By Dave Iltis
Pedicab Ordinance Would Require a Motor Vehicle Driver's License
August 15, 2016 – The Salt Lake City Council will be considering an ordinance to regulate pedicabs within its borders at the Council Work Session on August 16, 2016. The ordinance is a response to the growth of the industry, according to Dan Bergenthal of the Salt Lake City Transportation Division.
Cycling Utah last reported on the ordinance in June of 2015 (see: http://www.cyclingutah.com/advocacy/salt-lake-city-prepares-to-regulate-pedicabs/ ). There were a number of problems with the ordinance, including the possible ban of pedicabs on many downtown streets. Cycling Utah communicated these issues to Salt Lake City. It has taken until now to be reconsidered by the Council.
The proposed ordinance has been updated since then, and the ban on pedicabs on arterials is gone. Additionally, most violations of the ordinance are now to be treated as infractions, rather than misdemeanors. Lastly, it is now okay for a pedicab operator to leave their pedicab if it is parked appropriately and not blocking the sidewalk or traffic.
Some remaining clauses may be construed as detrimental to pedicab operators and bicycling. Pedicab operators must have a Utah Driver's License even though pedicabs are human powered vehicles (some with electric assist). Additionally, Pedicab Licenses (a new license from Salt Lake City) must be renewed each year, according to the draft ordinance. This is not the same as the code for operators of other ground transportation which are on a two year cycle.
The proposed ordinance will be discussed in the Salt Lake City Council work session on August 16, 2016. A public hearing has not been scheduled yet.
The version of the ordinance the Cycling Utah has and is most likely the current version is SALT LAKE ORDINANCE AUG 2015.
The ordinance is much improved from the last version circulated.
However, there are still a couple of negative aspects to the ordinance that need to be changed.
The requirement that pedicab operators have a Utah Driver's License is sadly ironic. While it is crucial that operators have full knowledge of the laws governing vehicle operation, it is sadly ironic that operators of a three-wheeled bicycle would have to drive a car in order to drive a pedicab. This section could be remedied by requiring that pedicab operators pass the written portion of the Utah exam and not require the driving portion.
Secondly, singling out Pedicab operators to have to renew their licenses each year, rather than every two will result in more paperwork and costs for both the operator and Salt Lake City. This should be changed to match other ground transportation licenses.
Lastly, the insurance requirements need to be revisited.
The draft ordinance lists them below:
5.63.090: INSURANCE; REQUIRED
A pedicab business shall provide, concurrent with the execution of this Agreement, a comprehensive general liability insurance policy covering its operation of said pedicab for public transportation with minimum limits of $1,000,000 per occurrence with a $2,000,000 general aggregate. A current certificate of insurance, approved by the City Attorney, must be kept on file with the City Recorder verifying such continuing coverage The insurance policy shall name the City as an additional insured and shall contain a special endorsement to the effect that the City will be notified at least thirty (30) days prior to cancellation or reduction in the limits. The City requires continuous coverage. Cancellation of insurance constitutes grounds for the suspension or revocation of the business license to which the insurance corresponds.
It doesn't make sense to include the limits in the code unless this is something that gets revisited each year by the Council. If this doesn't happen, then with inflation, or changes to insurance law, this provision in the code may become obsolete.
It would be much better to match the Salt Lake City Ground Transportation ordinance language:
5.71.140: INSURANCE REQUIRED:
- Every ground transportation vehicle shall be covered by automobile liability insurance, when the vehicle is available for or being used for the transportation of persons using Salt Lake City streets for commercial purposes, at the minimum levels of coverage set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 49 CFR 387.33, or by the Utah Department of Transportation, or by the United States Department of Transportation, whichever levels are higher. Proof of insurance shall be required when a vehicle is initially inspected by the department, and may be verified upon the City's receipt of a complaint, negative comment form, or at the time of an on-street, unscheduled ground transportation vehicle inspection.
This then ties it to a state standard, rather than a temporary one that the City needs to revisit annually. The Utah State standard is currently $1,000,000 per occurrence, and so for now, the City ordinance matches that of the state.
To comment to the council, send email to: Council Comments <[email protected]>