Let’s hope Slow Ride controversy is behind us

I was extremely critical of city of Savannah staff for pushing a proposed ordinance to ban alcohol on the Savannah Slow Ride.

I don’t know which was worse — the needless overreach to regulate exciting entrepreneurship or the apparent lack of research behind the police chief’s assertion to city council that alcohol on one of the vehicles would be a public safety threat?

Did no one check out the Nashville Pedal Tavern?

Or the Pedal Pub in Minneapolis?

Yesterday, a quorum of Savannah council members took a ride on the Slow Ride. From Lesley Conn’s Council “Slow Rides” for ordinance:

“For me, it was a question of propulsion and control, and clearly, we have no control,” Mayor Pro Tem Van Johnson said. “I’m confident in the ability of this business and its operators to run this business within the current ordinance.”

Alderwoman Mary Ellen Sprague said the ride removed any concerns she had about who controlled the vehicle, but she thinks seat belts, brake lights and more detailed rules for allowing children on board are needed. Passengers younger than 18 are allowed only with a parent or guardian and must be tall enough to reach the pedals.

Meier and Keith Snyder, Meier’s husband and co-owner, assured council they would add additional safety lighting and seat belts.

Let’s hope that this puts an end to a completely unnecessary distraction. We have real public safety issues to deal with, and — just as importantly — this new council needs to put Savannah on a course where it is considered friendlier to small businesses.