hear that local residents are asking the county and city to allow golf carts on city streets. Wednesday, County Treasurer Christie Gunkel told members of the Davison County Commission that she has fielded such requests. She said Mitchell Chief of Public Safety Lyndon Overweg is not against allowing gas and electric golf carts on city streets, as long as they are insured, properly registered and marked with reflective materials.

The commissioners told Gunkel to select a committee to investigate the issues that could arise with golf-cart registration, licenses and so forth.

Considering that the streets already are shared by cars, trucks, bikes, scooters and four-wheelers, we see no problems with allowing golf carts to share the roads. We do wonder about proper lighting, and whether brake lights should be required, but we defer those questions to Overweg.

We like the idea because many older residents in Mitchell could truly benefit from the use of golf carts to get from place to place. Golf carts are more mobile than conventional cars and trucks, and we envision grandparents using them to go to ballgames, to enjoy the park or to simply tool down the street to visit friends or the grocery store.

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