SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - On Tuesday, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson put a halt to a proposal to yet again extend routes for quadricycles in Savannah.
Several downtown Savannah residents and owners met with the mayor and other city leaders to discuss this proposal and other quality of life issues facing those who live and work downtown.
In his press conference on Tuesday, the mayor said he didn’t know the route proposal was being considered. Then, after speaking with city staff, that proposal was halted.
Downtown residents say the latest attempt to alter the quadricycle route boundaries stemmed from a plea from McDonough’s, claiming they’ve lost revenue since the routes were pulled from Chippewa Square.
In recent years, there’s been some pushback from downtown residents about having the quadricycles pass by their homes, citing noise as one major issue, something several of the companies that operate the vehicles have said they’ve tried to address. Those who live and work downtown say it’s hard to get work done when these bikes full of people pass their office. They also said this shines a spotlight on the lack of communication between the tourism industry, city officials, and downtown residents.
“The problem is we have to balance quality of life. We’re a living, breathing, authentic city. We love Disney World but we don’t want to live in Disney World. We don’t want to be Bourbon Street. And by having these slow rides with a bunch of drunk patrons that are yelling and screaming and singing with music amplified - that’s not being a good neighbor. The hospitality association and Michael Owens needs to start respecting the residents of our community,” said Greg Parker, longtime downtown resident and Founder/CEO of Parker’s.
Mayor Johnson also said these conversations need to continue.
“This is an opportunity for us, good dialogue with the neighbors about how we can better communicate with them and create a citizens committee to work directly with the city on issues of quality of life,” he said.
WTOC will keep you updated on any future quadricycle proposals.