Archive for Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pedicabs approved, but not on Mass.

May 12, 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

The idea of a 16-passenger, pedal-powered vehicle in downtown Lawrence sounds OK to city commissioners, as long as it stays off Massachusetts Street.

Commissioners on Tuesday evening unanimously approved an ordinance allowing oversized pedicabs to operate in Lawrence, but added a provision prohibiting them on Massachusetts Street because the vehicles are expected to have a top speed of 5 miles per hour.

“I tried to drive that speed yesterday on Mass., and I was afraid things were going to be thrown at me,” Mayor Mike Amyx said.

The ordinance also prohibits pedicabs from operating on state highways or any street with a speed limit greater than 30 miles per hour. The city also reserves the right to deny any route for an oversized pedicab based on traffic concerns.

Luke Stone, a Lawrence entrepreneur who hopes to start an oversized pedicab business by this fall, said he’s fine with the restrictions. He believes New Hampshire and Vermont streets are the most likely routes, since those streets have more room to allow vehicles to pass.


cheeseburger 7 years, 9 months ago

Let me get this straight: They are prohibited on Mass. St. where the speed limit is 20 mph because they are too slow and will impede traffic, but it's alright to put them on other streets where the speed limit is 30 mph? Perfect and typical Lawrence thinking! If Amyx thinks things are going to be thrown at him driving 15 mph under the limit, what does he think is going to happen when that contraption is traveling 25 mph below the limit? Is there a certain high end IQ that disqualifies a person to serve on the Lawrence city commission?

Paul Geisler 7 years, 9 months ago

While the City Commission said no streets over 30mph Vermont & New Hampshire streets ARE 20mph between 6th & 11th, which is where the article states Mr. Stone plans to operate this service.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

Yea, doesn't make a lot of sense. Anyone with any experience driving in that area knows that the fastest north/south routes are Vermont and NH, and if you are in any sort of hurry, you avoid Mass. If they were going to approve this, they should have restricted them to Mass, and banned them from Vermont/NH.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

On Vermont and Mass, you can actually drive that speed limit. On Mass during high traffic times, you can't.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

Correction: on Vermont and NH you can drive the speed limit.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

"So, which way is faster?????"

I already answered that question, and it's not even debatable among those who have ever had to drive through that area.

I understand that you are in favor of the pedicab, but making unsupportable arguments will not make your case.

Personally, I think it would have made more sense to restrict it to Mass St., but only after 6 pm, which is when most people would want to use it, anyway.

local_support 7 years, 9 months ago

At least Luke is willing to compromise, and it's a decent start. Can't wait to ride in one!

budwhysir 7 years, 9 months ago

talk about back pedaling, sorry just had to throw that in. So let me see. Is there a min. speed limit posted on city street? Aside from being a little over the standard size, what keeps these pedal cabs from being driven in the bike lane? He would be one of the very few people using it. I would think the city would jump at the chance to let him ride on the street like any other bike and come up with some type of special "oversized bike" tax they could impose I think this guy has a great idea that might just take off here in town, unless he allows the politics of the city to shut him down.

Sharon Aikins 7 years, 9 months ago

Can just see a bunch of nearly empty pedicabs working their way down these streets or parked waiting for customers after the novelty wears off. Hopefully I'm wrong. Will this qualify for the new 2 cent developer's tax since it's a new business?

ClaroAtaxia 7 years, 9 months ago

Agreed, if he can turn a profit for longer than 3 months I'll be VERY surprised.

Randall Barnes 7 years, 9 months ago

everyone in favor of the pedi cab on mass st. drive 5 mph especially in the 800 block get the attn of a certian barber.

gccs14r 7 years, 9 months ago

So what' he going to do, go down VT to 11th, cut over to NH, then up NH to 7th and repeat? I figured an up and back on MA was the only route that made any sense. Part of the appeal of the big pedicab is to people-watch. There won't be much of that on the other streets.

Of course people were mad at Amyx for driving 5 mph. He was in a car.

John Hamm 7 years, 9 months ago

Another fiasco from City Hall. What good are they if they can't cruise Mass.?! That would be the "fun" of it........ They're too slow for Mass. but okay for streets with a higher speed limit. Somebody needs to give these folks (city commission) some coffee to wake 'em up.

ilovelucy 7 years, 9 months ago

I am very disappointed in the commission for allowing this to pass. Stupid all the way around.

sherbert 7 years, 9 months ago

I agree it's stupid to allow someone to open a business at the expense of others. But, like was posted above, it'll be out of business in a few months anyway.

das 7 years, 9 months ago

I see it doing fine during the summer....students are gone (contributing to traffic) and it's hot (people are lazy).....after the summer, I see it dying a convulsive death.

Vinny1 7 years, 9 months ago

Its hot in the summer so people who don't want to walk in the heat will want to get on and pedal a bike? Really?

John Hampton 7 years, 9 months ago

The patrons will be doing the pedaling? Really? One of us didn't actually read this... so either you're the dumbass or I am.

Vinny1 7 years, 9 months ago

I'm gonna go with you on this one. Here is the quote from the first article on the these things going before the city commision.

"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. "

sourpuss 7 years, 9 months ago

Who drives up Mass. St. when they are in a hurry anyway? People should drive slowly on it and stay off of it unless you have business along there. Maybe we should make the speed limit on Mass 10 MPH and allow the cabs. Then I wouldn't worry about being mowed down in the crosswalk by some idiot who is "in a hurry."

