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Toledo Allows Golf Carts on Some City Streets… how ’bout Buffalo?

Over the course of the last year, a buddy of mine has been putting a bug in my ear about what it would take to make parts of Buffalo golf cart friendly. Don’t laugh. I didn’t. I thought that it was a pretty interesting idea, especially when one considers the convenience, the green aspect, the parking issues, and the general charm of the golf cart. When I first considered the whole golf cart concept, I immediately thought of Larkinville. For numerous reasons, Larkinville would be the ideal place to try out this transportation initiative. But where would one even start to get the wheels rolling?

Now Toledo, Ohio is moving forward with a golf cart initiative that will see the carts and similar low-speed vehicles access to downtown streets and a couple of residential neighborhoods, according to the Associated Press and various media outlets. Criteria to operate a golf cart is an age limit of 16 years, and a valid driver’s license. The golf carts will be hitting the streets of Toledo in April.

This is the type of transportation advancement that will add a hip factor to Toledo. Not everyone wants to drive a car, or ride a bike. Why can’t there be an alternative mode of travel, such as an electric golf cart? Just because it’s not currently a standard mode of transportation, doesn’t mean that it’s not a good idea for some cities the size of Toledo… and Buffalo.

I would like to offer up my neighborhood as a test case for a future initiative.

Photo: Alvimann

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

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  • BufChester

    But can you be an Uber driver with your golf cart?

    • armyof100clowns

      I believe you need to go with their lesser known rival, Unter . . . but that service is only for knaves.

  • Wally Balls

    Its illegal in Toledo for women to wear patent leather shoes, so men cannot see the reflection of their underwear. This is one area where Buffalo is ahead of the game.

  • Jamnjazzz

    I think they are called Smart Cars around here…

  • Mytwocents

    Good idea, until a car and golf cart get into an accident and the person/people in the golf cart die or are seriously injured. There’s no safety measures in them, and there’s no way NYS or Buffalo for that matter, would ever go for this. Think of the insurance impilcations. If we can’t get Uber, what makes you think we’d get this? Newell with his head in the clouds like usual..

  • 300miles

    ” I thought that it was a pretty interesting idea, especially when one considers the convenience, the green aspect, the parking issues ”

    Wouldn’t finding a parking spot for a golf cart be the same as parking a regular car?

    • Mr. B

      “Wouldn’t finding a parking spot for a golf cart be the same as parking a regular car?”

      With the added challenge of reserving a portion of spaces for golf carts, similar to that of motorcycles.


  • Sabres00

    I have often thought of this, or go carts.

  • S Mills

    This is not legal in New York State.

    • Not true. Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV) aka electric street legal golf carts can be registered in New York. They rules are “Limited Use Vehicles” which means No Highways obviously. Those GEM Car’s that Polaris makes are what you usually see because they offer heat/defrost and doors which in Buffalo makes them more useful however many “golf cart” type products from your traditional Club Car or Ingersoll may also qualify as long as they meet the Federal NEV spec.

  • OldFirstWard

    Please, don’t feed the millennials.

  • Johnny Pizza

    If an article written by Newell contains “why not…..” or “how about…..” you can basically guarantee that he will overlook the dozen or more issues that arise with his simple question of “why not” or “how about”. This is another one.
    What about insurance? What about weather? What about golf cart drivers helping to pay for the roads they’re using? What about safety? What about lack of safety features (turn signals, lights)? What about lack of seat belts?

    • Mr. B

      Reminiscent of the times Newell asked why there was not retail/foodservice space in front of Jackson Federal Courthouse . . . or why there isn’t a dog run inside Forest Lawn . . . or why bus shelters had to stand out so much . . .


  • BushwackJack

    How about mini bikes?

    • Dotsie Watson

      Buffalo are hard to saddle up.

  • Mr. B

    “Not everyone wants to drive a car, or ride a bike. Why can’t there be an
    alternative mode of travel, such as an electric golf cart?”

    There is: its called WALKING.


    • Josh Robinson

      Or motorcycles/scooters, which Newell seems to not be aware of based on this article.

      • mightyNiagara

        You are aware Newell owns a scooter

  • G Orty

    “I would like to offer up my neighborhood as a test case for a future initiative.”

    NN speaks for all his neighbors and the people driving around them.

  • Matt Marcinkiewicz

    never thought I’d see the day when Toledo, Ohio was in the vanguard of anything, even something as trivial as this

  • mightyNiagara

    Clearly, Newell you don’t hang out around the lower west side. Laws have no affect on what people drive and in what direction on the street

  • We do allow them. It is a Federal law called NEV “Neighborhood Electric Vehicle” and eligible electric “golf carts” can be registered and used on any street in New York as long as they have basic equipment to be registered as a “Limited Use Vehicle” many Club Car and Ingersol Rand “golf carts” qualify along with the slightly more upgraded GEM by Polaris. So if you want one in Larkinville…. buy it and register it and drive it there.

  • MrGreenJeans

    “I would like to offer up my neighborhood as a test case”…

    You “offer up” YOUR neighborhood? It’s yours to offer? Did you ask all the the rest of your neighbors, or are you so arrogant that you know they will agree with you?

    WNY drivers are aggressive, pushy, nasty and selfish – only ‘ Massholes’ are worse (I swear), in our part of the nation. When I am coming home from The East, I don’t even need to see the signs to know I’m approaching Buffalo, because the drivers on Da Truway start weaving in and out, trying to go as far over the speed limit as possible. Buffalo drivers seem to know only 2 speeds: “Park” and “Foot On Floor”. With idiots blasting down my little West Side street at 40mph and MUCH faster. even though there’s a Stop sign at either end, it is guaranteed they will kill people in glorified golf-carts slowly plugging along.

    Buffalo does not need Third World ‘sweatshops-on-wheels’ such as “Uber” or “Lyft” or idiot tricks with golf carts, which would be about as safe as an Amish buggy on a rural road in the dark. What we need, if we are to have the “Renaissance” being prematurely touted lately, is a reliable public transport system, which runs at least 4 times more frequently than our current, pathetic excuse for a bus service. 100 years ago, over 1000 streetcars ran most of each day, with some routes running 3 to 5 minutes apart (extremely patronized routes like Main, Elmwood and Hoyt, employed 2-car trains during the rush hours)
    Local papers demonized the ‘trolley’ company from the 1890s to 1950, right through to today’s muck-raking of the NFTA, they relentlessly attacked the IRC, demanding perfect service for 5 cents, while expecting the IRC to plow, clean, and maintain every street with tracks, give free rides to children, give frequent, 24 Hour service AND pay taxes on every foot of their tracks, while also raising the pay for motormen & conductors, but still keeping the fare down to a severely devalued Nickel.

    Current, ‘trendy’ neighborhoods (Elmwood, Buff State, West of Richmond and Allentown, for instance) are already at the automobile saturation point, and cannot handle more cars thrust upon streets which were laid out around a streetcar network which finally died in 1950.

    Metro transit is the Egg, without which there cannot be the Chicken.