NEW ORLEANS -- In a meeting at City Hall, council members on the transportation committee ultimately decided there are still too many unanswered questions when it comes to the duck boat tours.
They say they want to seek legal advice before moving forward with the idea.
Duck boat tours are already common in Boston and Seattle. The New Orleans version would go from the Toulouse Street loading dock, onto the interstate, and eventually enter Lake Pontchartrain from the Bonnabel boat launch.
Council members claim that 19 people have been killed on boats like these since 1999. Members also have lots of questions about the safety, route and noise concerning the tour boats.
Opponents echoed some of the same concerns, complaining the boats will add to the traffic issues and bring more noise to the French Quarter. But the New Orleans Steamboat Company, who wants to bring the boats to New Orleans, says at most there will be 12 tours a day and argue that they are quieter than sanitation trucks.
Supporters also feel it would bring attention and business to the Lakefront area. But the back and forth went on for nearly two hours.
“The proposed, open-air tour buses have amplified music where guests are encouraged to join sing-alongs and are given duck quacker noise makers. The character of the tour further degrades the French Quarter,” one opponent argued at the meeting.
“Not only does this attraction provide unique education opportunities for our visitors, but it is the only tour of its kind that showcases one of the region’s largest assets, Lake Pontchartrain," said a supporter. "Tourists would be given a chance to explore both Orleans and Jefferson parishes through duck tours.”
Council members say they will hold another public meeting before making a final decision on whether or not to bring the duck tours to New Orleans.