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Transportation & Environment

Pedicab Regulation WHEREAS, Pedicabs have existed in New York City for close to two decades but have had significant expansion in recent years, growing to more than 400 according to recent estimates; and

WHEREAS, There are two bills pending in the City Council, Intro 331 and Intro 75, to establish safety and consumer protection rules for pedicabs in New York City and the City Council is expected to act on this matter in the near future; and

WHEREAS, The growth of pedicabs has a profound impact on Community Board Five since much of their operation occurs within the Board’s boundaries; and

WHEREAS, Pedicabs have created new traffic issues including the additional congestion caused by sharing the already crowded streets of New York and large numbers of pedicabs parked outside of Broadway theaters at the time the shows let out; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five held a public hearing and heard pro and con views about pedicabs including:

1. Concern about pedicabs following and the police enforcing existing traffic laws;

2. The need for more vehicles such as pedicabs which do not use fossil fuels or pollute;

3. How Pedicabs have helped people get places when they have been unable to get a taxicab or utilize other modes of transportation;

4. The desire to reduce the number of pedicabs congregating in one location;

5. The competition pedicabs create for the taxicab industry;
6. Support for safety and consumer protection regulation of pedicabs including licensure and insurance requirements; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five supports the idea of having the City of New York Department of Consumer Affairs regulate the pedicab industry and recommends that the City Council include the following items in its legislation to establish a regulatory structure:

1. Require all pedicabs to have an easy to read license tag. All pedicab drivers be licensed and should take a test to get the license. The test should include an understanding of the rules of the road as well as questions on driver safety and knowledge of the city. A background check and drug tests should be a part of the procedure for getting a pedicab license.

2. The vehicles must be inspected at least annually for a variety of safety features and road worthiness as part of any license renewal process. Procedures for the transfer of pedicab licenses should be created.

3. Require all pedicabs to carry an adequate level of insurance in the case of an accident.

4. Require all pedicabs to have safety features including headlights, taillights, turning indicators, side mirrors and safety belts for passengers. Pedicabs should be prohibited from carrying more people than they are designed in order to ensure the safety of passengers.

5. Require all pedicabs to follow the rules of the road including stopping at traffic signals, not passing motor vehicles on the right, no parking on sidewalk, using the left hand side of the street.

6. Establish a uniform pricing mechanism and post prices conspicuously. The City Council should examine the zone pricing system Washington D.C. uses for its taxi cabs and consider using it for pedicab pricing. Pedicabs should give all passengers receipts.

7. Establish pedicab standing zones particularly in the theatre district and central park where people can get a ride in a pedicab. The rule of 5 should be used, meaning that no more than 5 pedicabs can be in the standing zone at one time.

8. Provide a review period for the new regulatory structure to determine whether or not it is working. There should be no initial restrictions on where pedicabs can operate; be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five requests adequate resources be provided to the Department of Consumer Affairs, the NYPD, the Taxi and Limousine Commission or any other appropriate agency for consistent and strong enforcement of the current traffic rules for pedicabs and of the new rules and regulations resulting from this legislation for this is the only way to ensure the safety and protection of pedestrians, pedicab riders and operators.

The above resolution passed with a vote of 29 in favor, 2 opposed, 2 abstentions.

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