From parking to bike paths to everything in between: Getting around on St. Patrick's Day 

If you drive; if you don't drive; if you ride your bike

If you drive

We don’t recommend driving downtown on parade day. But here are some tips if you do

PARKING anywhere near downtown on St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah requires the luck of the Irish. Some years you get lucky, but most years you don’t.

Fortunately there are several options for those opting to drive close to the festival area.

While normal parking hours in Savannah have been extended from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., please note that NO parking meter enforcement will take place Saturday of this week, as a nod to the parade. So you’ve got that going for you.

City of Savannah Parking Garages, March 16-March 18

The City of Savannah runs several large and modern garages for your convenience. Special event pricing will apply.

City officials caution that if you do park in a garage for St. Patrick’s Day, there might be a substantial wait to get out until traffic is cleared and all normal routes are restored.

Monthly cardholders are guaranteed access to their usual garage throughout the festival period.

Special Event Parking Rates & Hours:

Bryan St. Garage –$20 Friday/Saturday, $10 Sunday, 5 a.m.-5 p.m. March 16-18; garage open 24 hours.

Curtis V. Cooper Lot -- $20 on St. Patrick’s Day, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.

Liberty Street Garage – –$20 Friday/Saturday, $10 Sunday, 5 a.m.-5 p.m. March 16-18.

Henry & Whitaker Lot -- $20 on St. Patrick’s Day, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.

Robinson Garage – –$20 Friday/Saturday, $10 Sunday, 5 a.m.-5 p.m.

State Street Garage – –$20 Friday/Saturday, $10 Sunday, 5 a.m.-5 p.m. March 16-18.

Whitaker Street Garage – –$20 Friday/Saturday, $10 Sunday, 5 a.m.-5 p.m. March 16-18.

Visitors Center Lot – –$20 Friday/Saturday, $10 Sunday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. March 16-18.

Pre-sale spaces, if still available, are sold at the Bryan Street Parking Garage, at 100 E. Bryan Street. For more information, call 912-651-6477.

Vehicles parking before 6 a.m. must purchase a pass. Vehicles not displaying a pass will be cited. RV and Motor Coach parking is permitted and limited during the festival. If any vehicle leaves during the festival, the parking space is not guaranteed.

Civic Center Parking Lot – CLOSED to the public from Wednesday March 14-Sunday March 18.

Vehicles exiting after 5 a.m., Sunday, March 18 will be charged an additional $10. Vehicles exiting Monday, after 5 a.m. daily rate applies. Lost ticket charge is $30.

No re-entry permitted.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOHN ALEXANDER
  • Photo by John Alexander
Parking on Hutchinson Island

Paid parking is available across the Savannah River on Hutchinson Island, with downtown accessible via the FREE Water Belles Ferry system.

Hutchinson Island parking is available Friday and Saturday at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, at a rate of $20 per day.

The ferries run from 6:50 a.m.-12:20 a.m. Friday and Saturday, between the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center and the Savannah Waving Girl Dock at the east end of River Street.

NOTE: The City Hall landing for the ferries will NOT be in service this weekend.

On-street Parking

If you see a bag over a meter saying you can’t park there because of the parade, that means... don’t park there. You’ll definitely get towed. This is a celebratory time for local towing companies as well.

Towing will begin before dawn on St. Patrick’s Day, and they mean business.

Regular parking meter hours and rates WILL be enforced Friday March 16. That’s 8 a.m.-8 p.m. But parking meters will NOT be enforced Saturday.

All other parking violations will be enforced as usual, all days.

If you bike

Tips for bicycling into the St. Patrick’s Day celebration

DON’T forget about the option to just ride your bikes into town! It’s so easy that a lot of people forget to think about it.

While Savannah’s bicycling infrastructure is in many ways not as complete or as friendly as it could be, there are some key bike routes.

Combine that with our flat topography and you have a viable option that gives you dependable car-free transportation for the St. Patrick’s Day festival.

The main bike routes north into downtown are on Lincoln Street (northbound traffic only) and Habersham Street.

Lincoln Street is a heavily trafficked route on Parade Day morning, so keep your head on a swivel.

Note: The Lincoln Street bike lane is unusual in that the lane is on the left side of this one-way, northbound road.

