Research Underway for Golf Cart Tunnel Project

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Old 07-21-2019, 09:47 AM
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Default Research Underway for Golf Cart Tunnel Project

In recent news, the Project Wide Advisory Committee is researching potential costs for a new pilot project that aims to reduce the number of golf cart related accidents at tunnels in The Villages. The idea for the project was originally introduced by Development District 6 Supervisor Tom Griffith whose call for action was echoed by Amenity Authority Committee member John Wilcox, among others.

Based on data from the Villages Homeowners Advocates, nearly 80 percent of golf cart crashes are occuring at tunnels in The Villages. One factor contributing to these accidents may be poor lighting in the tunnels, which affects drivers visibility. Community Development District 7 Supervisor, Mark Gallo, discussed with us how the pilot project would be implemented in steps to monitor costs,

“It will start with white washing the tunnels and the new LED lights for night. If that is not good enough, the tunnels will be painted with a reflective paint similar to vehicle tunnels which reflect light to brighten it. Then if that is still not deemed good, the lights will be 24/7. So you see we are also trying to keep cost in mind to get best bang for buck and safety!”

Although this project tackles tunnel lighting, driver error is another reason for a high rate of tunnel related accidents. Gallo, who has experience teaching golf cart safety courses noticed a common trend with tunnel related accidents, “The problem stems from both speed and not using the provided mirrors at the tunnels which allow drivers to see before they both enter/exit so they don't enter blindly. Most enter way to fast cause they don't slow down to look...”

As research for the pilot project continues, drivers are reminded to practice caution when approaching tunnels, and encouraged to attend golf cart safety courses offered throughout The Villages.

Photo Credit: Don Baird
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2019, 10:42 AM
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Sounds like a great application for the dreaded speed bumps.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:46 AM
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I agree. I think many of the accidents occur because drivers do not stop at stop signs etc. Gol carts are not toys but many drive them as if they are and do not follow traffic rules. Speed bumps are a cost effective solution.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:55 AM
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Can the number of accidents be supplied to us. So a discussion can be held
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC419 View Post
I agree. I think many of the accidents occur because drivers do not stop at stop signs etc. Gol carts are not toys but many drive them as if they are and do not follow traffic rules. Speed bumps are a cost effective solution.
I agree! Yet we are taking them out and trying to figure out ways of to lower the number of golf cart accidents???
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:49 PM
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that accidents happen more frequently at tunnels is absolutely not evidence that visibility inside the tunnel is a remedy. Tunnels represent the only situation where a golf cart has to yield to a golf cart excepting the rare golf cart circle. Only if the accidents are occurring within the tunnel itself should money be spent to improving lighting within, unless the goal is simply to brighten the interior of the tunnel which may be worthy on its own merits. So CCD and PWAC please give us the data on accidents inside the tunnel not data on accidents near the tunnel.
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:58 PM
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Tunnel lighting is tricky, especially for this pre-cataract age group where glare could make things worse if not properly designed.

Tunnel-lighting checklist: A to-do list for professionals in the field | Philips Lighting
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:16 PM
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Bring back the speed bumps.
I would like to know what the supervisors know that concludes the problem is low visibility.

As a prior post suggests. How about some numbers? Incident reports? All tunnels? Some tunnels?

I for one want to know the criteria that led to low visibility as the cause in the tunnels!

Let us not allow the spending of big dollars without justification.

In my humble opinion the problem is driver recklessness. How many gate arms are down weekly/monthly?

The biggest contributor is the pedal to the metal driving attitude and not slowing down either appropriately and in too many cases not at all.

Coming from one who walks the MMP every day and has been for the past 15 years. 15 years observation/conclusion; overwhelmingly too many driving too fast for conditions!!!!!
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:36 PM
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Default This could be part of the problem

Having visited TV for the first time this past April I believe part of the problem can be traced to men (and women too) who have played plenty of golf. We have driven hundreds or even thousands of different golf carts and have never even come close to having an accident in a cart. The thing is every cart we have ever used is much much slower than TV golf carts! I would guess on any given course here in Indiana the golf carts have a governor that keeps the top speed between 6 and 10 mph. Just about all the carts in TV go twice that speed and it does take a little time to adjust. If you are like me you get there and you’re all excited to check everything out and have a great time driving around in the golf cart that is supplied for every lifestyle preview visit. You just don’t realize how fast you’re going! The first day of my visit I was tooling down a ramp leading into a tunnel that had a 90 degree turn at the bottom and I had to lock up the brakes to make the turn. I quickly realized I needed to slow down considerably which I did. Fortunately nobody was coming out of the tunnel when that happened or I might have had an accident.
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:16 PM
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Don't think the problem lies within the tunnel either. The visibility at the exit & entrance of the tunnel is the issue. In coming drivers cutting across the lane for exiting, bushes blocking the clear vision when leaving the tunnel and not being able to clearly see carts already on the path when leaving the tunnels are more the problem. At night maybe a light on the outside wall abe the tunnel top curve would be a good idea.
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:25 PM
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I will agree lighting would help, but everyone knows what their cart speed is, and the cornering effect.

You can’t fix stupid, and I drive better than all, and am not the problem in the tunnel when I enter at excessive speed.
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:52 PM
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Some of the tunnels need extensive remaking like the one under Buena Vista near Saddlebrook Recreational Center. Too narrow and not high enough. I fell like I have to duck my head every time I go into this one. Just a reaction to how low the ceiling of the tunnel is and my guess is that some golf carts are too high to use that tunnel.
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:07 PM
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How is it these same tunnels have worked effectively for the past 15-20 years?
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villagetinker View Post
Sounds like a great application for the dreaded speed bumps.
Please do not beat me up too bad!
No worries from me. It is the one place that I think small speed bumps is a good idea. Just high enough to get certain drivers to slow down without jarring the rest of us too badly.
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:58 PM
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From what I’ve seen and experienced,
people turn into tunnels to fast,
and often times will even drive right over the stop line in the opposite lane.
One time I came close to an accident, it was when another cart didn’t quite stop
when exiting the tunnel when I was about to pass the tunnel entrance.
I see improvement in lighting inside the tunnels as nice, but I don’t feel it’s a big factor in accidents

Last edited by Fredster; 07-21-2019 at 07:42 PM.
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accidents, cart, golf, project, tunnels

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