Advice & Opinion
|We are taking the liberty of expressing some of our own
personal opinions that we would want our visiting
friends to consider -
1. Parking is Tight in the Historic District
It is a fact that the City of Savannah uses parking tickets as a significant source of income and has a staff that travels all metered areas with such frequency that they rarely miss an expired meter. The City does not "cut any slack" for visitors so we suggest that you bring lots of quarters since the meters require 3 quarters per hour Monday- Friday, or that you use a public parking lot if they are not all full. Meters in the more congested areas may be limited to 30 minutes. For $8 you can buy a day pass from the City to avoid feeding the meter. Don't assume that once you have a ticket you have paid for the space for the day; "Parking Services" will write you a second ticket for the afternoon, and you should notice that the late payment penalties are large and come quickly.
2. Cars Do Not Stop for Pedestrians
Even though the State of Georgia has a law that says that pedestrians in a crosswalk have the right-of-way this law is not enforced by the City of Savannah so do not expect a car or a CAT bus or even a police patrol car to stop for you to cross the street. Bay Street is especially dangerous, so cross only at the places where there is a stop light!!!
3. Assistance is Provided for "the Homeless"
We do have some people who choose to live "on the streets" - as their way of coping - and they sometimes congregate in certain squares. We have several organizations in Savannah that assist the homeless including the Salvation Army, Union Mission and Emmaus House. We even have the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless to coordinate services and funding. As in all cities, a few of these guys have a well developed and convincing story of woe and we have our own experiences of being sucked in by their theater. In case you are approached by a homeless person, we want you to know that they do have resources available nearby for food, clothing, shelter, training, dental care, and emergency support. In some cities, like Athens, Ga., there is even a special "parking meter" so that you can donate support for the homeless (in lieu of giving a hand out) but we do not have that here in Savannah.
4. Savannah is Best Seen by Walking
While they do give you a basic orientation to the historic district, the tour buses/trolleys at the Visitors Center mostly provide a trite, scripted presentations of our historic district. As businesses the tour companies all benefit from the character of the Historic District - which many people have worked hard to create (especially the owners of the private homes); the trolleys largely detract from what has been created. The managers have opposed the dispersing of their vehicles throughout the district and as a result they concentrate on and congest Bull Street in particular. In Charleston buses are randomly assigned to travel a specific tour zone to require buses to spread out. You will notice the obstruction to traffic which they create especially when they follow each other. We hope you get out and walk the Historic District and, as a minimum, walk Bull Street from City Hall on Bay Street to the fountain in Forsyth Park. And please realize that walking around Savannah with a sticker on your shirt from a tour company clearly identifies you as a tourist.
These opinions are our own and not those of any of the businesses or individuals identified on this web site.