Culture News

City of Scottsdale to Regulate Popular Nightlife Pedicabs

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Cocca says that the common practice of "piling on" as many riders as possible onto the cab also will become forbidden under the ordinance, as only one person per seat available will be allowed. Cycle rickshaws also must meet certain size requirements in order to get through Old Town's oft-congested streets, as well as have reflectors and lights on the front and rear and be in good working condition.

Curiously, the ordinance also includes mandates that aren't necessarily related to public safety inasmuch as preventing public nuisances or potential eyesores. It's now also illegal, for instance, to leave pedicabs locked up to public bike racks overnight and to sport any torn upholstery or anything unsightly or rusted on rickshaws.

The many cycle rickshaws in Scottsdale that utilize boomboxes or sound systems to blast Top 40 or EDM at cacophonous levels during a ride will have to keep things down to a dull roar. Specifically, the loudness level can't exceed a 50-foot radius surrounding their pedicab at any time.

Scofflaws caught disregarding any part of the ordinance face at least a $150 fine for the first infraction, while second-time offenders will pay anywhere from $300 to $750 fine and could potentially spend a maximum of four months in jail (although Cocca admits such a punishment is "unlikely").

Needless to say, the ordinance and its penalties have some cycle rickshaw drivers wary of working in Scottsdale after it goes into affect, particularly those who don't have a driver's license or can't afford insurance.

One pedicab operator, who spoke to Jackalope Ranch on the condition of anonymity, says that the ordinance will "fuck over" those like himself who aren't legal to operate a motorized vehicle.

"I had a DUI. I paid off all my fines. I went to all my classes, but I still have a suspended license because I have yet to get a car here in Arizona," he says. "And I choose not to, because I don't need one. I'm a fucking cyclist."

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.