There’s a new way to get around the French Quarter, and it’s starting to stir up trouble.
Golf carts for hire, often decked out with leather seats or eye-catching colors and with room for six or eight passengers, have become a regular feature of downtown New Orleans, zipping along bumpy streets, lined up outside events and occasionally parked on sidewalks.
Over the past year, according to denizens of the city’s downtown neighborhoods, they’ve joined the ranks of pedicabs and ride-hailing services as a popular way for tourists to get around.
“I see them all the time, multiple times a shift,” said Nikki Stroebel, a pedicab driver.
The carts are unpermitted — the city does not currently give out commercial licenses to transport people around New Orleans this way — so it’s not clear how many drivers are currently offering rides. But in recent months, their popularity has attracted the attention of local officials, and Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration may be about to put a stop to the party.
According to state law, golf carts— whether for commercial or personal use — are only allowed in designated areas like golf courses, where signs are posted indicating their permitted use. And officials say the rising violations have gotten out of hand.
According to a statement from Department of Public Works officials, there is no official estimate of the number of…