Culture News

City of Scottsdale to Regulate Popular Nightlife Pedicabs

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Jay Ewing, owner of pedicab company Big Papa Human Powered Transportation, says good riddance to operators who don't want to do things legally.

"I used to believe that [pedicab operators] could do this job without a driver's license 'cause they're riding a bicycle and not a motorized vehicle," Ewing says. "But so many of those people just don't have a care or concern for safety. There's a reason why they don't have a license. There don't have respect for the business or respect for the laws of the road."

Although he disagreed with a "few minor portions" of the ordinance requiring mirrors, which was ultimately cut from the regulations, Ewing says he supports it.

"[Scottsdale] isn't forcing me to do anything that I as a business owner am already doing. I already have insurance. I've had it for 11 years. It's all the other riff-raff that are out there that ruin it for the rest of us," Ewing says. "A lot of 'em with suspended driver's licenses, a couple of 'em who never got one by choice, or are angry with the government."

Ewing, who has run pedicabs in Scottsdale since 2002, also believes that the ordinance will keep independent drivers away from Scottsdale. He also claims it will weed out some also some alleged "shady characters" who operate pedicabs.

"I've been in Scottsdale for 11 years. I was the first guy to show up. I've watched all these other companies [and] independents, those who don't do right by the law, come into my industry and diminish it. But there are also a lot of tweakers in this industry; there are a lot of alcoholics," Ewing says. "I'm actually happy that some form of ordinance was passed. Mandatory driver's license is a great way to make a lot of that disappear."

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