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Rachel Cooper

Pedicabs are Coming to the National Mall

By August 11, 2012

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Pedicabs in Washington DC have been restricted to operating along the outskirts of the National Mall, but that is soon to change. On September 4, 2012, the National Park Service will begin issuing Commercial Use Authorizations to allow pedicab operators to solicit fares within the boundaries of National Mall and Memorial Parks. Eleven pedicab stands will be established and the sidewalk on the west side of the Lincoln Memorial will become a pedicab route. There is $100.00 application fee. Permits can be obtained by contacting Gordy Kito, Concession Specialist, National Mall and Memorial Parks at (202) 245-4675. Applications can be found at www.nps.gov.

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  • Comments
    August 15, 2012 at 1:35 am
    (1) oskar says:

    This piece makes it sound as if pedicabs have recently been granted access to the National Mall when in reality anyone who has visited the Mall recently knows pedicabs have always had full access on every public street. Additionally, pedicabs were specifically prohibited from any sidewalk access although several motorized vehicles such as fast-food golf carts and USPP motorcycles continue to move at speeds much faster than a pedicab. Any slight infraction of these mandated and ambiguous regulations, however, have resulted in ongoing harassment, hundreds of written citations, and even arrests made by US Park Police. (Last year, one operator was tased after having allegedly illegally parked a pedicab – with charges dropped.)

    Any way, Ms. Cooper, while the CUA does provide the DC pedicab industry with slightly more credibility, it does not represent a highly democratic decision-making process over a free market. After all, tucked away in the new regs specifically gives the USPP the new and broad authority to close down the Mall to pedicabs whenever they need to. Make no mistake, this was not in result of any safety or security risk, but rather the impending police state again claiming another victim.

    August 15, 2012 at 9:27 am
    (2) Robert says:

    Pedicabs have been operating legally on the National Mall for the last 6 years. When pedicabs started operating 6 years ago, the National Park Service issued a letter attesting to the fact that they recognize the operation of pedicabs. Over the last several years, a group of US Park Police officers have illegally tried to ban pedicabs from the Mall through constant harassment. However, the official position of both the National Park Service and the US Park Police (as well as the city of Washington) has been that pedicabs are welcome.

    The new regulations are a very mixed bag. Although there are some positive aspects to these rules, in fact it appears to greatly increase the power of US Park Police over individual drivers. These officers have acted illegally and with impunity over the last couple of years in an effort to crush us, and we see no indication that they will suddenly stop their silly little vendetta against pedicabs just because of the new regulations. Rather, we fear that they will dissect every word of the new regulations to use against us in a continued effort to ban us through extralegal means.

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