Pedicab San Diego jobs
As more pedicabs hustle for customers, operators are becoming scofflaws. The city is moving toward restricting the number of cabs, imposing safety and insurance laws and banning them from busy areas.
SAN DIEGO — It's a beautiful summer day and tourists are enjoying the waterfront delights: harbor cruises, the carrier Midway museum, seafood restaurants, the tall ship Star of India.
A quaint addition to the scene are the pedicab operators eager to pedal visitors to their next destination: a restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter, perhaps, or the stores of Seaport Village. Or maybe back to their hotel.
But the tourist tradition has become a civic nuisance as the number of pedicabs has soared in recent years. Competition for customers can get ugly, and some operators are breaking traffic laws, prompting calls for stricter city regulation.
The issue came into sharper focus this month when a 60-year-old Illinois woman died after tumbling from a pedicab in an area where such vehicles are banned. The pedicab did not have the required seat belts.
Drivers from San Diego grumble about increased competition from foreign students who come to town on four-month visas to operate pedicabs. The students - mostly from Turkey and Russia but also from Brazil, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Croatia and elsewhere - worry about making enough money to pay their rent or next year's tuition.
"It's tough. The bikes are many, and there aren't enough people to take rides, " said Emmanuel Baidoo, 22, who studies civil engineering in his native Ghana. "You need to be very psychological to convince customers to come with you."
Most pedicab drivers sit forlornly, unable to snag any customers.
"We've become beggars on bikes, " said Clark Guild, 22, a San Diego State international business graduate and a pedicab driver since his teenage years.
The crush of pedicabs has turned some operators into scofflaws: cutting in and out of traffic, parking in no-parking zones, violating the no-pedicab zone next to Petco Park, racing along Harbor Boulevard in front of the Convention Center, blocking entrances to restaurants and stores.
"Any time you have something that is profitable and unregulated, you're going to run into problems, " said pedicab owner-operator Paul Reeves, 34, a UC San Diego graduate in political science and an aspiring documentary filmmaker. "It's gotten out of hand."
After taking a laissez-faire attitude for two decades, the city is moving toward restricting the number of pedicabs, imposing safety and insurance regulations, and banning them from busy thoroughfares.
"We're not trying to do away with pedicabs; they serve a useful purpose, " said acting Assistant Police Chief Guy Swanger.
"But we are trying to create some sense of order."
The push for pedicab regulations began two years ago when the number seemed to skyrocket as job-seeking foreign students responded to Internet ads. The reform move stalled as the city grappled with more immediate problems, including its busted budget.
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What were the jobs of the padres at Mission San Diego?
They did nothing at all. They only hit the Indians for doing a bad jobs.