VIERA, Fla. (FOX 35 Orlando) - A new highway ramp is ruffling feathers among golf cart owners. They want the option to cross over Interstate 95, but some are questioning whether golf carts should be that close to the roadway.
Viera Boulevard's interchange with I-95 is nearing completion. Before the old overpass was demolished, golf carts could scoot across the bridge all the time. Those golf car drivers still want to be able to do that, but county officials might have to tell them no.
What many golf cart owners have long chosen to ignore, or perhaps never knew, is that it is illegal to cross over I-95 on the overpass on a golf cart. Officials said that has not been enforced, so for years, golf carts have come and gone freely. Now, because of the newly designed interchange, known as a diverging diamond interchange, crossing will be harder and enforcement could begin.
The Florida Department of Transportation said safety is the priority, and not golf cart convenience and accessibility. The News Station found a husband and wife on a golf cart who have starkly different opinions about that.
“We used it quite a bit, but now we have to drive or go someplace else,” said Richard Sass.
Sass has been in Viera for four years, enjoying retirement. He loved running errands on his cart and going out to eat with it. Richard wants officials to somehow adjust the laws or tweak the design to accommodate the carts.
“I think they should. There’s a place in Georgia, Peach Tree City they call it, they designed that city to handle golf carts, they have overpasses on the highways, they have parking spots at stores, they have geared that whole city to run golf carts,” Sass said.
But it’s not just retirees using the golf carts. Lots of school kids take them to class every morning, and for that reason, Richards wife’s Jenny thinks golf carts should not be allowed on the overpass.
“I think there’s going to be people upset with me, but I tell the truth, because I worry about the kids,” she said, counterint her husband’s view.
More than 1,000 residents have signed an online petition, trying to get the county commission to intervene on behalf golf cart owners. As of now, crossing on a cart could get you a ticket, and the state’s not budging.