Bud Stagg 7 years, 9 months ago

Nothing like coming out of a bar after 6 or 12 beers and then getting on a bike. Might help you get rid of the beer before it gets into the blood stream.

somedude20 7 years, 9 months ago

I am not a fortune teller but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express and I know that this will fail. Keep the receipt for that bike as you might need it to return it

d_prowess 7 years, 9 months ago

I think this provision only applied to the massive 16 person pedicab, not the normal ones that can hold about 2 people. And as for driving on Vermont and New Hampshire, you have the ability to pass on those streets and you can't on Mass. So that is why they were approved for those streets despite having a higher overall speed limit.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

"And as for driving on Vermont and New Hampshire, you have the ability to pass on those streets"

That's no longer possible in most stretches of these streets, especially where this thing is most likely to operate.

d_prowess 7 years, 9 months ago

Isn't there a turning lane down the entire lengths of those streets?

terrapin2 7 years, 9 months ago

Mass., Vermont, and New Hampshire have the same speed limit.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 9 months ago

most of the bars are on mass, and the people to watch.

does not make sense on nh and vt [yes that means I am agreeing with boozo, and the big cheeseburger].

I am concerned about safety. I also think that this will simply discourage more people from going downtown, rather than deal with yet another traffic snarl.
nh and vt are the streets supposed to provide faster driving.

wonder how much the "driver" gets paid to deal with all the drunks?

John Hampton 7 years, 9 months ago

It holds 16 people? What pedal powered vehicle can pull that? Fully loaded with lean tree huggers averaging around 130lbs each is still over 2000 lbs. Normal people eaters, full loaded could push that to a ton and a half. Who can pull a ton using pedals and a bicycle chain? I'm not saying it can't be done, but jesus no wonder it'll only go 5 mph, I'm surprised it'll speed around that fast, actually. I wanna see this thing tackle 14th street from downtown up to past The Wheel. I'd pay good money to see that!

When I first read the headline I figured this would be for 2-4 people and thought that that might be a cool option to have.... a pedal bus seems a bit over done, imo.

John Hampton 7 years, 9 months ago

Should say "normal eaters"... I in no way advocate cannibalism.

Paul Geisler 7 years, 9 months ago

I suggest you read the article again, and the previous articles that are linked to it. There are pictures available of the PedalPub from an article in the Star Tribune. Everyone pedals at the same time and one person controls the steering and brakes!

John Hampton 7 years, 9 months ago

OK that makes more sense. I am therefore, the dumbass.

I now decree this idea as one full of suck, with full apologies to Vinny1.

jehovah_bob 7 years, 9 months ago

I just hope they stop calling it a Pedicab. Makes it sound like something NAMBLA would reserve for a conference excursion.

trinity 7 years, 9 months ago

either that or an appliance to shave the callous and dried crud off of your feet. oh wait that's a ped-egg.

OaklandRaidersNation 7 years, 9 months ago

Heay, I'm glad something like this is coming to Lawrence. We have the same service in Oakland & Berkeley. I think it's great....good comment Local Support. I agree.

ferrislives 7 years, 9 months ago

Besides being a completely stupid idea, it's an accident waiting to happen. I wonder how long it will be before one of them gets hit by a car, and people get hurt.

terrapin2 7 years, 9 months ago

It's actually an idea that has worked quite well in cities like Minneapolis and others. People get hit by cars walking and riding traditional bikes all the time. Are you suggesting they should not allow either of those activities downtown? Pedestrians and bicycles are a lot less easy to see than a large pedicab. The speed limit on Mass, Vermont, and New Hampshire is 20mph already to accommodate pedestrians etc... and it's the inattentive drivers downtown that are speeding that usually are at fault. If you think it's stupid, then by all means do not participate. Why does everyone have to rain on other people's parade? How will this really inconvenience anyone? Really? Traffic should already be slow on those streets and there is plenty of room to safely/slowly go around them, just like the many cars that you see double parked on Mass sometimes. You just go around. Big deal.

bruno2 7 years, 9 months ago

I rode a pedicab in the Denver LoDo area late one night, it was great, but it was one of the 2-3 person jobs and the guy up front did the pedaling. No chance I'm going to go for the 16 person, fares do the work, deal. The fun is in kicking back and checking out the scene. This guy ought to scale back to a set of the little jobs that can go on Mass. I figure from spring to fall they'd be a pretty good business in the afternoon/evenings. The pedi-bus looks like a flop to me. I also note that the cities mentioned where these things have been successful are big places. A ride from Telegraph Ave., down to Broadway and over to Flynt's Bar-b-que in Berkeley would be a natural. From 6th and New Hampshire down to 11th and New Hampshire, what's the point?

GardenMomma 7 years, 9 months ago

I can see a terrible accident happening with this thing. I wonder how long before a texting driver or drunk driver crashes into it. Lawrence seems to have a history of people on bikes getting hit by cars. A big 16-person bike is a huge accident waiting to happen. And they put it on streets that cars typically use to avoid Mass Street. Smart!

budwhysir 7 years, 9 months ago

They are just trying to cover any chance of loosing money from parking tickets. If you could park in the parking garage and then get a ride downtown via pedal power that would save you money and make the city budget smaller

kernal 7 years, 9 months ago

Just ban cars from Massachusetts street and bring back the horse drawn carriages. Let's get a little ambience back. I'm sick and tired of hip hop so loud you can hear it in the offices on the 8th floor @ 9th & Mass and vibrates in offices up and down the street. I swear, one of these days, Alice! One of these days!!

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