Chicago Critical Mass - Pedicab Solidarity Ride
May 30th, 2014
- MEDIA ALERT
- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
- MEDIA CONTACTS:
- Minku Sharma (312-445-8858, VeganPedicab@gmail.com), David Gebhart (on scene)
- Friday 5/30 — Chicago Critical Mass - Pedicab Solidarity Ride
- 5:30pm, Daley Plaza, Picasso Sculpture, Washington & Dearborn
- BEST PHOTO/VIDEO LOCATIONS:
- Daley Plaza (5:30 to 6:00pm, start of ride)
- Michigan Avenue, from Congress to Ontario
- Wrigley Field (all sides)
- Wicker Park: Damen/North/Milwaukee, Division St, btw Ashland & Damen
- * TV news outlets: Overhead live shots via helicopter requested.
- CHICAGO CRITICAL MASS BIKE RIDE:
- CYCLISTS RIDE IN SOLIDARITY WITH PEDICAB INDUSTRY, AGAINST PEDICAB ORDINANCE
- CHICAGO 5/30 — The monthly Critical Mass bike ride, a worldwide event to celebrate bicycle culture, takes to the streets tonight in Chicago in support of local pedicab drivers who may soon become unemployed because of certain provisions in the new pedicab ordinance set to take effect next weekend. Several thousand cyclists will join pedicab drivers in a procession through the Loop, north to Wrigley Field, and culminating at the Do Division street festival in Wicker Park.
- Among the provisions that threaten the pedicab industry are: a 1-year drivers license requirement, geographic & time restrictions on pedicabs operating downtown, inadequate compliance time to meet licensing requirements, and the severity of penalties for violating the ordinance.
- The ordinance bars anyone from driving a pedicab without having had a drivers license for 1 year prior to applying for a pedicab chauffeur’s license. Several veteran pedicab drivers in Chicago either do not have a drivers license or have not renewed expired licenses within the past year, primarily because they do not drive motor vehicles. The ordinance will put them out of work.
- “I’ve been driving a pedicab for 7 years, but I’ll suddenly be out of work because of this ordinance,” said Minku Sharma, owner-operator of MVP Rickshaw. “There are so many unfair rules in this ordinance, and the City Council rushed this through despite the pedicab industry telling them how much this will hurt us.”
- Geographic and time restrictions include a total ban on pedicabs from Michigan Avenue and State Street between Congress and Oak, and a rush-hour ban within the Loop. “These streets make up the bulk of many pedicab drivers’ income. Being banned from them jeopardizes our livelihoods,” said Sharma.
- David Gebhart, a Critical Mass participant and bicycle advocate, asked pedicab drivers to attend this month’s ride. “Critical Mass is a celebration, but it’s also about cyclists’ rights to the same streets that cars drive on. There is no reason to ban pedicabs from downtown, because they are the solution to traffic congestion and are much safer than motor vehicles.”
- Critical Mass participants are riding to support the Chicago Pedicab Association, a group of pedicab drivers and owners organized to improve the pedicab industry and lobby the city to change the new pedicab ordinance. The law takes effect June 7th, barring any last-minute change of heart from the City.
- See also:
- — ChicagoCriticalMass.org
- — ChicagoPedciabAssociation.org
- — http://www.illinoispolicy.org/chicago-city-council-shows-deep-hypocrisy-in-passing-pedicab-ordinance/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chicago-city-council-shows-deep-hypocrisy-in-passing-pedicab-ordinance
- — http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=230325
- — http://chi.streetsblog.org/2014/04/30/city-council-takes-a-step-backwards-bans-pedicabs-in-loop/
- — http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-pedicab-regulation-met-20140430,0,2031679.story
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