City Council Set To Vote on Pedicabs Today

onNYTurf reports:

What started as a very positive process to bring much desired regulation to the growing pedicab industry has been completely turned on its head, and this afternoon city council is scheduled to vote on a bill that has become so twisted that the bill’s sponsor and a co-sponsor have taken their names off of it.

At the top of the list of bad policy in this bill is a citywide cap of 325 pedicabs, the right of the police to ban pedicabs from any street for 14 days at will, and all of Midtown for the seven weeks of the holiday period. This means that pedicabs may be banned from Midtown during Thanksgiving and Christmas, right when they are most useful. There are a number of other terrible additions that have been made to this bill.

A media advisory from Pedicabnews has the details on Intro. 331-A:

  • Police may designate any streets as "congested" and ban pedicabs from those streets for two week intervals. There is no limit on the number of streets that can be treated this way or how many times the two-week ban can be renewed.
  • Any Community Board can request that pedicabs be banned from their streets permanently. This request will be considered by NYC DOT and the NYPD.
  • Police can bar pedicabs from midtown entirely, throughout the two months of the valuable Christmas season.
  • Travel on bridges and bike lanes is banned, so there can be no inter-borough connection.

  • Electric-assist motors are totally banned, including tiny 750 watt models, (a hair dryer is 1500 watts). Federal law regards them as so inconsequential that vehicles employing them are defined as bicycles.
  • Multiple pedalers are banned.
  • There will be a virtual ban on pedicabs in the outer boroughs. The "cap" of 325 bikes, (60% of the existing fleet of about 500, with resulting loss of jobs), will concentrate all bikes in the most lucrative venues like the theater district, with no pedicabs left to service the rest of Manhattan and the city.

These restrictions will marginalize pedicabs into a Times Square sideshow. Preventing them from eventual incorporation into the transportation system as an alternative to oversized, motor vehicles.

  • A huge two million dollar insurance policy required, (Yellow cabs need $350,000), and $4,000 fines.
  • Nothing is being done that would alleviate the alleged most serious problems — like bunching around theaters. Instead, the harsh remedies of the police force will be applied, decimating the economic viability of the industry.

Photo by Olga Mazurkiewicz

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

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 […]

Pedicab Rally in the News

|
AMNY reports: The City Council is poised to put the brakes on New York’s freewheeling pedicabs, prompting hundreds of their drivers to say the regulations would devastate a pollution-free way to get around town. "They say we are causing traffic congestion," said pedicab driver Mega Martinez, 43, at a protest Tuesday. "How can that be? […]

Do Pedicabs Belong in Bike Lanes?

|
A pedicab (sort of) makes use of the Broadway bike lane. Photo: Brad Aaron Last week’s collision between a pedicab and a yellow taxi in Brooklyn was followed by a renewed, or at least better publicized, interest from Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council in enforcing long-awaited pedicab industry standards. The rules, initiated by pedicab […]

Cyclists Ride with Pedicabs to Rally at City Hall

|
The City Council Consumer Affairs Committee is set to vote on regulations that would put a very low cap on the total number of pedicabs in the City and ban certain types of pedicabs from City streets. Time’s Up! joins the Pedicab Owners’ Association against these unreasonable regulations to say: NO CAPS! NO BANS! SAVE THE […]

Pedicabs Protest New Regulations

|
Pedicabs took to the streets yesterday to protest the City’s new regulations on New York’s greenest for-hire transportation industry. In a press release, The Green Transport Association says that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn "dealt pedicabs a crushing blow capping our number at 325 city-wide" — a reported 35 percent reduction in the pedicab workforce: Pedicabs are […]

Political Deal Results in Bad Pedicab Regulations

|
More on tomorrow’s rally and press conference on the city’s proposed pedicab regulations: Chad Marlow of the Public Advocacy Group, the pedicab industry’s lobbyist, sends along this press release arguing that Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Speaker Christine Quinn’s proposal to put a cap on the number of pedicabs and ban electric-assist technology harms the industry […]