Tyler Police Department says it will be ramping up enforcement on unauthorized use of golf carts on the city streets.
The department said in a press release the move was in response to ongoing safety concerns and complaints about the use of golf carts on public roadways.
There are three major golf courses in Tyler at the Willow Brook Country Club on West Erwin Street, the Cascades Golf and Country Club on Briarwood Road, and Hollytree Country Club on Hollytree Drive.
The police department says golf carts are considered motor vehicles under Texas traffic laws that are legal when driven by a licensed driver during daytime hours on a street with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less.
Additionally, the golf cart must be used for transportation to and from the golf course and not be operated more than 2 miles from where the golf cart is parked, such as at a person’s home.
“Individuals are criminally and civilly responsible for the operation of golf carts on public (city) roadways in violation of state law, or permitting juveniles to violate this law,” the police department said in a news release.
“Anyone who is a minor and does not have a driver’s license will be issued a citation for operating a motor vehicle without a license,” the news release said. “This may later complicate the process of getting a driver’s license when applying through the Department of Public Safety.”
Don Martin, the spokesman for the Tyler Police Department, said police started working with golf communities in June 2017 to address the illegal operation of golf carts on city streets.
“The problem is that a lot of adults are allowing their kids to, ‘Hey take the golf cart and go down to the pool,’ or go down to their friend’s house, and that’s illegal,” Martin said.
“It’s no different from me giving my keys to my 15-year-old kid that doesn’t have a driver’s license and saying, ‘Hey go down the street and get a loaf of bread,’” he said.
“We’re at the point where we’re going to say now, ‘OK, you’ve had two years to comply and now we’re going to start issuing citations,’” Martin said.
In recent months, residents of the Hollytree subdivision have complained about development proposals on hundreds of acres nearby in part because of concerns about traffic safety in the upscale golf community.
At a City Council meeting in April, Mayor Martin Heines told John Hart, the president of the Hollytree Homeowners Association, that he too was concerned about the use of golf carts on public streets and would like to work with the group on the issue.
On Tuesday, Hart said he has looked into installing combination crosswalk and traffic signal system, similar to what is used near the University of Texas at Tyler, but said they were too expensive for the association to build. He asked for the city to help with funding.
Hart said in an interview Thursday that the homeowners association has discussed the issue over the years, but hasn’t taken action because of the amount of pushback it received. He said he personally supports more enforcement, but can’t speak for the board.
“There are golf carts all over Hollytree with five, six kids riding on them, and there’s going to be an accident, and when that happens, it’s going to be a big problem in the community,” Hart said.
He said the homeowners association was not involved in the police department’s announcement.
TWITTER and INSTAGRAM: @_erinmansfield
The Gladewater Round-Up Rodeo began Wednesday and will continue nightly through Saturday.
Gates open at 6 p.m. each night, with rodeo action starting at 8:15 p.m. at the Gladewater Rodeo Arena off U.S. Highway 80 in Gladewater. Mutton Bustin’ and a Calf Scramble will be held each night.
Tickets cost $16 for adults and $8 for children ages 12 and younger. Children 2 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at GladewaterRodeo.com.
Also, the Handicapable Rodeo, for children with disabilities, is scheduled to start at 9 a.m Saturday.
The public weighed in on the plans for Toll 49 in Smith County during a workshop this week.
The North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority hosted the Tuesday event as part of a study exploring route options to extend Toll 49 north from Texas Highway 110 South to U.S. Highway 271, near Interstate 20. Attendees could come and go to view information and maps set up around the Chapel Hill High School gym and ask questions to Toll 49 project team members.
The workshop presented information on six proposed routes that were drawn based on over 50 routes suggested by the public during a Dec. 11 workshop, said Andy Atlas, Toll 49 feasibility study project manager.
“We want to follow a transparent, open public involvement process where people’s concerns are heard and listened to,” Atlas said.
The feasibility study is planned to conclude in the fall and will narrow the six proposed routes down to three based on the public’s feedback, he said. Those routes will then be carried forward to a federal environmental impact statement (EIS) as the next step of a process that’s still in the early stages.
“We’ll have a public hearing at the end of the process that we anticipate taking approximately two-and-a-half years once we start the EIS process,” Atlas said.
Construction and purchasing right-of-way is projected more than three years away and is dependent on the EIS and obtaining funding.
Laptops were available for workshop attendees to use Google Earth to see where the proposed routes fell in relation to their homes and surrounding areas.
“It would take out my house,” Calista Moore, 60, said of the two westernmost routes.
She hopes the Toll 49 plans move forward on the easternmost routes but said she understands people with homes in those areas may hold concerns similar to hers.
“I think they’ll take into consideration everybody’s comments, and hopefully they’ll come to a solution that is going to harm the least amount of people and property,” Moore said. “That’s my wish.”
Many attendees visited tables with enlarged maps of the proposed routes and could leave notes directly on them with a marker. Stephen Hall, 54, lives in Tyler and owns other property that falls along the proposed routes.
“I put a sticky note on there that said several of these terminate at Highway 271, and 271 already has some very heavy traffic on it,” he said. “And I feel like that would increase the traffic a good bit.”
Hall was surprised and pleased with the feedback opportunities the workshop provided.
“I think it’s a good process to involve the community like this,” he said. “I’ve heard people whose houses were almost adjacent to some of the proposed routes, and I think it’s important that their voice be heard.”
The workshop’s maps and information can also be found at netrma.org/projects/segment-6 where people still can fill out a survey and leave comments. Submissions by June 19 will be part of the workshop’s official record.
Eighteen live events were announced Thursday for the 2019-2020 season for the University of Texas at Tyler Cowan Center.
The events range from Broadway musicals and acrobatics to concerts and guest speakers and will take place between September 2019 and April 2020.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled about the diverse lineup we have planned for the upcoming season,” Cowan Center Executive Director Susan Thomae-Morphew said in a news release.
As part of the Broadway Series, “Jersey Boys” and “The Color Purple” as well as the national tours of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” and “Bandstand” will come to stage.
“We’re also ecstatic to welcome both Laura Ingraham and Carly Fiorina to our Distinguished Lecture Series, which are sure to both be incredible evenings,” Thomae-Morphew said in a news release.
The Braithwaite Intimate Gatherings Series will feature musical performances by The Pointer Sisters, Martina McBride and Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo.
Season ticket orders for all series begins 9 a.m. Monday. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Cowan Center box office at 903-566-7424 or visiting in person 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit cowancenter.org for more information.
Cowan Center Schedule
n Jersey Boys, Oct. 28
n Bandstand, Nov. 7
n The Color Purple, Nov. 18
n Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, March 26
Performing Arts Series
n DIAVOLO Architecture in Motion, Sept. 26
n Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical, Oct. 22
n STOMP, Feb. 6
n Cirque Eloize Hotel, Feb. 29
n Menopause the Musical, April 2
Braithwaite Intimate Gatherings Series
n Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Sept. 10
n Martina McBride, Dec. 3
n Rita Moreno, Jan. 30
n The Pointer Sisters, Feb. 20
n Distinguished Lecture Series
n Laura Ingraham, Oct. 10
n Carly Fiorina, April 14
Arts in Education
n DIAVOLO Architecture in Motion, Sept. 26
n The Little Mermaid, Nov. 14
n Cuentos by David Gonzales, Feb. 27