Nashville police chief pens letter against party vehicles

bachelorette/party bus
Posted at 2:57 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 07:43:30-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Following Mayor John Cooper's letter, Police Chief John Drake penned his own concern with party vehicles rumbling around Nashville's downtown corridor.

Drake wrote to the Transportation and Licensing Commission that he would caution proving a limited number of permits to operators and spelled out how it affected the Metro Nashville Police Department.

"I ask that you implement regulations concerning standing/dancing in/on moving vehicles as well as the serving of alcohol, the potential for overserving and ensuring no alcohol service persons underage," he wrote.

He also requested the commission evaluate operating routes given the number of people on Lower Broadway from Thursday to Sunday.

"I request that you take into account the significant issue of our city's quality of life and the detrimental quality of life impact these party buses, trucks and trailers have as they crisscross our streets en masse," he wrote. "The real concerns of persons who live and work downtown concerning noise and the sheer optics of Transportation Entertainment phenomena are something that I hope this commission will agree through its adoption of policies and rules."

He further requested the commission work with the MNPD's entertainment district initiative as the need arose.

The Nashville Chamber of Commerce is also chiming in.

"I think party buses just need to be more respectful of the experience that everyone around them and everyone in the city is having as well," said Ralph Schulz, the CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Cooper, Police Chief Drake, and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce are all asking for similar things: alcohol control, regulating hours of operation, and decreasing traffic.

"There have been a number of businesses since party buses have become such a part of the environment, there are a number of businesses that have left the downtown area and moved further out in downtown," said Schulz.

Party bus operators say they are part of the city's landscape and help drive tourism. The regulations have some owners concerned they'll have to shut down.

Schulz said it's not about pulling the plug on the party but finding a compromise.

"Strong rules that limit the number and enclose the vehicles containing some of the noise and the behavior and alcohol regulation just bring that business into balance," he said.

The Metro Transportation Licensing Commission is set to review permit applications for entertainment vehicles later this month.