Keeping New York Safe From Third World Transportation

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A year ago, I noted that trishaws (a.k.a. pedicabs) were banned in Calcutta and gaining popularity in New York. Well, backwards New Yorkers are finally catching up:

It'll likely soon be the last ride for about half of the city's freewheeling pedicabs after the City Council voted to start licensing the drivers Wednesday, allowing just 325 in the city.

The mayor is expected to sign the bill. Every pedicab will be required to be licensed and insured, pass regular inspections and have headlights and turn signals. The bill also gives police the power to ban pedicabs from any part of the city for up to 14 days at a time.

Pedicabs will still be allowed to operate in city parks. The rules also effectively prohibit the multi-rider party bikes that are popular in Times Square…

"When you craft an agreement where everyone is a little unhappy, then you know you've done a good job," said Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-Queens),after the vote that reined in the city's newest, cleanest and most controversial mode of transportation.

I'm guessing the folks at the Taxi and Limousine Commission aren't even a little unhappy.

Via Kip Esquire.

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  1. Didn’t I see a Seinfeld episode about this?

    If it had been anybody but Kramer and Newman this would not be rationed and regulated!

  2. “When you craft an agreement where everyone is a little unhappy, then you know you’ve done a good job,”…

    I think it would be OK for people who are doing no harm to be happy to be left alone while self-righteous busybodies are unhappy because they can’t push someone around. Apparently Councilman Leroy Comrie doesn’t feel that way.

  3. “When you craft an agreement where everyone is a little unhappy, then you know you’ve done a good job,”

    Or something stupid. Either one’s fine.

  4. “When you craft an agreement where everyone is a little unhappy, then you know you’ve done a good job,”

    Jesus. I know it’s unrealistic, but I hope to live until a politician says, “When you fail to craft an agreement and everyone is a little unhappy, then you know you’ve done a good job.”

  5. The rules also effectively prohibit the multi-rider party bikes that are popular in Times Square…

    I guess those bri… uh, campaign contributions by the horse drawn carriage association worked, now there will be no competetion to a ride behind the south end of a north bound mule (or horse). I can just smell the merchantilism.

  6. Wow, this Council is on fire lately. Does a day go by where they’re not making my life better in some way?

  7. So, New York is squashing what has to be the most carbon-neutral form of transportation around?

    Why do New Yorkers hate Gaia?

  8. First, no New Yorker rides in those things. Tourists ride in them.

    Second, I can imagine the city requiring turn signals, headlights and reflectors, but limiting the total number of pedicabs is an obscene overreach.

  9. A terrible law! There’s no way filling the streets of Manhattan with large, slow bicycles would ever cause a problem.

  10. In line with RC’s comments; here is something (pedicab) that lessens New Yorkers’ dependency on vehicles and the amount of fuel being used. Now, instead of hopping on one of those little pedicabs, more people will be forced to take a cab. Are bicycles next? Will walking soon be banned also? WTF are these morons thinking?

  11. Dan T. | March 2, 2007, 2:58pm | #
    A terrible law! There’s no way filling the streets of Manhattan with large, slow bicycles would ever cause a problem.

    Like having them filled with large slow taxis is any better? I have seen rush hour, and there ain’t so much rush in it.

  12. In South Carolina they use horse buggies.

    Horses poop.

    A lot.

  13. RC Dean: When you’re right, you’re goddam right.

  14. “When you craft an agreement where everyone is a little unhappy, then you know you’ve done a good job…”

    That’s about as good a job description for politicians and government officials as I have ever seen: spreading unhappiness around. And to think we pay them to do it! What a country!

  15. Word up, JAM.

    Out in the real world, an agreement only works if it makes all the parties at least a little bit happy.

    In the alternate universe of the Mailed Fist, though, the objective is to make everyone unhappy. Mission accomplished!

  16. 22 years ago my wife and I took a rickshaw tour of downtown Portland, Oregon. We weighed a total of 475 at the time. best 10 bucks I ever spent. Poor little SOB was dyin most of the trip….

  17. “When you craft an agreement where everyone is a little unhappy, then you know you’ve done a good job,

    Could only come from the mouth of a sociopath.

  18. It’s actually a very common expression in politics, surprised you hadn’t heard it. It’s ironic, of course, because the politician wants to make everyone a little happy too, but the expression is offered up as an excuse for lack of perfection. These people and those people are complaining? Then I must’ve struck the right balance between the sides.

    And you know what? If there was a danger that absent this compromise, pedicabs would’ve been banned entirely, then the councilman’s right.

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