courtesy of ‘bhrome’
Under new rules proposed today by the DDOT, D.C. pedicabs will have to meet additional safety standards. The new rules include requiring seatbelt usage for every passenger, establishing pedicab equipment requirements, mandating that pedicabs only operated on public streets and in accordance with the “safe operation of bicycle regulations,” and prohibiting pedicab operators from parking or riding on a sidewalk, from riding while intoxicated, from parking in a restricted zone identified for other vehicles and from riding on any D.C. street with a posted speed limit of more than 30 mph.
Across the U.S. pedicabs are growing in popularity as are the number of accidents involving pedicabs. It’s quite possible that these new rules may open the door for further regulations, such as pedicab licensing and mandatory insurance for all operators. The new rules are currently under public commentary and will likely be adopted in 30 days.
‘Three-Wheeled Taxi’ courtesy of ‘M.V. Jantzen’
A couple of updates to tie up on the transit scene – and then I need your help!
Pedicabs on the Mall: You all remember our report on the harassment of the pedicabs by the Park Police? Well, I’m happy to report that since then, there’s been no further incidents, according to Ben Morris of National Pedicabs. So go and enjoy the ride around the Mall! I’ve also gotten word that a new pedicab company is starting business this weekend as well, so please support this great eco-friendly way to enjoy the Mall. (The grass could use the break, frankly…)
DC, Metro and money: WTOP reported this morning that the District has racked up a tab of a whopping $1.2 million in unpaid expenses to Metro, all centered around the Southeastern bus garage located a block from Nationals stadium. The District had said it would cover the cost to move all the Metrobuses out of that garage and operate them from other facilities. (This is known as “deadheading costs.”) The city’s cost is $400,000 a month, and the deal stretches back to the fall of 2007. Continue reading
‘Pedicab’ courtesy of ‘afagen’
Yesterday, we received a late-day heads-up from a reader that there was an issue brewing with the pedicabs that offer rides to tourists and residents along the National Mall.
The entire issue seemed odd, as pedicabs have been operating on the Mall for a couple years now and haven’t had any issues up until yesterday, when they were told they would be arrested and their bikes impounded for soliciting and servicing customers on Madison and Jefferson streets, the two main boundary avenues of the Mall.
If the Park Police was correct, the Mall was going to lose a 100% eco-friendly form of transportation that serves hundreds of riders each week. The cabs provide jobs for the area and a friendly ‘green’ option for people to utilize. Taking away the Mall from them would kill a sizeable portion of the pedicab business.
So I set out to contact Ben Morris, the owner of National Pedicabs (and the company affected by this), and his DC operations manager, Danny Cochrane, as well as Sgt. David Schlosser, the National Park Service’s Public Information Officer, to find out just what the heck was going on.
Update: I’m getting more information now; watch for our Talkin’ Transit feature tomorrow with more details.
According to a heads-up from a reader, the Park Police are now arresting and impounding pedicabs that operate on Madison and Jefferson Streets around the National Mall. This policy goes into effect today and will most likely kill a 100% eco-friendly form of transportation in the heart of the tourist district of the city.
The reason Park Police are giving is that the pedicabs are soliciting business on the mall and advertising…but isn’t that what normal cabs and buses in the same area are doing already with sideboards and logos?
Anyone who has more info on this, share, because at a glance this isn’t looking all that kosher.