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VP Mike Pence Brings 8-Car Motorcade to Mackinac Island, Which Has Banned Cars

Mackinac Island, Michigan, is a popular tourist attraction and a National Historic Landmark. It is also unique in that it has banned cars altogether more than 100 years ago, but US Vice President brought a motorcade for a short ride from the airport to the resort.
Mike Pence's motorcade on Mackinac Island, which has a century-old all-out car ban 10 photos
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Pence was on the island over the weekend for a political rally, and his arrival and departure have caused quite a stir on social media for his choice not to do away with the VP motorcade. It included 8 vehicles (3 Chevrolet Suburbans and 1 Express, a Ram 1500, 2 Dodge Caravans, and a GMC Yukon XL) and was an eyesore for the locals.

That’s because the island has had an active car ban since 1898, when it was decided that the few people living there derived no real benefits from owning and driving motor vehicles. Today, that’s one of the charms of the island, which is also listed as a National Historic Landmark and includes the only highway in the U.S. that is not open to cars. President General Ford visited the island in 1975 and even he followed tradition and made his way around in a horse-drawn carriage.

As you can see in the video available at the bottom of the page, despite the presence of such a massive motorcade, police officers on the island stuck to their usual means of transport, the bicycle.

Speaking with the Detroit Free Press, former AP journalist Ron Fournier, labels Pence’s motorcade “obscene” and sacrilegious. “It's both the existence and size,” he says. “No security expert would claim it's necessary.”

Twitter reactions to Pence’s arrival echo the same sentiment: when the small island can be traversed on foot in under 2 hours with so little effort, bringing such a large motorcade isn’t only unnecessary but downright offensive. Security measures could have been guaranteed with fewer cars, at the very least.

However, State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, whose district includes the island, says politicians don’t have to follow the same rules as regular people, at least not when it comes to the car ban. “It's the nature of the security these days,” Schmidt explains. “Any time we can get a high-ranking official, of any political stripe, up here, I welcome him.”

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