Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycling

Do Pedicabs Belong in Bike Lanes?

pedicab.jpgA 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 companies themselves, are intended to protect passengers, pedicab drivers and the general public through, among other measures, the issuance of operator licenses and requirements related to vehicle safety. The City Council adopted the regulations in 2007, but enforcement lagged after a protracted legal battle between the city and the industry over a now-abandoned cap on pedicab licenses. 

On Tuesday, the Post ran an editorial opposing one aspect of the laws, which bar "pest-i-cabs" (ha, get it?) from bike lanes.

"[T]he bike-lane prohibition seems a little odd," Post editors wrote. "Mayor Mike's recent green-themed streetscaping means that such lanes occupy nearly half of many blocks in Midtown -- surely there's enough room for pedicabs on them."

The New York City Pedicab Owners' Association agrees.

"The NYCPOA officially is in favor of removing the restriction on pedicabs operating in bike lanes and actually believes it is safer for pedicabs to operate in bike lanes when they are available," spokesman Chad Marlow told Streetsblog. Marlow added, however, that the trade group supports keeping pedicabs out of tunnels and off bridges, even when the bridge has a bike lane -- as the regs dictate.  

What do you think? Should bike lanes be open to pedal-powered commercial traffic, including pedicabs -- or, for that matter, cargocycles -- or should they be reserved for citizen cyclists? 

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

New York City Roadway Dining at Risk of Dramatic Decline As Deadline Looms

Fewer than two dozen restaurants are in the pipeline for roadside seating, according to public records.

July 12, 2024

Opinion: Congestion Pricing Is A Compromise

Alternatives paths to cut congestion and pollution and fund the MTA make congestion tolls look like a cheap parlor trick.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Department of Victim Blaming Edition

Traffic deaths in the city are on pace to reach their highest number since at least 2013 — and DOT is reportedly blaming "jaywalking." Plus more news.

July 12, 2024

‘Suburban’ Queens Stalwarts Take Hard Line Against Housing — To Rest of City’s Detriment

“That's what they bought in the suburbs for, that's why they raised their family in the suburbs," said Council Member Joann Ariola, whose district contains 14 subway stations.

July 11, 2024

DOT Seeks New Camera Enforcement Contract to Better Catch Obscured License Plates

The city's current contractor has let hundreds of thousands of reckless drivers off the hook.

July 11, 2024
See all posts