The Marysville Public Affairs Committee voted to recommend new legislation this week that might add a few new vehicles to city streets.
The city is looking at the possibility of allowing low-speed vehicles, such as golf carts, utility vehicles (UTV) or similar machines, on city streets of 25 miles per hour or less. According to City Law Director Tim Aslaner, the request came from councilperson Tracy Richardson, who had heard concerns from one of her constituents. The Ohio Revised Code allows municipalities to legislate where low-speed vehicles are allowed, up to 35 miles per hour.
Aslaner said the request was originally for allowing slower vehicles on streets of 35 miles per hour or less, but Police Chief Floyd Golden had some safety concerns.
“We’re not opposed to it, there are just concerns there,” said Deputy Police Chief Bo Spain, who was speaking in Golden’s absence.
Spain said visibility and low impact protection for those smaller vehicles are two concerns the police department had.
“I think he’s okay with this,” Aslaner said. “As long as we keep them on roads of 25 miles per hour or less, I think he’s in favor of it.”
Brian Richards, of Quail Hollow Drive, expressed a desire to drive a utility vehicle on city roads. He said he’d prefer the law to apply to 35 mile per hour roads to allow residents across U.S. 33 to cross over, but understood that it might not be possible.
“If 25 is all that can be done, that will work for us individually,” he said. “People in Mill Valley and some of these outlying districts might not be able to do it.”
City Manager Terry Emery said the city is concerned about the higher chance for crashes when slower vehicles get onto higher speed roads.
“We all know it’s 35 miles per hour, but sometimes you may see people driving as fast as 40 to 45 miles per hours in those areas,” he said.
Emery said keeping slower vehicles on slower streets would likely meet the needs of most people.
“There’s quite a lot of area people can cover in and around those areas, and in some cases, if they do it the right way, they can get into the Uptown,” he said.
Richardson told Richards if the city feels the need to change the ordinance, it can be revisited later.
“I think reasonably, if you want to get this through council … the safest method is with the 25,” she said.
Aslaner said even low-speed vehicles would have to go through the same process as every other vehicle. They have to be registered, and the driver must have a valid license.
“They’d have to get a permit, they’d have to be properly titled (and) properly tagged,” he said.
Aslaner said since the Ohio Revised Code allows it, there’s nothing to prevent the city from going forward.
“We do have an inspection system in Union County, so it’s something that can be done,” he said.
The legislation will appear at a future city council meeting for final passage.
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