City Council Agrees To Delay Action On Allowing Beer On Pedicabs For A Week

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

City Council members, saying there are a number of unanswered questions and concerns, agreed to delay for one week an ordinance allowing beer consumption on pedicabs.

Officials of two pedicab firms said their business is thriving taking up to 15 patrons from bar to bar, but adding the beer en route would be a plus.

The council was told that patrons would be able to bring coolers of beer onto the pedicab, but would only be able to drink what the driver poured into a cup.

The council heard from Dax Turner of Pints and Pedals, who operates mainly on the Southside, and Rufus Marye, who has a downtown operation called The Chattanooga Brew Choo.

Mr. Turner said the pedicabs are proving a hit and getting patronage from bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, businesses on team building missions, etc.

He said they are slow moving - going only up to 5 mph downhill.He said most of the time is spent inside the bars and there is only about nine minutes of pedaling on a trip.

Some eight establishments are visited during the two-hour tour. He said all the pedal power is by the patrons, who are involved in "singing an a lot of fanfare."

Mr. Turner said the pedicabs are an added attraction for the city and a reason for tourists to return. 

Mr. Marye, who also operates a double-decker bus, said, "What we're doing is awesome for the city."

Assistant City Attorney Ken Fritts said the city has no liability involved, but the chief assistant city attorney, Phil Noblett, would not go that far. He said the city could be named in case of anything going awry.

Councilman Chris Anderson said he is in favor of "alcohol freedom," but he said some changes were needed, including requiring drivers to go through a five-hour alcohol safety course.

Councilman Moses Freeman said, "I think your business is needed on our streets."

Some other council members wondered if horse and carriage operators might want the same privilege. Attorney Fritts said the number of horse and carriage operators has dropped from four to one.

Councilman Carol Berz questioned whether the transportation inspector would be able to take on another duty. 



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