City leader to propose crack down on loud noise from vehicles

SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — They are loud, colorful, loved and hated: the pedicabs in downtown San Diego have drawn the attention of city leaders, and their future could be changing.

The riders pedal tourists from bars to hotels crisscrossing downtown, but their music has come under fire.

“We are getting complaints from residents who live downtown, we are getting complaints from businesses. We are hearing complaints from out-of-town guests who are staying in the hotels who can’t get a goodnight sleep, because of the loud noise coming from the pedicabs,” said Stephen Whitburn, a San Diego City Councilmember.

The bikes were historically ridden by athletes who would work extremely hard pedaling up and down the streets sweating for their tips, but now they are all powered by electric batteries allowing pedicab operators to speed up and down the streets without even breathing hard. Now, Whitburn has been prompted to help mitigate the stream of complaints.

“I am going to propose a new ordinance that is going to completely ban amplified music on pedicabs,” Whitburn said.

The music is not the only issue facing pedicab operators.

“There is no consistency in the pricing. So, we have a number of folks that will come to us and say, ‘I just got gouged by the pedicab,’ so this is a problem and we are very thankful for councilmember Whitburn to address this, because if it goes on further, it will continue to be a problem, it will hurt San Diego’s reputation,” said Fred Tayco with the San Diego County Lodging Association.

Pedicab riders declined FOX 5/KUSI’s attempts to discuss the possible new ordinance proposals, but did say they are already regulated. The new proposal is expected to be rolled out officially Friday.

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