The issue of adopting conditions that would restrict the movement of pedicabs around the streets of the city is not included on the agenda of the July 3 meeting of the Riga City Council. First, these conditions need to be reviewed by the Safety, Order and Corruption Prevention Committee. However, since the deputies of the local government are planning on going on summer holidays, the review can only be carried out in the end of August.
Transport Department of the Riga City Council has prepared a project of rules for pedicabs, which provides that from now on pedicabs will only be allowed to drive along routes that are coordinated with the Department of transport routes along residential and parking areas. It is also planned to introduce a number of other conditions and restrictions for pedicabs. The project of rules was reviewed by the Transport and Communications Committee on June 26. Deputies found it lacking, but forwarded the project to the Riga City Council for review in the form of a «temporary variant», which will be corrected afterwards. Decisions concerning the new rules were expected to be made today.
As it is known, the rules developed by the Transport Department in their current form provide for strict restrictions, which, according to businessmen, can do serious harm to the pedicab business in Riga. Restriction to use the roadway and sidewalk will cause problems not just with positioning pedicabs, because their bikes will not be legally allowed to transport to garages, which, in most cases, are situated outside of Old Riga. «These rules will put an end to the pedicab business because they are usually used as taxis,»- says businessman Igor Sukhoverhov. Businessmen say that it is necessary to provide for the option to plan the routes along the streets, uniting them through city parks. If the restrictions are imposed, passenger bicycles will only be allowed to move around parks.
Business representatives agree that pedicabs should not be out on such streets like Valdemara, Brivibas, A.Chaka, Satekles, January 11 Street, January 13 Waterfront, Maskavas and Krasta on weekdays during busy times between 06:30 and 18:30. It is not necessary to restrict movement on all other streets.
Municipal Police and the Control Service of the Transport Department of Riga City Council will be responsible for controlling the execution of the planned rules. Violation of these rules will be punished by a fine from 10 to 250 LVL. However, the rules do not state the cases in which maximum and minimum fine amounts are applicable.
Company managers protest against age restrictions, which state that only a person 18 or older is allowed to drive a pedicab. This kind of job – is a good variant of a summer job not only for students, but for schoolchildren as well. This is why businessmen request that the age bar to be lowered to 16 years.