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"Drinking while pedaling" ordinance headed for approval in Ann Arbor

quadricycle aka pedal trolley, North Carolina
James Willamor
flickr/public domain
Pedal trolley in Raleigh, North Carolina

Many of Ann Arbor's city council members have done an about-face on a proposed ordinance regulating so-called pedal trolleys, or quadricycles.

The multi-seat open-air vehicles are powered by the customers, who pedal through downtown streets, with a hired driver in front steering and braking.

Initially, the council planned to prohibit customers from bringing alcohol on board. 

But Mayor Chris Taylor says he and six other members of the council believe that can be both safe and fun, with little risk of drunken, rowdy disturbances.

"The quadricycles are in plain public view," says Taylor. "And there's a driver whose task it is to maintain the vehicle's operation in the roadway.  Ann Arbor has a thriving downtown that appeals to so many people both from within the city and without and I myself heard from a number of residents who find the quadricycles an interesting and engaging and exciting thing to have downtown."

City council voted 7-4 to advance the ordinance. It could see a final vote by the end of the month.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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