Pedicab service could be coming to Downtown Los Angeles, something many other cities have done with great success in dense downtown regions. Attempts to start pedicabs failed in the past due to lack of regulation, but renewed interest in pedicabs stems from efforts to revitalize downtown. Sounds great, but leave it to the LADOT to taint anything it touches with a clueless detachment from reality and an extra helping of bureaucratic disaster the likes of which Terry Gilliam could barely fathom. Eric Richardson broke the news on Blog Downtown, and I read through the document outlining the LADOT proposed pedicab rules and restrictions, which drones on for 16 pages.
(A look at the inner workings of the LADOT)
The biggest kickers in this document are that both driver and passengers would not only be required to wear helmets in addition to a seat belt, but the driver could be fined $500 dollars for carrying a passenger without a helmet or seat belt for a first time offense. Second offense and it escalates to a $1000 fine. An SUV driver caught speeding while texting on a cell phone, a scenario that is a vehicular manslaughter waiting to happen, would likely get off with less penalty.
No where is there pedicab service with mandatory helmet requirements, including fellow American cities like Austin, New York, and our neighboring San Diego. The other stand out example of bureaucracy gone absolutely amok is the restrictions on pedicab driver dress code. These rules mandate black shoes (no-sandals), collared shirts with sleeves and a belt. Violating the "Failure to present a neat personal appearance" mandate, results in a $25 dollar fine and immediate removal from service. For more details read the Blog Downtown post, and for the real specifics, check out the LADOT document if you can stand to do so without gauging your eyes out.
Looking over this document the only conclusion I can come to is that the LADOT would like pedicab service to become legal again so they can say they tried, but really they would like it to fail so as to not disturb the status quo. I imagine some exuberant entrepreneur setting out to start a pedicab business and being run into the ground by tickets in a matter of days. Your tax dollars hard at work with the LADOT, Moving LA Forward. Hopefully some of the red tape can be cut before this becomes policy, but this is LA, so I'm not holding my breath.