Horse Carriage Loading Zones Changing In Downtown Nashville
by Emily Luxen
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – If you are looking to experience a horse-drawn carriage ride in downtown Nashville there are changes you should know about.
Metro's Traffic and Parking Commission approved an ordinance that will now require the carriages to load and unload on 1st Avenue in front of Riverfront Park, rather than on Broadway where drivers currently pick up customers.
"If we can help move traffic better, and if we can have functions spread out a little more it will be safer and better for everyone," said Billy Fields, Director of Metro's Transportation Licensing Commission.
However, the owners of some of the carriage companies aren't happy. They argued the new location will hurt business because there is less visibility and foot traffic.
"What we have works for us," said Sara Beth Williams, Owner of Cumberland Carriage Tours. "We get people coming off of 2nd Avenue and they come right to us. I feel like I've been stabbed in the back."
Williams said loading and unloading in front of Riverfront Park may cause additional problems. The noise from the flags may startle the horses, and the street is often shut down due to large events.
"This is our livelihood," said Williams. "I'm concerned."
Fields maintained the change is not intended to hurt the carriage companies, but rather to help them, and make the downtown area better for everyone.
"I think when everything is said and done we're going have a better place for them to operate," said Fields. "There will be more room for them to operate, and they will operate in a safer manner."
Fields said the city is also considering allowing the carriages to take customers to other areas of downtown, rather than just follow a set route. However, no plans have been finalized.
The date is not set for when the carriages will load and unload on 1st Avenue. Metro officials are still finalizing details.