Archive for Monday, May 10, 2010

City commission to consider allowing 16-person pedicabs in Downtown Lawrence

May 10, 2010


On the street

Would you patronize a pedal-powered pub crawling vehicle in downtown Lawrence?

I think that would be a lot of fun to use, to travel between bars downtown.

More responses

A new type of pedal-powered vehicle may be coming to Downtown Lawrence.

City commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday will consider a new ordinance that would allow for a 16-person pedicab to operate in parts of downtown.

Lawrence entrepreneur Luke Stone in March asked for the ordinance to open a business that allows people to pedal themselves around downtown in a unique trolley-looking device.

The vehicle features a bar-like table in its center, where patrons sit on stools and do the pedaling themselves while a professional does the steering and braking. Stone originally sought to allow people to bring their own alcohol onto the pedicab, but the city will not consider that option after staff attorneys determined that would violate state laws.

Currently, the city allows small pedicabs to operate within the city. But the new ordinance would allow for pedicabs up to nine feet in width and up to 18 feet long. The ordinance does require operators of the oversized pedicabs to submit any routes that will be traveled to city officials for prior approval. Staff members said that is necessary to prevent traffic conflicts since the large pedicabs travel at about 5 mph.

Commissioners will meet at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.


Susan Lee 7 years, 11 months ago

Just what Lawrence needs.....(eyeroll)

sergei3234 7 years, 11 months ago

Yeah....silly stupid drunks. Keep them off the pedicabs, and put them back in their cars to drive drunk instead. What is Lawrence thinking?

Chris Ogle 7 years, 11 months ago

What a great idea. Let the passengers do the pedaling . Free expresso for the workers, (passengers) might be worth considering. Also the patrons could text to each other while they are pedaling .

puddleglum 7 years, 11 months ago


misseve 7 years, 11 months ago

Who is going to train the "professional" operators and how are they to be licensed? Where else is this allowed in the US that is?

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 11 months ago

This sounds incredibly dangerous. And it's going to cause a lot of traffic problems.

Vinny1 7 years, 11 months ago

Possibly the dumbest thing Lawrence has done in a while. And that is saying a lot.

ferrislives 7 years, 11 months ago

...and I thought passing the T was bad. What a joke.

Danimal 7 years, 11 months ago

This is a horrible idea. Unless the city is going to close Mass. St. to motorized vehicles I can only see this being a problem.

Paul Geisler 7 years, 11 months ago

What a bunch of negative sour-puss attitudes! Do any of you even frequent downtown Lawrence after 10pm? I think Lawrence would do well to add some unique attractions like this as part of the night-time entertainment that exists downtown.

You really think riding on a pedalpub at 5 mph is dangerous? Compared to what? The speed limit on downtown streets is 20mph so you're only talking about a 15mph difference. I think people can manage that in the core area of downtown (Vermont to New Hamp and from 6th to 11th).

But don't take my word for it. Check out the success this idea has had in the Twin Cities! I have a number of friends up there that have done this and they had a blast! They take these PedalPub vehicles around a number of routes in Minneapolis and St. Paul and they've been doing it for over 4 years!

Stuart Evans 7 years, 11 months ago

I've seen these in Rotterdam, and it was quite the spectacle. However, they were operating on a very large sidewalk with plenty of room for other passers by. I'm sure the ones in the twin cities operate in the street, but how many lanes are there? I'd bet at least two in each direction, or perhaps on a closed to car traffic street. In Lawrence, traffic is bad enough on game days that this monstrosity would never actually get anywhere, and if it did, there would be a line of cars backed up three blocks behind it. Also, the one in Rotterdam served alcohol on board; a major draw to pedaling your own self around the bar scene.

thelonious 7 years, 11 months ago

This is stupid. Catering to large groups of drinkers - just what downtown needs.

Hopefully the city commission will not approve this. If they approve something like this, then driving downtown, already not a pleasant experience, will become downright intolerable. What a stupid idea - every merchant downtown needs to be at this commission meeting and tell the commission what a horrible idea this is.

Good grief!

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago

How much would you have to pay to park one of these contraptions, and where would you?

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

ksjayhawk74 7 years, 11 months ago

NOOOOOO!!! I do not want to be stuck on Mass St. behind a 16 drunks peddling a huge bike going 5 miles an hour.

parrothead8 7 years, 11 months ago

If you're driving down Mass St., you've already made a poor choice. It's possibly the slowest, most-full-of-pedestrians street in Lawrence. Try going one or two streets over.

Irenaku 7 years, 11 months ago

ksjayhawk, Your post made me laugh out loud!!! I agree! This has an element of being a stupid spectacle that I just do not like to think about...

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 11 months ago

Just when I had thought that the clueless, core-less commissioners had finally exhausted their stupidity, I have to admit, I was wrong.

What other "modern marvels" are in store for us here? Kiosks for the "homeless" to huddle in when it rains or snows? Bi Level roundabouts for cars and bicycles? How about mud wrestling amatures at 9th and Mass St?? Lets go hog wild (hog races??) and get this community some real recognition!!!!!!!

GardenMomma 7 years, 11 months ago

I am picturing a Flintstones type of vehicle.

Also, suppose there aren't 16 people ready to go when you are? Do you have to wait or do you have to pedal the thing yourself? I suppose it'd be easier to just walk. What kind of liability is there? Suppose someone has a heart attack while pedaling?

acg 7 years, 11 months ago

Some, or should I say most, of you would complain no matter what the idea, who came up with it or who it's geared towards providing a service to. I read through 20 comments and only one person had anything the slightest bit positive to say. It's so exhausting every thread is negative, negative, negative. Does that sourpuss hurt your faces? I would imagine frowning and being negative all the time would just tire a person out.

