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Vehicles banned on city park paths in Dardenne Prairie

Dardenne Prairie’s rules just became more explicit about running golf carts and other motorized vehicles on walking and bicycle paths in its city parks – they aren’t allowed.

The city’s Board of Aldermen approved a bill at its July 6 meeting modifying the existing city code governing the operation of a variety of vehicles in city parks and prohibiting their operation on trail paths in three city parks. The bill also authorizes the city to impound the vehicles under certain circumstances.

The board took the action after receiving “numerous complaints” about golf carts, motorized bicycles and scooters being operated on paths at Barethaven and Bluebird Meadow parks, near Henning Road, according to a memorandum from Mayor David Zucker.

Those parks include trails developed by Great Rivers Greenway, a nonprofit agency developing a trail and park system throughout the greater St. Louis area.

“The existing municipal code appears to declare such activity as an offense, however in some circumstances, in my opinion, the language should be more explicit,” the memo states.

Zucker’s memo states that the city will get better enforcement and “when possible, the impoundment of golf carts and other motorized vehicles, to encourage better behavior.” The provisions would apply to the city park adjacent to city hall along with Barathaven and Bluebird Meadows parks.

The new ordinance says it is unlawful to drive an all-terrain vehicle, golf cart, motorcycle, three-wheeled motor tricycles, motorized bicycles, play vehicles and scooters, pocket bikes, recreational off-highway vehicles, utility or other vehicles when the park is closed or on all walking and bike trails.

The ordinance exempts motorized wheelchairs operated by individuals with disabilities. The bill also prohibits operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license or under age 17.

The city can impound any abandoned vehicle. The ordinance states that drivers must follow instructions from city employees or police directing traffic and that the speed limit for vehicles in the park is 15 miles per hour.

Zucker said city officials think the golf carts and motorized bikes and scooters are being used by young drivers. Impounding the vehicles may get the attention of parents, he said.

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