Because there were, miraculously, no injuries, that professionally-shot video of a street fight between a pedicab driver and a cabbie was an instant classic—especially that part where the pedicab driver rides off on the sidewalk after throwing a trashcan at his adversary (and missing). But Mayor Bloomberg was not amused, and told reporters yesterday that the traffic-stopping fisticuffs were "totally inappropriate."
Hizzoner seemed to place the blame squarely on the pedicab driver, who escalated the altercation by throwing his coffee at the cab's window. And Bloomberg took the opportunity to remind everyone that "by the end of November we'll have licensed all these pedicabs. If they had been licensed by now we would be able to look and see who the pedicab driver was because we'd see his license plate on the pedicab." Does that mean police are investigating the licensed cab driver (top, left)? Because it takes two to tango in the middle of traffic.
Pedicab drivers must now apply for a special license, and owners must apply for a business license by November 20th. The licensing requirements also come with new restrictions in Central Park, which have pedicab drivers outraged. Under the new rules, pedicabs will be forbidden from areas where taxis and carriages make pick-ups; required to operate in the right lane of traffic, not the bike lane on the left; and, weirdly, prohibited from displaying advertisements at times when other motor vehicles are barred from the park.
But City Councilman Leroy Comrie doesn't think the new rules are stiff enough, telling the Post, "Pedicabs have been for too long acting like they rule the streets ahead of any other mode of transportation because they're wearing a cloak of environmental friendliness that no other commuter vehicle could do." In June, a serious collision between a pedicab and a taxi by the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn left three injured.