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CIVR Blog: Catalina’s car list

16 Aug 14 Sherri Cline
12:43 pm
Getting around on Catalina Island frequently involves something other than a car.

Getting around on Catalina Island frequently involves something other than a car.

In Avalon, the primary means of transportation is walking. This quaint village is ideally situated for pedestrian traffic. Shops, restaurants and the waterfront are all located within a few blocks, making your own two feet the perfect choice for getting around.

Visitors frequently comment on the prevalence of golf carts, which residents, businesses and visitors alike turn to as an alternative to walking. Their smaller size makes golf carts, or autoettes as they are known in the Avalon Municipal Code, a convenient substitute to full-size vehicles, which are out of reach for many Catalina Island residents.

In the 1980s, the State of California passed legislation making Avalon the only municipality in the state with the authority to regulate the number of vehicles permitted in city limits. That legislation has resulted in waiting list for full-size vehicles that currently translates to a several decades wait for a full-size vehicle. Each year, fewer than 10 blue residential permits are released. Permit holders must be full-time residents and if they move off the island for any reason other than school or military sevice, the permit must be surrendered. Commercial vehicles are regulated separately, but businesses must still wait for approval and justify the need.

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