Pedicab in Minneapolis (photo courtesy of Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune)
Building off the recommendations developed by a subcommittee, The Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee agreed at their June meeting to push for more flexible local ordinances regarding pedicab and pedal car businesses.
Jim Skoog, chair of the Education, Encouragement, and Enforcement subcommittee, presented the proposal for the BAC to support an amendment to City ordinances that would allow the pedicab business to use electric-assisted tricycles in their fleet. Steve McCarty, the father of the owner of Twin Town Pedicabs, raised some concerns that allowing for electric modifications could alter the positive public perception of pedicabs and possibly lead to unintended consequences. However, the BAC determined that the pedicabs would still be regulated enough to protect public safety, and the resolution passed.
The BAC also agreed to push for changes in the language of a proposal to regulate the pedal car business, (e.g. PedalPub®). Notably, the BAC does not believe that the pedal cars should be restricted to pre-approved routes, which could prohibit operators from taking customers to their preferred destinations. The BAC also wants to remove ordinances that would restrict pedal cars from downtown during rush hour. Instead, the Committee argued that it would make more sense to restrict the pedal cars from mass transit routes during rush hour.
Earlier in the meeting, the BAC took action to make a request to Hennepin County to postpone the addition of a permanent centerline stripe on the newly paved Marshall St. NE. The BAC is requesting that the County use temporary traffic markers until a study for bike lanes on Marshall St. is complete.