DISCOMBOBULATED?

CHANGES IN OCEAN REEF CART PATHS

by Joan Birsh

Last spring when I arrived at my summer home in Cape May NJ, I discovered the street I traveled to my Zumba class had become “one way”– and not my way.

Admittedly I was discombobulated but only briefly. I  was directed to a better, quicker and more efficient road, that is now my route and I’m comfortable with it.

I’m sharing this story because at Ocean Reef there are some changes in the cart paths that run along Marina Drive and Gatehouse Road.  Granted these changes are going to take some getting used to. George Williams, who has been a Club member for decades, has already voiced concern that the new cart paths might prove to be confusing to drivers unfamiliar with the changed routes.

ORCA anticipated a few discombobulated cart drivers (like George and me) and they are addressing the problem with (1) special signage, (2) Public Safety Officers at intersections and (3) an explanation of what we should expect.

WHAT TO EXPECT

What follows is a little personal research (done with the accompanying map) that I hope will help others to understand the cart path changes.

(A)   Let’s say I want to go to Fishing Village from my house in the Harbor area of Ocean Reef. 

I get on the cart path (like always) that begins approximately at the first hole of the Harbor Golf Course and continues as it always did just past the Water Garden.   

But then it changes. It becomes ONE WAY and it has been repaved with a dividing stripe separating cart traffic from joggers and walkers.  It staysONE WAY in the direction of Fishing Village, which is good since that is my destination.

(B) I want to go from Fishing Village to Marina Village, the Inn, or Buccaneer Point.

I take the cart paththat goes out of Fishing Village and turns right towards Ocean Drive. It is now ONE WAY and it has been repaved with a dividing stripe separating cart traffic from joggers and walkers.

(C) Now suppose I’m at the Business Center for an ORCA meeting, or at the Town Hall and I want to head home. 

I pick up the brand new ONE WAY cart path. It is on the north side of Marina Drive and continues on Marina Drive to the Water Garden. I carefully cross over to my old two way path, and, if I follow the speed limit (which, of course, I will), I’ll be home in no time.

WHY BOTHER?

The decision to make these changes in the cart paths was not done casually. ORCA’s ongoing research of the Ocean Reef traffic patterns made it clear that something had to be done to alleviate the congestion in the Marina Drive area and to prevent further accidents. (Public Safety reports that one third of all accidents occurred on Marina Drive.)

So ORCA is now directing all drivers of slow carts with a max of 17 mph  to “go with the flow” on the new cart paths. (Fast carts are encouraged to always use the roads, not cart paths.)

Based on personal experience I can promise you that in no time at all you will appreciate these changes and be so comfortable with them that, if you were, you will never again feel discombobulated.