The main bike route south out of downtown is on Price Street (southbound traffic only). This is a more standard bike lane than Lincoln Street, but you should still keep aware that not all auto drivers realize it’s there, espejcially when they want to turn right and think it’s a turn lane.

Washington Avenue is a well-designed east/west corridor to use to get to the aforementioned north/south routes.

It can be difficult to walk a bicycle through throngs of revelers, so consider locking your bike to a bike rack just outside the main party zones. For instance, if you plan to watch the parade from Calhoun Square, consider locking your bike to the rack near the United Way building on Monterey Square.

Our good friends at the Savannah Bicycle Campaign also offer this sage advice:

“If you are planning to ride your bike on the big day, make sure to bring lights, in case you stay out later than you thought you would, and your lock to protect your bike from mischief. And, of course, wear a helmet and stay alert for impaired, distracted and aggressive drivers.”

Don’t have lights? You can get a free set from the Savannah Bicycle Campaign, along with a free bicycle safety check on Thursday, March 15 from 7-9:30 p.m. at 1301 Lincoln St.

If you bike has been hibernating in a garage or shed all winter, bring it down and for tire inflation, chain lubrication, brake check, and other minor adjustments. That way you’ll know your bike is good to go (and good to get you back home).

For more information, email bikes@bicyclecampaign.org or visit: https://bicyclecampaign.org/event/get-your-bike-ready-for-st-patricks-day-free-safety-inspection-and-adjustments/

If you don't drive

Tips for navigating the celebration without your own vehicle

DOWNTOWN SAVANNAH was designed for horse and carriage. It is already crowded enough on a regular day, considering tourist and local vehicle traffic, tourist trolleys, rideshare vehicles, and yes, horses and carriages.

St. Patrick’s Day is on a whole other level. We strongly recommend not taking your private vehicle into the festival area, on the parade day or the rest of the festival.

There’s also this thing called a DUI you want to avoid.....

Here’s a roundup of helpful information:

Parade Shuttle

The City of Savannah has partnered with Chatham Area Transit to provide a $5 round trip shuttle service that will dramatically help reduce vehicle traffic into downtown on Parade Day, March 17.

The daytime shuttle will run from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, with shuttles going to the parade 7 a.m.-11 a.m., and then returning shuttles from noon to 4 p.m.

Shuttle service will run from/to the following locations:

From the Island Towne Centre on U.S. 80 on Whitemarsh Island to the intersection of Price and Oglethorpe Ave.

From Savannah Mall located on Abercorn Extension to the Joe Murray Rivers Jr. Intermodal Transit Center on Oglethorpe Ave.

From Westside Shopping Center in Garden City to the Joe Murray Rivers Jr. Intermodal Transit Center on Oglethorpe Ave.

From Rice Creek Elementary to the Joe Murray Rivers Jr. Intermodal Transit Center on Oglethorpe Ave.

Keep in mind these shuttles can get pretty crowded. You may have to wait for the next one. Best advice is to get on them as early as you can.

Other CAT Service

Chatham Area Transit will run their usual fixed route service each day FREE OF CHARGE from 5 a.m. Friday March 16 through 3 a.m. Sunday March 18.

This is another great way to get around town without bothering with finding a parking space or getting a DUI.

(To be clear: The special daytime shuttle mentioned above is $5 round trip. That is not a usual fixed route.)

However, the dot Downtown Shuttle, Forsyth Shuttle, and Senior Circulator will not be in service on Saturday, March 17.


All the usual rideshare apps will be available throughout the festival (including surge rates when applicable of course).

Very Important: This year there will be two designated rideshare dropoff points downtown for the celebration. One will be on the west end of the Historic District on Indian Street. The other will be on Rossiter Square on the east end of River Street.

We cannot speak for the individual drivers or companies but it would be best to limit your dropoff requests to these areas only to avoid any further congestion downtown.

You’ll thank us for this advice.

From Pooler

There is a privately run round trip shuttle running between Pooler and downtown Friday, March 16 through Sunday, March 18, with a pickup point at Molly McPherson’s in Pooler. Cost is $20 per person 11 and older, $10 10 and under, $15 active duty military. Call 748-0110.



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Connect Today 03.19.2018

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