Santa Monica's city council is considering allowing pedicabs in the beach city, reports the Santa Monica Daily Press. There's been talk of bringing such vehicles back in the LA area for years, with Hollywood still considering the idea (they previously went extinct due to strict cab regulations). Santa Monica is hot on their heels now that a company called Trike Pilots, Inc. has applied for a business license to operate five to eight pedicabs initially, with the goal of 20 vehicles eventually shuttling people from Main Street to Montana Avenue in downtown. Most members of the council support the pedicab idea, but want to keep tight regulations on the industry. Of course, tighter regulations could equal extra cops and lawsuits from operators. The state makes things more complicated by classifying pedicabs as regular bicycles, so demanding they adhere to specific routes or times of day could be difficult. Whether the pedicabs would help or hinder traffic also remains an open question--the tourists who will mainly patronize the vehicles likely don't have cars, and pedicabs are often so cumbersome they could clog up DTSM streets. On the flip side, pedicabs are popular in other tourist towns and could bring in big tax receipts for the city. Of course, drunks are known to fall off the things and break their necks, so the lawsuit issue has to be considered there as well.
· Pedicab company wants to roll in Santa Monica [SMDP]
· Hollywood Pedicab System Could Close H&H-Vine Street Gap [Curbed LA]