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Council, staff looking into man’s request to use golf cart as ‘modified disability vehicle’

By Staff | Jun 17, 2010

Cape Coral City Council is considering a resolution that would give one disabled man the use of his golf cart on public sidewalks.
Anthony Ordino of Southeast 2nd Avenue petitioned council Monday for the special privilege.
Council directed staff to come up with a resolution to address Ordino’s needs, but is carefully trying to traverse state law that says a golf cart is not classified as transportation for impaired individuals.
Councilmember Kevin McGrail, who lives in the same neighborhood as Ordino, said the resolution needs to clearly define what his mode of transportation is.
Identifying Ordino’s cart as a “modified disability vehicle,” McGrail said, would help to bridge state law, and keep other people off the street in their own golf cart.
“We don’t want to open it up for everyone with a golf cart,” McGrail said.
Ordino said his cart has all the necessary amenities — head and tail lights, turn signals and rear view mirror — to make it safe to operate on the sidewalk.
Ordino said he simply wants to be able to cross Santa Barbara Boulevard to visit the Lake Kennedy Senior Center, and to cross Hancock Bridge Parkway to get a cup of coffee and McDonald’s, and his medicine from Walgreens.
He insists his method of transportation is a “mobility cart and not a golf cart.”
He said his size and weight had previously broken six mobility carts, and his insurance company said he needed the golf cart.
“I didn’t see where it was that big of a deal … if it were a regular wheelchair, I could cross anywhere,” Ordino said. “Because of my size they have a problem. They’re trying to waive my rights and that’s not fair.”
City spokeswoman Connie Barron said the city attorney’s office is preparing the resolution for council’s approval when it returns from the hiatus in mid July.
Deputy Police Chief Jay Murphy told council members at their meeting this week that they should keep in mind people with golf carts might want the same privilege.
Barron said the city attorney’s office is working to address those concerns in the resolution.
“There are some things that have to be resolved with the city attorney’s office,” she said.