City Council Passes New Pedicab Regulations

Reported in the New York Times:

Chad Marlow, who represents the New York City Pedicab Owners Association, said the association agrees with much of the legislation, but plans to file a lawsuit challenging some elements of it. He said it believes that the Council was within its rights to impose a cap as the city does with taxis, but that the restriction on electric motors and the provision giving the police the power to ban pedicabs from Midtown run afoul of the law.

Four council members abstained from yesterday’s vote, raising objections to the restriction against electric motors.

At a council hearing before yesterday’s vote, Councilman Alan J. Gerson, who supported the original legislation but removed his name from the current version of the bill, said, "They’re nonpolluting, they’re quiet; why should the city care if they are electric assist or not?"

  • Is there any breakdown of who voted how? I couldn’t find anything on the City Council website last night.

  • Only 7 members voted against the bill, and so far I can only identify 2 of them:
    1. Councilman Tony Avella
    2. Councilman Alan J. Gerson

  • Rosie Mendez voted against

  • Pedicab Pete

    According to the lobbyist for the New York City Pedicab Owners’ Association (see http://www.nycpoa.org), this is the first time in the Quinn era when so many council members have voted against the Speaker of the Council on a measure. 7 council members voted against and 4 abstained, for a total of 21% not in favor. How could anyone vote for a measure that kicks pedicabs off bike lanes and places them in the middle of 6th or 8th Avenue?

    Some members voting against or abstaining (we are still compiling): Gerson, Barron, Avella, Brewer, Mendez and L. James. Note that most of the voting against members are in the affected areas!

    For photos from the recent pedicab rally at city hall, see:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/82872920@N00/sets/72157594546938109/

    Don’t believe the reports that the industry is currently un-insured. All members of the NYCPOA must have insurance and safe operation.

    -pedal_power_pete

  • Thanks for trying, Alan and Rosie.

    I contacted several people in Chris Quinn’s office and expressed by disapproval of this bill before the council vote and got cold responses. My wife tried calling as a constituent and they gave her the runaround, not interested in even noting her opposition.

    Steamrolled.

  • What would happen if regular citizens start using pedicabs as private vehicles…not a commercial use? Would they be subject to the regulations as well?

    It might not be a bad vehicle choice for a small car free family or people who want to carry small loads. I’m curious because I’ve often considered getting a “work tricycle” for transporting materials around the city. Aside from the commercial aspect, I fail to see how a pedicab is substantially different.

    What do we need to do to get this regulation overturned?

  • Pedicab Pete

    on Mike’s comments:

    – a pedicab in the law is defined as designed for transporting passengers FOR HIRE; private use should not be affected.

    – the NYCPOA is trying raise funds for a lawsuit against the ban on electric assist and restrictive NYPD clause that could effectively be a ban from October to January in midtown, or locate pro bono legal assistance for same.

    – NYCPOA will begin to lobby consumer affairs and the 21% of the council voting no, to modify some of the language, some of which was added after the last public comment phase.

    -ppp

  • Those wishing to keep track of the effort to turn around the city’s current policy of suppressing cycling in its myriad forms should take a look at pedicabnews.com. We are building an effort to gather support for a program to encourage cycling here in every way possible. This will range from legal moves to street theater. Pedicab drivers and their friends have been gathering every Monday at 7PM at 49 East Houston Street to express themselves and to find ways work together. If you think you can help, please come by.

    Twenty years ago “dangerous” messengers were the excuse for banning bikes from some of our streets. Now it is “out of control” pedicabs who must be banished. Part of the reason the first ban was squashed came from the determined resistance expressed by those affected. While nobody expects us to lift these large trikes upside-down over our heads at intersections to make a point, there is a much larger and fast growing pool of cyclists today than there was back than, smarter about the connection between all these issues and justifiably scared to death about melting ice and la-ti-da business as usual politics. Quinn the Eskimo: Wake up.

    Contact: MeetMe@TheAutomat.com

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