NolongeratJRP 7 years, 11 months ago

Wow! A parent company, a driver; their respective insurance companies, 16 riders, their parents if they are under 21, many insurance companies and the City of Lawrence to sue if there is a mess up! I can see the infomericals now!

"If you or someone you know was injured or killed in a pedicab accident in DownTown Lawrence, Kansas, you may be entitled to compensation. Call 1-800-get-money now! No one messes with those injured by pedicabs. No one."

Sixteen intoxicated riders, pedaling madly away, out power the braking system, the speeding peidcab hurtles Southbound into the intersection at 11th and Mass against a red light and gets hit by a Prius , crossbound from the East on 11th.

"Dead pedicab riders in the middle of the road!

Dead pedicab riders in the middle of the road!

And they're stinkin' to High Heaven!"

Irenaku 7 years, 11 months ago

NolongeraratJRP... My sides are hurting from laughing at these posts, especially yours!!!! This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of..

bearded_gnome 7 years, 11 months ago

NOlongeratjrp, LOL! only problem: 16-drunks pedaling can outrun a prius! have to use different car for your scenario.

I suspect this will not be as popular downtown as the entrepreneur thinks: you're walking downtown, but to get on the pedicab you can't take your hooch with you? OMG!

so, on off hours will the pedicab be dedicated to runs between Loring's new playhouse in far southeast lawrence/near the jail and down town? during the day, the lifestyle bums need a way to get to and from downtown, and this way they have to exercise to do it.
in Merrill's tired old cliche, it makes "dollars and sense!"

bearded_gnome 7 years, 11 months ago

Oh! [slaps modern man sized forehead] why didn't I think of this: Merril promotes nude biking!

so, you have 16 people following his example, biking nude together on the pedicab!

might make this idea popular after all!

Ronda Miller 7 years, 11 months ago

Good way to keep pedal feels busy. I am dying to try this and expect to be an expert at pedaling my ass and yours. Hehehe

mr_right_wing 7 years, 11 months ago

Oh, this has the potential to be very comical!!
(even without the alcohol, but then add that!) I'll look forward to the videos on youtube!

Do you get kicked off (without refund) if the other pedalers can prove your not 'carrying your own weight'?

mr_right_wing 7 years, 11 months ago

....and excuse me....ADA? Are these going to be 'wheelchair' accessable? ...and does it matter if the person in the wheelchair can't 'contribute'?

broadpaw 7 years, 11 months ago

while the lucrative ideas are flying around, why not put this thing on steel cables 20 feet above mass street, as a sort of human-powered sky trolley, so people can pedal the bus back and forth and stare down at the throngs of people staring back up?

cato_the_elder 7 years, 11 months ago

I didn't see this until this morning, but it's undoubtedly the funniest thread I've ever read on this forum. To the posters, thanks for brightening my day - and to the purveyor of this ridiculous idea, you're one enabler whom I can tolerate, at least for today.

ferrislives 7 years, 11 months ago

Are there double yellow lines downtown? I've never really looked, because passing anyone on that street is already impossible and dangerous. If there are double yellow lines, are they saying that we'd have to stay behind this "vehicle" that drives at 5 mph not including stops? It seems that this idea was not completely thought through by the Commission, and they're rushing this entire idea. I know that if this does pass, I will completely avoid driving down Mass. St., which will definitely affect by buying habits from downtown merchants. And I'm sure that others will feel the same way.

To those claiming that we are sour-pusses: people questioning this idea actually like to think things through BEFORE passing them, instead of waiting for the bad results after it's too late. It's called "proper planning"; look it up sometime.

Paul Geisler 7 years, 11 months ago

Yes, there are double-yellow lines down Mass. Street. But I can tell you that many people pull over near the curb to pick-up or drop-off people in the middle of the block and traffic can easily flow past them. There is even enough room to pull over behind parked cars on Mass and still allow other cars to flow around you, just like he pointed out in the previous article regarding the horse-drawn carriages on the Plaza.

You are most welcome to stop driving on Mass Street. If drivers on Mass Street don't want to drive behind a pedalpub bike, or a regular bike, or a slow driver doing less than the 20mph posted speed limit they can all drive on New Hamp or Vermont! When exactly do you go shopping downtown anyway? After 9pm at night when the stores are closed??? With the exception of KU Football games the main idea for this is to operate at night when bar patrons are moving up and down Mass Street from bar to bar!

Ronda Miller 7 years, 11 months ago

I think if it's paired with Texas Hold em you'd have some takers - or have one group racing against another, or a fun evening for our backyard gathering, or a moving garage sale. Ok, I'm obviously turned on by this idea waaaaay too much.

somedude20 7 years, 11 months ago

sounds like the Titanic of bikes. Wait till some big truck hits the bike and everyone sinks

Biketanic, sinking feelings and Birther Racists live unprecedented

irvan moore 7 years, 11 months ago

I think we may have found the perfect way to kill downtown and turn Lawrence into Topeka.

Danimal 7 years, 11 months ago

These would be a ridiculous impediment to traffic in downtown Lawrence. I'm all for a few light night attractions downtown, and heck even closing a street on a summer evening for an outdoor concert. These gigantic pedicabs just sound like a problem waiting to happen. The only way this might work is if the city took out some parking along Mass so that the pedicabs could pull into cabstands to load and unload.

Clickker 7 years, 11 months ago

What if someone isnt pedalling their share? Their 1/16th?

What then?

pooter 7 years, 11 months ago

Just one more reason to avoid downtown.


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