Peachtree City is a fairly typical suburban city with the exception of its extensive network of golf cart paths. The city was established in 1959 as a planned community that would be constructed around a collection of six villages. Peachtree City’s location, only 31 miles south of downtown Atlanta, allowed for a large influx of commuter residents. On the weekends, residents were confined to a small suburban city with little to do. As a result, Peachtree City opened a series of recreational facilities including multiple soccer and baseball complexes, tennis courts, gymnasiums, and most importantly three golf courses.
As the city’s villages expanded, city planners decided to establish a network of golf cart paths in order to connect each village. This decision resulted in the passing of legislation in 1974 making it legal to drive golf carts on public roads. A small portion of Peachtree City’s 1974 population owned golf carts on account of golf as a major leisure time activity. However, the danger of driving golf carts near cars coupled with the growing number of households with golf carts caused city developers to begin to pave a series of paths through the city.
The public was fond of this new form of infrastructure and quickly embraced the golf cart and golf cart path as a fun and unique alternative to the automobile and roads. The favorable opinion towards golf cart paths allowed city planners to rapidly expand the network of paths. As of today, Peachtree city houses over 90 miles of paths. Nowadays it is difficult to find a neighborhood in Peachtree City that is not connected to the golf cart paths. Additionally, the number of golf carts in the city skyrocketed from a few in the 1970’s to a considerable amount in the 2000’s. By 2003, there were 9000 golf carts utilizing the golf cart paths. This number is close to almost one golf cart per household in Peachtree City.
Peachtree City adapted to the golf cart paths in a unique way. The ubiquitous use of golf carts through the city led developers to create golf cart parking lots in all different types of places. For example, McIntosh High School has its very own golf cart parking lot. Every major shopping center in the city also has golf cart parking. Even miscellaneous places such as Pup ‘n’ Suds, a pet grooming facility, and McPherson Orthodontics have their own golf cart parking lots. Additionally, Peachtree City’s police department has its own golf cart force to curb crime on the vast golf cart paths. (Their golf carts are considerably faster than normal electric golf carts too…trust me.)
Some of the city’s paths are purely scenic, encircling the city’s lakes and winding through heavily wooded areas, while others connect vital areas by means of bridges and tunnels.
While the paths are labeled “Golf Cart Paths,” they are not reserved for the exclusive use of golf carts. In fact it is common to see bikers and runners using the paths.
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