Police Crack Down on Pedicabs; Dozens Seized and ‘Con’ Revealed – West Side Rag

This article discusses the current situation and challenges faced by pedicab drivers in New York City, particularly around Central Park and other tourist areas.

Pedicab Drivers in Central Park: A group of pedicab drivers was seen at the West 72nd Street entrance to Central Park. One of the drivers, a recent entrant to the business, expressed his aspiration to be an entrepreneur and his fear of potential targeting by law enforcement.

NYPD Operation Against Illegal Pedicabs: About a week before, NYPD officers conducted an operation in areas around Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, Times Square, and the Empire State Building. They seized 77 pedicabs, a moped, two speakers, and issued 100 summonses. The crackdown was aimed at illegal pedicabs.

Councilmember’s Call for Stricter Enforcement: Lower Manhattan Councilmember Eric Bottcher has been pushing for stricter enforcement against pedicabs. He highlighted issues like loud music from pedicabs and instances where tourists are excessively overcharged.

Pedicab Regulations and Licenses: New York City has about 850 pedicabs, the maximum number allowed under city licensing. Pedicab drivers need to renew their licenses annually and adhere to a strict set of bylaws. They must not use motorized or electrically powered vehicles and must display clear rate signs.

Issues with Overcharging and Loud Music: Some pedicab drivers reportedly overcharge customers significantly, leading to a lack of trust among customers towards all pedicab drivers. There have also been complaints about loud music played by some drivers, affecting communication and even disturbing nearby Broadway theaters.

Consequences of Non-Compliance: The fate of the seized pedicabs and the process for drivers to reclaim them were not clarified by the NYPD.

The article highlights the tensions between pedicab drivers trying to make a living, city regulations, and the need to maintain a fair and pleasant environment for tourists and city residents.

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