The Washington Post

Pedicab regulations set to return Friday

You may not have noticed, but the District recently played host to a band of bikers who were unencumbered by the law. Well, to be more specific, they were pedicab drivers operating during a brief window when no specific regulations governed them.

This chapter comes to a close on Friday when the District Department of Transportation’s regulations governing pedicabs are going to take effect after more than three weeks without pedicab rules.

Pedicabs have been in Washington for years, but it took time before there were regulations specific to the bicycle-powered rickshaws.

The D.C. transportation department issued pedicab regulations in July, following those with emergency regulations in August. The July rules were meant to be permanent, but some pedicab operators expressed concerns about parts of those regulations, said John Lisle, spokesman for the department.

The emergency regulations issued in August expired on Nov. 29. The final regulations, which are the same as the emergency regulations, will take effect when they are published in the D.C. Register on Friday.

The 23-day gap between the expiration of the emergency regulations and the arrival of the final rules was an oversight, Lisle said. But it’s not a requirement that final regulations seamlessly follow temporary ones, he said.

“Obviously you’d like it to be seamless, but previously there were no regulations in place at all, so we feel like we’ve rectified that,” Lisle said.

The rules are pretty straightforward. Among the requirements: Passengers should have seat belts; pedicabs should have headlights, taillights and turn lights; pedicab operators should not be under the influence. There are also some restrictions for where pedicabs can operate (public streets) and can’t operate (sidewalks and roads with speed limits above 30 miles per hour).

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.



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