4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Pedaling Blues

Councilmember Marti Emerald continues to be a driving force behind pedicab regulation reform in the city. Ever since 60-year-old tourist Sharon Miller died as a result of getting thrown from a pedicab on July 4, Emerald has slammed the brakes on what has grown into a seemingly unregulated and competitive industry. "We needed tougher regulations to protect the public, and now we have them," read Emerald's September 1 press release.

Emerald's release was issued minutes after city council placed new regulations on bicycle taxis. Those new requirements: all passengers must wear seat belts; bicycle taxis are banned from sidewalks and from streets with speed limits over 25 miles per hour. And, pedicab operators must display their rates inside the cabs in plain view of passengers.

Emerald doesn't plan to stop there. She wants to reduce the number of operator permits issued each year from 400 to 250 and plans to do so through the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services committee, which she chairs.

For several owners of pedicab businesses, the change has been long overdue.

Engin Kaplan started his pedicab business five years ago when he was 25 years old. Since then, Kaplan has witnessed San Diego's pedicab industry change gears, going from 200 bicycle cabs to what he estimates is now more than 600 citywide.

"The industry is out of control," says Kaplan. "If they regulate the number of permits, it will be a better business. Yes, I'll give up some of my business."

If Emerald is successful in reducing the number of pedicab permits issued by the City, Kaplan will go from 30 pedicabs to 12.

"That will hurt me, and damage my income, but it will be better for the industry. There are too many pedicabs now, too much competition. The reason some drivers overcharge is because they work all day, maybe six or eight hours, and they only give two or three rides. They can't survive off of 20 or 30 dollars."

As for the new regulations, the steepest hill for pedicab drivers to climb, says Kaplan, will be staying off roads with speed limits higher than 25 miles per hour.

"Sometimes, you have to use those roads in order to get your passengers to their destination. So, that law will have to be broken. We'll still have the Gaslamp, but if you need to go down Harbor Drive, it's going to be very tough on the drivers. We'll train the drivers, but if they don't obey the new rules then they'll get the ticket, not the company."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Pig: Nicolas Cage’s purloined pal

Don’t look for an explanation that isn’t there. Just go with it.
Next Article

MetlBar Creamery & Café not just ice cream for breakfast

Boozy ice cream maker brings Southern brunch to North Park

Councilmember Marti Emerald continues to be a driving force behind pedicab regulation reform in the city. Ever since 60-year-old tourist Sharon Miller died as a result of getting thrown from a pedicab on July 4, Emerald has slammed the brakes on what has grown into a seemingly unregulated and competitive industry. "We needed tougher regulations to protect the public, and now we have them," read Emerald's September 1 press release.

Emerald's release was issued minutes after city council placed new regulations on bicycle taxis. Those new requirements: all passengers must wear seat belts; bicycle taxis are banned from sidewalks and from streets with speed limits over 25 miles per hour. And, pedicab operators must display their rates inside the cabs in plain view of passengers.

Emerald doesn't plan to stop there. She wants to reduce the number of operator permits issued each year from 400 to 250 and plans to do so through the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services committee, which she chairs.

For several owners of pedicab businesses, the change has been long overdue.

Engin Kaplan started his pedicab business five years ago when he was 25 years old. Since then, Kaplan has witnessed San Diego's pedicab industry change gears, going from 200 bicycle cabs to what he estimates is now more than 600 citywide.

"The industry is out of control," says Kaplan. "If they regulate the number of permits, it will be a better business. Yes, I'll give up some of my business."

If Emerald is successful in reducing the number of pedicab permits issued by the City, Kaplan will go from 30 pedicabs to 12.

"That will hurt me, and damage my income, but it will be better for the industry. There are too many pedicabs now, too much competition. The reason some drivers overcharge is because they work all day, maybe six or eight hours, and they only give two or three rides. They can't survive off of 20 or 30 dollars."

As for the new regulations, the steepest hill for pedicab drivers to climb, says Kaplan, will be staying off roads with speed limits higher than 25 miles per hour.

"Sometimes, you have to use those roads in order to get your passengers to their destination. So, that law will have to be broken. We'll still have the Gaslamp, but if you need to go down Harbor Drive, it's going to be very tough on the drivers. We'll train the drivers, but if they don't obey the new rules then they'll get the ticket, not the company."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Drive further north on I-5, Ian Anderson

Lies about Anza-Borrego
Next Article

Celluloid staycations: Where The Boys Are and Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation

If you’re the type that demands more, you’ve come to the wrong place.
Comments
6

Blah,blah,blah.....

Sept. 2, 2009

Just pull the f$%king trigger and get it over with!!

Sept. 2, 2009

i wish san diego would do somthing about clear channel owning all the radio stations in town. dosnt matter what station you switch to, they all playing the same song

Sept. 3, 2009

What proof is there that wearing a seat belt makes pedicabs safer for the passenger? I wouldn't want to be strapped in if one began to tip over! It's a stupid idea and a complete over-reaction due to the behavior of one bad pedicab driver. Issuing a limited number of permits is a good idea. By all means keep them off fast roads. But don't make laws about safety equipment unless you can show the outcome is positive.

Seat belts may actually make pedicabs more dangerous due to a) causing pedicabs to wait in traffic while passengers buckle up. b) not allowing for fast evacuation of the pedicab if it gets out of control or a collision is imminent.

Most pedicabs travel at a speed hardly faster than a walk. Strapping yourself in to one may well heighten your vulnerability to an accident.

Marti Emerald is making laws without any knowledge of whether they are effective. Just one more stupid rule to inconvenience us with little proven benefit.

Sept. 6, 2009

I agree with the last two posts.

Regarding radio stations, the FCC used to have a law that you couldn't own more than two FM and two AM stations in the same market. That has changed. And, a lot of the things Clear Channel does, is EXACTLY why those laws were there in the first place.

Sept. 6, 2009

I too would like to know if a seatbelt would be effective in a pedicap.

There is no doubt they are effective in cars-where you are traveling at much faster speeds and injuries from not wearing seatbelts come from violent collisons inside the car, being thrown around in a crash against the car itself-I don't think those injuries would happen in a pedicab because the environment is completely different.

Sept. 6, 2009

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close