City approves redrawn golf cart map, restricts downtown traffic at Watula

The city of Ocala approved a redrawn golf cart map that sets additional downtown restrictions on vehicles looking to take advantage of a recently approved ordinance.

Resolution 2020-4, which provides for a golf cart map that sets restrictions to all golf cart and low speed vehicle traffic across the city, was proposed after the city adopted Golf Cart Ordinance 2020-3 on Dec. 3. The ordinance enables operation of golf carts, low speed vehicles and mini trucks on certain streets within city limits. State Roads are not designated for use by golf carts, low-speed vehicles and mini trucks.

The new Golf Cart Map sets the limits for golf cart operation at SE Watula Avenue to the west, SE 25th Avenue to the east, SR 40 to the north and SR 464 to south.

Golf Cart Map of Ocala, Florida
Resolution 2020-4 creates a new Golf Cart Map for the city of Ocala

Golf carts are allowed to park at City Hall, the Citizen Service Center and the Farmer’s Market parking lots, but are not allowed to use the city’s Parking Garage. As indicated on the Golf Cart Map, golf carts will be permitted on SE Watula Avenue between SE 4th Street and just south of Fort King Street to access these parking lots.

Council members lauded the new changes and emphasized a cautious approach in evaluating and possibly expanding the boundaries of the map.

Council President Pro-Tem Justin Grabelle indicated that although he had spoken with multiple members from the community both in favor and against the new revisions, the city needed to exercise patience in any approach.

“This is a process. This is the first time we’re doing this and we have to be smart in the steps we take and be diligent with how we expand,” said Grabelle, who represents District 5.

“I really kind of view this is a pilot project in a lot of ways. Let’s do it right here. Let’s show that it works. Let’s show that they can all get along, cars and golf carts, and play together. And then we can look at moving it into the downtown, and other areas if possible,” added Grabelle.

The city must come into compliance with the new ordinance by June 8, 2020.