As you know the pilot program was to allow horse carriage tours in zone 4 on Holidays and 30 other days per year at the rate of 8 per hour-about 7 minutes apart. They are to use separate routes through Ansonborough to give relief to residents on Anson and George St. as well as Ansonborough in general. I also realize Dan Riccio has the power to send as many carriages as he likes as often as he chooses actually negating the 30 day provision apparently freely used. This seems unnecessary as tourists can make reservations or carriage companies can use demand pricing during peak hours rather than accommodating everyone whenever they show up.
Though not one resident from the zone is included in your weekly meetings to evaluate the pilot program(I personally met with you and expressed this need and volunteered to give feedback) and you have as well, gone to the tourism board and asked to have the program extended for 3 more months, I am going to give much needed feedback from a huge stakeholder.
Since April, I personally have called equine sanitation 3 times to have manure removed from Anson and/or George St. Twice it was not marked and once it was festering and definitely unpleasant addition to our most desired neighborhood having not been cleaned up in a timely manner. I can assure you these are not the only incidents. All was driven over and spread by car traffic. I have called at least 6 times to equine sanitation and/or tourism enforcement to have urine cleaned up-each time unmarked but always cooking and blowing in the sun and wind onto our resident’s porches. Imagine eating dinner with horse barn smells. Again there have been more I am sure. To help the program and safety of all, I have called in traffic and congestion and construction/utility work that apparently the Tourism office does not know of. Horses have been sent to the area when streets are packed or closed or blocked and 18 buses are loading and unloading or when our neighborhood is adsorbing traffic from closures on Calhoun, Meeting or E. Bay. We continue to have 2-3 carriages from Anson to Meeting on George at one time and 10 cars behind them(from one end of the block to the other). My guests/service personnel have commented about the difficulty they have getting in and out of the driveway because of this.
I have also kept a record of times Horse carriages have toured as part of the “30 days” and can provide the actual days to anyone interested. Since March 1st there have been 29 days outside of holidays. So I am wondering what is being done going forward. It appears we are back to where we started and no “over tourism” problem has been solved at all. The only difference is now they have one sided medallions that are turned to the blank side half the time(you did explain this mistake and I trust the new medallions are on their way-again a needless expense to the taxpayers). This is distressing and certainly not supportive of the tax paying residents by the Tourism office who have been paying the salaries to basically tread water. Everything points to support of the horse carriage industry and continuance of the problem despite the actions of Tourism Office. It is amazing that so much time/effort has been spent to end up the same place we started. Shannon Tilman even posts on her facebook page a huge poster that says “Keep calm and Carriage On“-actually grounds to remove her since she is hired by the city to enforce the ordinances. This one sided support will not bring about the needed changes.
One a positive note, I have not seen the caravans of 6-8 carriages in a row full of school children. And “no horses have died” as according to Councilman Moody as this is the criteria for change.
Thank you for feedback as to how resident’s’ needs are being supported by the Tourism Industry and what is going to happen in zone #4 now that the 30 days is a blink away. I really hope we are not playing the same game as with temperature change(a net gain of -1). In the business world, this sort of customer relations(residents) and negative gains would put a company out of business.