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San Diego City Council cracks down on pedicabs

July 28, 2009 |  6:29 pm


The San Diego City Council today voted 8 to 0 to greatly reduce the number of pedicabs prowling downtown streets.

The council voted to limit the number of pedicab annual permits to 250. In 2008, there were 643 permits issued, and in the first six months of this year, 426.

City officials are concerned that an overabundance of pedicabs has led to dangerous driving as pedicab operators hustle to pick up tourists. The pedicab drivers complain that they are not able to make a living because there are too many cabs.

Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who sponsored the crackdown, said that pedicab companies are "taking advantage of Third World kids" by luring foreign college students to San Diego with false promises of making money as pedicab operators.

The council also endorsed a ban on pedicabs on sidewalks and any street where the speed limit is 25 mph or higher. Pedicabs also will not be allowed in metered parking places.

On July 4, a tourist from Illinois tumbled from a pedicab and suffered a fatal head injury.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Pedicab in downtown San Diego. Credit; Los Angeles Times