Vice President Mike Pence‘s arrival in an eight-car motorcade to Michigan’s Mackinac Island for the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, dismayed many of the islanders, who banned cars about 121 years ago.

The island has a population of about 500, and is known for its ban on motor vehicles. Citizens generally commute on bike or snowmobile during the winter.

It is customary for presidents and vice presidents to travel with several armored vehicles for security purposes, the only sitting President to ever visit the island, Gerald Ford, traveled by horse-drawn carriage.

Shepler’s Ferry, which provides transportation from the mainland to the island, tweeted photos of its boat transporting the vehicles.


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“It was our honor to transport the @VP’s emergency vehicles to Mackinac Island this weekend,” the company wrote. “Regardless of your political views, we hope you’ll understand the logistical intricacies involved in securing our leaders while visiting.”

Some people from Michigan took to Twitter to criticize the motorcade, calling it “disrespectful.”

“For those not from MI, you should understand what a huge transgression this is,” wrote Julia Pulver, a former Michigan State Senate candidate. “Our #MackinacIsland has been a car-free haven forever, a piece of history frozen in time. Tell anyone from MI @VP just drove not 1 but 8 CARS on this island & watch their blood boil.”

Mark Brewer, the former chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, tweeted that the motorcade was “ridiculous.”

City ordinances do permit public safety vehicles “so long as such vehicle is being used in the normal course of public safety service.” As Pence is the first sitting vice president to visit the island, and was using the motorcade for security, he did not violate any laws.

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