Council looking further into pedicab regulation options

“I think (pedicabs) would be a great cultural addition to downtown.”

Sylvan Lake town council delved further into the possibility of regulating pedicabs in town during its regular meeting March 9.

Town staff presented a report outlining a previous prohibition placed on pedicabs and rickshaws in Sylvan Lake and how future related proposals could be considered.

The operation of rickshaws, in which human runners pull a two-wheeled passenger cart, was omitted from council’s motion to direct staff to look further into the regulation.

The operation of pedicabs, however, in which drivers pedal a three-wheeled passenger cart much like a bicycle, was generally supported by council.

“I think that rickshaws and pedicabs need to be addressed separately,” said Mayor Sean McIntyre. “I think (pedicabs) would be a great cultural addition to downtown.”

The presence of pedicabs in the downtown area, he added, would allow visitors to that area to explore other parts of town.

“I’d welcome future applications like this.”

Coun. Jas Payne said safety would need to be a main consideration in future decisions made regarding the regulation of pedicabs.

He said his concerns were related “more to health and safety than economics,” and asked that local law enforcement be a part of town staff’s further investigation into the matter.

“Safety and security needs to be paramount,” he said. “That needs to be the goal.”

An application proposing a rickshaw business several years ago was withdrawn when the applicant was advised advertising wouldn’t be permitted on its vehicles.

Sylvan Lake RCMP at a later meeting advised its opposition to such businesses. At that time, it noted that “rickshaws and pedicabs would present a traffic safety issue in the downtown core.”

Provincial legislation prohibits the use of advertising on such vehicles, although the town could authorize it through bylaw.

The motion carried by council on March 9 instructed town staff to look into the matter “with or without advertising.”


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