Editorial: Concerns With Proposed Trolley-style Pedal Powered Tours

By / Editorials / Tuesday, 06 February 2018 00:32

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Carolina Beach Town Council will consider a request to amend the Town's Code of Ordinances during their upcoming February 13th, meeting to allow for trolley-style passenger vehicles that would offer tours in commercial and residential areas of town as well as permit their passengers to consume beer and wine during tours. (See report on page 1-A)

The proposal is to offer tours to corporate groups, birthday parties, team building events and other themes.

Several issues standout and need serious consideration before Council gives the proposal a "yes" vote.

First, traffic. Basically a large four wheel vehicle powered by 8 to 16 passengers helping to pedal with an optional motor-assist might work great on side streets, but certainly not on Lake Park Blvd. During the summer months when traffic is heavily congested along that major thoroughfare, traffic moves slowly. People already get frustrated when they're behind a slow moving golf cart, let alone 16 people pedaling a large vehicle. And the result, people getting upset and trying to switch lanes to pass. Not a good scenario in heavily congested traffic on a four lane road.

Second, 8 to 16 people pedaling along in residential areas from 7 or 8 in the morning until midnight. That might ruffle some feathers for people if the passengers are having a great time at 10pm during their "Bachelor/Bachelorette parties." (That's a potential use listed in the proposal.)  Also, might be a good idea for the Council to establish a cap on the number of pedal-powered vehicles that can operate. Currently the proposal does not speak to a limit, therefore, others could show up in mass and request the same permit and claim the Town has no established "limit". Also, at what point can a permit be revoked and for what reasons? Excessive noise? Fighting?

This amendment would open the door for someone to operate a for-hire multi-passenger motorized golf cart where passengers could consume beer and wine, perhaps a small flat screen to watch the game.

Council should brainstorm both the positives and the negatives including whether or not a mobile bar is a family friendly amenity, especially when driving around residential areas.

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