Rickshaws/pedicabs in NYC
You know, those three wheeled, toursit carrying bike things that are the spawn of the devil...
What is up with the recent explosion in these god-awful things in Manhattan, especially midtown? I remember reading a while ago that the city was going to regulate them in just the same way they do cabs. At the time I was thinking it was a bad idea. What harm can they do. In fact they are keeping people out of cabs for short haul rides. Not a bad idea. This was maybe six or seven months ago I read this. At the time I remember the article stating there were about 250 of them in Manhattan.
Since then I've noticed a huge increase in there numbers which is making them a massive problem. Most of these guys (and a few girls) pedaling these things are not cyclist. They have no idea of cycling etiquette or how to ride in traffic. In fact they think they are equals to cabs and the like, which they aren't. Not only to they massively block traffic but given that alot of them aren't cyclists and have no idea how to ride in traffic they usually block the bike lanes and worst...more often than not they block the "outs" in traffic.
It's bad enough having to deal with cars while riding in Manhattan. At least cars move along at a normal pace and they are, generally speaking, where you expect them. In a lane, in the street. These pedicabs are all over the place. Bike lanes, middle of the street (sometimes 2 or 3 wide 3 or 4 deep..) blocking everything and generally getting in the way of everything. Like I said, the worst part is generally they are always blocking the outs you have while riding in traffic. Not just the obvious ones, but the 2nd and sometimes even 3rd options you leave yourself.
On top of that what good are they? For short trips, ones shorter than you would take a cab for but too long to really walk? Nope. They charge insane rates and are slow as death. Not to mention the getting in the way thing and how bloody dangerous riding in one is. Pretty much all you see are fat tourists in them.
The city needs to regulate these things badly and limit their numbers or get rid of them all together. At the very least teach them how to ride in traffic and/or get a clue.