Council OKs golf cart zone around college

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WALLA WALLA -- The City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved allowing golf carts on the streets surrounding Whitman College.

The request for the golf cart zone came from Whitman College administrators who said they will use the carts to do maintenance work, carry sports equipment, transport injured players and occasional carry visitors.

"We use them to shuttle elderly alumni when they are back visiting," college Chief Financial Officer Peter Harvey said, adding that maintenance crews will be the greatest source of golf cart traffic through the neighborhood streets.

The zone will go into effect June 1; the perimeter will extend roughly from Alder to the south, Palouse to west, Sumach to the north and Clinton to the east.

Any person with a valid driver's license will be able to operate a golf cart in the zone, but the carts must be equipped with brake lights, turn signals and headlights, if operating at night.

While the north, west and south boundaries of the zone all contain numerous Whitman College facilities nearby, the reason for extending the northeastern boundary to Figueroa and Clinton was so grounds crews can service the Whitman College president's house.

"We are trying to get to the president's house over on Clinton ... for doing yard work and that kind of stuff," Harvey said.

Golfers who reside in the zone might also come out with a new perk, but only if they will be allowed to connect to Par 72 Drive, the last street that leads up to Veterans Municipal Golf Course.

Once at Borleske Stadium, the golfer in a cart would be able to drive though the underpass.

The question remains whether golf carts will be allowed to legally travel the last stretch of the street, which is owned by the city, to reach Par 72 Drive.

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