NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s been a hot debate for years, and now, new regulations are coming for party vehicles.
Dozens of downtown business owners and residents voiced their concerns and suggestions on the rules at a more than three-hour Metro Transportation Licensing Commission meeting Thursday. The meeting was at capacity with voices on both sides of the debate.
“Let me be clear, there is no neighborhood in Nashville that wants party buses,” proclaimed Tom Turner of the Nashville Downtown Partnership.
The noise, the hours of operations and the traffic flow are all concerns to those in the downtown district — the area that’s been impacted most by parties on wheels.
“They really devolve the quality of life downtown. They are not safe, they increase congestion, they have no standard or concern rather it’s day or night. There are no regulations. They will operate whenever someone will pay them to operate so that has a serious impact,” Turner explained.
From the businesses to the 78,000 employees downtown and 15,000 residents, it’s a battle Turner faces head-on himself, and he has heard the complaints.
“From a neighborhood perspective, from residents here, from employees and businesses no they are not wanted here,” Turner stated.
He hopes new and enforced regulations will enhance the safeness and attractiveness of one of the country’s hottest party spots.
“I think there are a lot of simple rules that could come into play,” said Turner.
More than 40 people voiced opinions at the meeting. Party buses are how Parris McKinney makes a living.
“Everything they are trying to present right now we already been doing,” he told News 2.
Slowly but surely, the buses have been hit with regulations since an ordinance passed in October.
”Having regulations, I’m fine with it. Keeping us enclosed, I’m fine with it. The insurance premium, I’m fine with it,” said McKinney.
It’s the alcohol restrictions that he says are not fine.
“Right now, the alcohol level is 8%, that’s more like your seltzers and beer. I would like to have alcohol back as we did before,” he explained.
Turner points to Pedal Taverns as setting good examples of what should come.
“They don’t operate during rush hour, they don’t operate after 10 o’clock and they work to improve the quality of life in their neighborhood, they’ve cut down on the noise, they’ve changed their routes so I think they’ve taken a very respectful approach.”
The discussion regarding rules and regulations on party vehicles, including designated routes, will continue at the group’s upcoming May 26 meeting.