2005-05-13 / News

Islanders’ Comments on Luggage Carts

By June 1, people and businesses will no longer be able to hand-push luggage carts on city streets. City council banned the practice by a vote of 4-3 at its meeting Wednesday, May 11.
By June 1, people and businesses will no longer be able to hand-push luggage carts on city streets. City council banned the practice by a vote of 4-3 at its meeting Wednesday, May 11. Comments made during the many meetings held to discuss the city’s proposal for a new ordinance on the restrictive use of luggage carts:

“The (mayor-appointed ad hoc) committee’s goal is to prohibit luggage carts from being hand-pushed, as smaller carts would be more appropriate for personal use than luggage carts. Its other intent is to eliminate any hand-pushed carts for freight operations. That’s the largest complaint.”

–– Tom Evashevski, City of Mackinac Island attorney

“The (existing) ordinance created is a right on behalf of the city to impound these carts and charge a fee prior to the release of the same. I am told that after 10 years, the problem has only gotten worse.”

–– Tom Evashevski

“Seems to me, just sitting here, that probably 90 percent of this audience, in one form or another, does not like this new ordinance. You people are elected officials; you should listen to us. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

–– Tom Pfeiffelmann, Star Line General Manager

“One reason that has precipitated this ordinance is unattended luggage carts on the streets. If you look down the streets, you’ll see luggage carts unattended.”

–– Margaret Doud, Island Mayor and owner of Windermere Hotel

“Unattended (luggage) carts are an ongoing problem and have been since day one and it continues to this moment. The irresponsible people in most cases are dockporters; let’s be real. They unload the cart, go into the hotel, and they’re gone for 40 to 50 minutes. The streets are too congested for these carts to be left unattended for an hour or half a day.”

–– Joe Plaza, owner of Arrowhead Carriages

“When the plan for luggage carts was first presented to Council, it was strictly for luggage. What has happened now, it has evolved into freight. It was never intended to be for freight, it was intended to be for luggage. That’s why we’re here today.” –– Mayor Margaret Doud

“It sounds like you’re taking an annoying fly and using a sledge hammer to get rid of it.” –– Marti Carey, owner of Cloghaun Inn

“I say don’t put in another ordinance if you’re not enforcing existing ones. The city can fine us for leaving carts unattended, so fine us.” –– Tom Pfeiffelmann

“We lose a lot of carts that are hand-pushed by people. They are only designed to go on and off the boats. I think this draft places a safeguard for the traffic on the streets.” –– Bob Brown, Arnold Transit General Manager

“I’m a real supporter of horses on Mackinac Island, but not to the detriment to our perishable foods.” –– Becki Barnwell, Iroquois Hotel on the Beach General Manager

“When people come to the Island, they look for the horses. We use horses for everything. I am a tourist attraction; people like seeing me riding down the road with my horses. They don’t want to see a bunch of people pushing carts down the road.” –– Jim Pettit, teamster for Mackinac Island Service Company

“This ordinance is a preemptive measure, because right now there is nothing to stop 20 different hand-pushed freight delivery companies from flooding our streets. I’m certainly not for banning carts from Mackinac Island, considering I use them for my business on almost a daily basis.” –– Jason St. Onge, City Alderman and owner of St. Onge Latex & Groove

“We got over 200,000 less people coming here now and we’re doing a hell of a good job of cutting that down some more because we’re not going to be able to give them service.” –– Tom Pfeiffelmann

“The subject came up time and time again. Even with the ordinances we have in place, there are more carts out there now than ever before.” –– Tom Evashevski

“The first I heard of this ordinance was in the Town Crier . I’ve lived here all my life and I know that when the city wants to get something done, unfortunately, they do it in the winter,” when many of the Island’s business owners are away for the season. –– Ron Dufina, co-owner of Village Inn, Balsam Shop, and Pontiac Lodge

“We never intended to restrict Shepler’s freight operations with this ordinance, other than not allowing freight to be hauled by luggage carts pushed by hand, but that goes for everyone, not just Shepler’s.” –– Tom Evashevski

“This is not an easy subject. This has been very, very difficult. These seats up here are not easy jobs. It’s easy enough to sit in the audience. But get up here and try to please everybody and it can’t be done.” –– Mayor Margaret Doud

“This ordinance forces people to deal with a monopoly.” –– Brian Bloswick, owner of Brian’s Barbecue

“This is not my deal but I will respond to this any way I can. We will respond to what you folks want, not what we want.” –– Dr. Bill Chambers, Mackinac Island Service Company

“I think anyone should be able to move what they want and I know there’s more efficient and cheaper ways to deliver than by using horses and drays, but [city officials] are protecting a great service to our Island.” –– Jim Pettit

“Our intent was going back to the luggage carts being used for luggage. What did we do before we had luggage carts? They went on drays. Luggage carts came and it evolved into hauling freight. I knew this was going to happen.” –– Mayor Margaret Doud

“I’m asking that if motor vehicles are still roaming around, if there’s extensions to motor vehicles, if there’s construction going on in the street, it seems to me there’s no reason why we can’t push a cart while all these things are being allowed to happen.” –– Mary Dufina

“The horse and buggy tradition is the way of life we present to the public. The less we live that way, the bigger the lie we are telling to the public. As far as I am concerned, if the businesses say the hell with that, then I will say the hell with that.” –– Michael Hart, City Alderman and Arnold Transit dockmaster

“Why can’t anybody, even if they’re a freight hauler, haul something with a personal cart? If the problem is luggage carts, and a personal cart is fine for anybody to use, why can’t a freight hauler use it? I don’t understand the reason.” –– Jack Landres, owner of Lilacs and Lace

“I understand luggage carts can be a pain, but this ordinance, the way it’s written, reaches too far. We’re trying to get a grasp on regulating carts, but this is a bit over the top. We have ordinances in the book already that can deal with this problem. We just need to enforce them more.” –– Brian Bloswick

“People don’t come to Mackinac Island to buy hamburgers. People come here to see our way of life, the horse and buggy tradition. We’re cheating them.” –– Michael Hart

“In the old days, we handled the luggage without them being pushed around, we also had drays that would take care of the luggage. I know we’re busier now than we used to be in the older days, but I don’t think we had the problems we’re having today.” –– Mayor Margaret Doud

“This whole concept of this ordinance is ill-conceived. This new ordinance will cause nothing more than more confusion on Main Street. This will cause more delay on product deliveries; it will cause more costs for Island products. I would strongly suggest the council would look at the community that this ordinance affects.” –– Bill Shepler, owner of Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry

“I’m disappointed. I believe these amendments that have been passed are confusing, that they are going to require many exceptions, and that they are going to add other vehicles to the traffic flow of the streets. It’s going to hurt a large majority of the people.” –– Mary Dufina

“We will do the best we can. I don’t think anybody up here is saying this is something cast in stone. It is something that we will work with. We will work with the people. I think we have to start someplace and then see how it goes. If we need to come back to the drawing board we’ll come back to the drawing board. We’re not afraid to do that. But I think with all the work that has gone into this, we have to start someplace.” –– Mayor Margaret Doud

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