City takes aim at the Savannah Slow Ride, again

Why are city of Savannah staff pushing for regulation of the Savannah Slow Ride? Do they enjoy the bad PR? Do they understand that the apparently needless regulation reinforces all the worst stereotypes about the city bureaucracy’s unfriendliness to small business? Are they just trying to set the city up for a messy and expensive lawsuit?

From Lesley Conn’s City Council will review Slow Ride rules in April:

A revised ordinance calls for cutting Savannah Slow Ride’s quadracycle boundaries roughly in half. City Council had been scheduled to vote on the revision last week, but discussion and a vote was postponed to April 5.

The vehicles would not be allowed west of Montgomery Street, south of Charlton or east of Bull Street. The previous ordinance gave boundaries of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Gaston and East Broad streets.

That puts Savannah Slow Ride’s headquarters, at Wayne and Montgomery, as well as its usual starting point, the Crystal Beer Parlor at Jones and Jefferson, outside the revised boundaries.

And why is it necessary to take these steps that could threaten the business’ livelihood?

From the article:

Sean Brandon, the city’s director of mobility and parking services, said the city is trying to keep the quadracycles from operating in heavily residential areas. Even within accepted boundaries, he said, the vehicles might be restricted from traveling certain streets or squares. Chippewa Square, for example, already is experiencing such heavy southbound traffic from touring vehicles that Slow Ride could be asked to enter the square northbound only.

Brandon said his office had received “few, if any complaints” about the quadracylces. Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Willie Lovett said his department has not had any complaints of accidents or violations, and [1st District Alderman Van] Johnson said he has not received any complaints.

Well, were there “few” or “any” complaints? It can’t be both, and it’s kind of important.

To Johnson’s credit, he seems reluctant to do anything to place limits on the Slow Ride that do not apply to other tours. Good for him.

I’ve written about this issue here and here.

If you’re new to this issue, you can get a good sense from this news report about the Pedal Pub in Minneapolis:

I was sure hoping this whole issue was behind us, but I’ll be getting in touch with city staff next week to find out the genesis of this whole issue.

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