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  1. #1
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    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.

  2. #2
    A+ kinda guy Gringo665's Avatar
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    I agree with you here, these people are out of control. New York needs to put some serious regulations down on these pedicabs. They're are not an really a big problem for me when I bike in the city, however I do see the concern for people who put down a lot of their money on TLC plates. Believe me i'm all for the whole greener New York, but these drivers of pedicab's are only charged 150 a week, which gives them unlimited access to the bicycle. I know for fact a TLC medallion is 100 times that price tag.

  3. #3
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    Would the pedicabs be a problem if there were half as many cars in Manhattan?
    Not too much to say here

  4. #4
    A+ kinda guy Gringo665's Avatar
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    Congestion Pricing...YAY!!!!

  5. #5
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    There are some pedicabs in Toronto. They generally try to stay out of the way. In fact, I'd never ride in one - their operators love to stick to the door zone, and I wouldn't care to be hit in the face by a taxicab door while on a vacation...

    In short, though, I think the OP's frustration is misplaced. It's the cars that cause over 99% of congestion problems in big cities (at least on roads... let's leave sidewalks out of it). And yet there is a huge trend to constantly blame other road users (such as cyclists or rickshaws) for "getting in the way", even though in the grand scheme of things they are not even on the radar when you look at jams and congestion....
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chephy View Post
    There are some pedicabs in Toronto. They generally try to stay out of the way. In fact, I'd never ride in one - their operators love to stick to the door zone, and I wouldn't care to be hit in the face by a taxicab door while on a vacation...

    In short, though, I think the OP's frustration is misplaced. It's the cars that cause over 99% of congestion problems in big cities (at least on roads... let's leave sidewalks out of it). And yet there is a huge trend to constantly blame other road users (such as cyclists or rickshaws) for "getting in the way", even though in the grand scheme of things they are not even on the radar when you look at jams and congestion....
    My frustration is not misplaced. I've ridden in Manhattan for years. While I agree that the streets have far too many cars on them, which is leading to congestion in all places, that's a given. Once can deal with that and if you ride in an urban environment you know how to deal with it and ride accordingly. Does it suck? Yes, but you deal with it because the cars aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

    My issue with the rickshaws is that they have no clue where to be. Fine, they are on the road. I accept that. However since few of the people pedaling those things are cyclists...or even know how to drive for that matter...they have no concept of etiquette. They have no issue riding in the bike lane super slow trying to pick up a fare. They have no problem riding down the middle of 6th ave at 5mph swerving left and right talking on a cell phone or there buddy on a pedicab next to them. Like i said they constantly get in the way and usually block all the outs or otherwise with the width of the things they are pedaling.

    Other cyclists aren't a problem. Even the kamakaze delivery guys riding the wrong way in traffic coming right at you. They are another person on a bike and thus their footprint in traffic is small and you cna move around them. You can't do that with a pedicab.

    Here in Manhattan they weren't a problem until recently when they numbers seemed to quadruple seemingly overnight. The problem is in midtown for the most part, from Herald Square to Central Park mostly on 6th but it spreads to Broadway and over to 5th. They are all over, with nowhere to be really. Sadly...I live and work in this area so I am forced to deal with them on a daily basis. It's a problem that gets worst daily....

  7. #7
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obstacle View Post
    My frustration is not misplaced. I've ridden in Manhattan for years. While I agree that the streets have far too many cars on them, which is leading to congestion in all places, that's a given. Once can deal with that and if you ride in an urban environment you know how to deal with it and ride accordingly. Does it suck? Yes, but you deal with it because the cars aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
    So you agree that cars are the real problem, but instead of targeting the real problem you target the rickshaws in your rant because it's... easy? That's logic.

    My issue with the rickshaws is that they have no clue where to be. Fine, they are on the road. I accept that. However since few of the people pedaling those things are cyclists...or even know how to drive for that matter...they have no concept of etiquette.
    As if car drivers did. At least a rickshaw isn't likely to kill me if he runs into me...

    They have no issue riding in the bike lane super slow trying to pick up a fare.
    Neither do cars. Lots of them use bike lanes as parking spots too.

    They have no problem riding down the middle of 6th ave at 5mph swerving left and right talking on a cell phone or there buddy on a pedicab next to them.
    It sounds chaotic. But there are actually some good things about chaos. A chaotic road, I find, is better for cyclists than a very orderly road designed exclusively for motor vehicles, because on such an orderly road cyclists are seen as disruptors of the flow and drivers tend to get nasty. I say bring on the chaos. It slows car drivers down much more than cyclists, making the roads safer for all. It also frustrates car drivers, so more of them are likely to switch to public transportation or even cycling.

    However, I agree that inconsiderate pedicabs can be a PITA (same as incosiderate drivers, pedestrians etc.). And that just a couple of inconsiderate asses can congest a perfectly wide road with what otherwise would have been light and smooth traffic flow (you see it on wide MUPs all the time). What can I say... too bad about the added inconvenience. I feel your pain. Still, I think if I tried to improve roads, I'd concentrate on limiting motorcars rather than pedicabs.
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  8. #8
    Senior Member john bono's Avatar
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    I was in Manhattan last year, and I have to agree: they are a pain. From what I've seen of Manhattan traffic, particularly in midtown, bicycles can operate pretty well there as a mode of transport. They are typically nearly as fast as cars in that environment, and faster on the cross streets. Pedicabs on the other hand, are slow as molasses(If they are lucky, they'll break 8mph--slow enough that even my uberclyde self would be shouting "ON YOUR LEFT!"), and worst of all are as nearly as wide as a car, so they slow down traffic flow in a way a single cyclist never could, actually contributing to congestion, rather than alleviating it. It's like a one man CM ride.
    Ride a bike. It makes your legs stringy, and less tasty to our Kanamit friends.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
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    it's all good as long as you get homeless people pulling them

  10. #10
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    I live near Lincoln Center, and the corner of 59th & 8th (northeast Columbus Circle) has exploded with pedicabs doing park tours over the past month. They are dangerous in CP because they are sharing the same southern route as the horse-drawn carriages, but unlike the carriages they tend to stop in the middle of the park drive so their passengers can take pictures. Outside of CP I haven't seen them be a major problem.

    Most of the drivers seem to be European college students here for the summer, so I'm hoping that
    come late August they all just go back to school. They're probably paying an arm and a leg for the "privilege" of riding someone else's cart & license. It's a very crappy summer job except for the fact that they get to be in NYC.

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