Chances of the Ride the Ducks tours rolling through New Orleans are now extra slim after City Council's decision last week put the kibosh on these amphibious vehicles operating in districts A or C, which includes the French Quarter. The ban isn't city-wide but a Team Duck Boat attorney told The Advocate, "...banning these tours in districts A and C bans this business from the city of New Orleans." The plan was for the tours to start at the Toulouse Street wharf in the Quarter where
tourists passengers would go for a ride down Canal Street and end up at the Bonnabel boat launch where the WWII-era vehicle would dip into Lake Pontchartrain.
Neighborhood beef made an appearance when Quarterites weren't thrilled with another large vehicle possibly clogging the already-packed streets. Other issues were concerned with the "ducks" not fitting in with the "unique character" of the historic district, safety risks, and the tours being an invitation to more "novelty vehicles" in the French Quarter. Ride the Ducks defense noted that their vehicles are safer than the Quarter-approved low-riding two passenger "cruisers" and Segways and that no music, amplified narration, not even the standard "quacking" through the provided plastic souvenirs would happen along the edge-of-the-Quarter route. No matter, though, as this statement by Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer basically seals the deal: "I frankly do not feel that these vehicles belong anywhere in our city, as I have received a number of emails and calls from constituents who are concerned that they are a safety hazard."
· City Council bans 'duck boats' from French Quarter [Advocate]
· 'Ride the Ducks' tour not getting much love from locals [Curbed NOLA]
· NOLA Ducks [official site]