BRIDGEWATER — Some changes could be coming to Bridgewater relating to the use of golf carts on town streets in order to comply with state law.
Town Manager Jay Litten told Town Council members Tuesday that Police Chief Joe Simmons has asked that the town remove the “legal vagueness” relating to golf carts in the town, adding that “a legal decision needs to be made by the town.”
“We have drafted a proposal which would legalize golf cart usage on most town streets, in accord with state law,” Litten said in his staff report.
According to the Code of Virginia, a golf cart or utility vehicle may be operated only on designated public highways where the posted speed limit is 25 mph or less.
“The vast majority of our streets carry a speed limit of 30 miles per hour,” Litten said. “Under state law, golf carts are not generally allowed on streets with speed limits greater than 25. Therefore, we need to lower speed limits.”
Litten told Town Council members that he and Simmons can alter individual speed limits, but they can not alter the default speed limit in the town code. Before lowering the speed limits, a traffic and engineering study will need to be conducted using traffic data collected by the new police speed trailer.
“We hope to have everything packaged up by next month so you can alter the speed limit and provide for golf carts on most of our streets, if you so desire,” Litten said.
In relation to traffic, Barbara Penny, a Bridgewater resident for 16 years, asked Town Council members during the public comment period to consider looking into placing flashing speed signs along Oakwood Drive.
Penny, who lives off of Oakwood Drive, said drivers have been speeding along the road, sometimes reaching 50 mph. When drivers enter Oakwood Drive off of North Main Street, they accelerate to go up the hill and then continue to speed down the hill.
Due to traffic going along Oakwood Drive, Penny referred to the road as the “Bridgewater bypass.”
In other business, Town Council approved a resolution expressing the town’s urgency in finding a new pharmacy to serve residents.
Bridgewater Pharmacy closed its doors Wednesday after nearly 22 years in business.
Litten said the search for a new pharmacy was a “matter of dire need for our citizens.”