Will We See More Golf Carts and ORVs on City Streets in West Michigan?
Earlier this month the City of Allegan became the latest community to allow off road vehicles (ORVs) on city streets. In such a rural community as Allegan, this allows farmers, hunters, and ORV enthusiasts to come into town and park their vehicles while fueling up at gas stations, grabbing a bite to eat, or stocking up on supplies.
Though ORVs have been allowed on county roads in Allegan since July 2021, the inclusion of the city streets won't begin until June 2022. This brings a whole new group of commerce to nearby businesses! I was curious to know, what other nearby communities also allow ORVs and golf carts on their city streets?
The Michigan Vehicle Code Act 300 of 1949 gives the authority to villages, cities, and townships with populations of less than 30,000 to pass resolutions allowing golf carts on public streets. There are numerous stipulations when operating both ORVs and golf carts on city streets including:
- Golf carts and ORVs may not drive on state trunk highway that have less than an 8 foot shoulder
- Golf carts cannot drive on a state trunk line highway or the streets of a city, village, or township during the time period from 1/2 hour before sunset to 1/2 hour after sunrise.
- A golf cart shall not be operated on a sidewalk constructed for the use of pedestrians
- A golf cart shall be operated at a speed not to exceed 15 miles per hour
In addition, crash helmets and safety belts are not required to be worn unless the local government specifically puts those regulations into place. You can find a list of Michigan communities that allow golf carts on city streets here.
In addition to Allegan, the City of Fennville approved the use of ORVs on city streets in April 2022 with hopes that it will bring more business to downtown. Fennville models their city rules after the Allegan County ordinance which says:
- ORVs shallnot be operated over 25 mph
- No person under 18 years of age may operate an ORV on city streets unless they posses a drivers license or has an ORV safety certificate and is under direct supervision of a guardian.
- No person under age 12 shall operate the ORV under any circumstance.
- The vehicle must have a lighted headlight and taillight
- Helmets are required for drivers and passengers unless the ORV has a roof and occupants are wearing safety belts
In addition to city and county roads, the Michigan DNR says:
Today, the majority of state forest roads are now open (unless posted closed) to ORV riders, providing thousands of miles of state forest roads to ride.
More details on ORV licenses and trail permit requirements can be found here.
Enjoy your adventures on the road!