Operating a pedicab used to be cheap and easy. A person could make a buck with little or no overhead and without restrictive, burdensome regulations.
That’s no longer true in some Valley cities that have approved ordinances limiting who can operate pedicabs on their streets. Scottsdale is the latest to tighten its rules, joining Phoenix and Glendale. No other Valley municipality regulates pedicabs.
To continue doing business in Scottsdale, pedicab operators must have a valid Arizona driver’s license, maintain insurance and adhere to regulations pertaining to the safety and visibility of the pedicab. The ordinance, which became law on May 9, includes penalties for non-compliance but does not specify any inspections.
Phoenix’s ordinance, which went into effect in August 2008, was in response to concerns and complaints from downtown stakeholders and patrons regarding pedicab activity, city spokeswoman Sina Matthes said. The ordinance is stricter than Scottsdale’s, requiring Police Department inspections and inspection tags.
Glendale’s ordinance, which became law in late 2007, requires a city-issued license and limits the hours of operation and what roads can be used by operators, said Sgt. Jay O’Neill of the Glendale Police Department.
Pedicabs are a popular mode of transportation in downtown Phoenix and Glendale for sports and cultural events. In Scottsdale, they’re popular among those shopping downtown and are especially used in the evening by those flitting among restaurants and nightspots.
Scottsdale’s ordinance was prompted by a Jan. 4 crash involving a suspected drunken driver and a pedicab trailer on Scottsdale Road near Rose Lane. The two pedicab passengers suffered serious head and spine injuries.
Scottsdale police determined that there were no mechanical or safety violations.
Numerous operators told Scottsdale officials the regulations, especially the license requirement, would push them and others out of business. They said the regulations would give pedicab companies a competitive advantage over independent operators who lost their driver’s licenses and are trying to make a living.
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