City Committee OKs new pedal pub ordinance

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January 28, 2013
By: Nick Halter
Nick Halter
An ordinance to add restrictions to pedal pubs in Minneapolis passed a key city committee unanimously today

An ordinance to add restrictions to pedal pubs in Minneapolis passed a key city committee unanimously today, making it a near-certainty to pass the full City Council in February. 

The new restrictions weren’t major issues for the two pedal car operators in Minneapolis – Twin Cities PedalPub and Traveling Tap —  although the latter is only a year old and the owners said the restrictions would likely hurt their growth.

“As small business owners in the infancy of our business…  a few aspects are hard for us to swallow and will hurt us a little bit, but we’ll look forward to reviewing the ordinance in 2014 as promised,” said Sarah Frakes, who owns Traveling Tap with her brother, Matt Frakes.

The ordinance, authored by City Council Member Diane Hofstede (Ward 3), would add a 10 p.m. curfew, ban hard alcohol and add license fees and inspections for pedal cars and drivers.

Frakes and PedalPub co-owner Al Boyce said their companies already follow the curfew and alcohol rules. 

Other rules include requiring operators to carry $2 million in insurance, requiring a $59 fee to license drivers and a $98 fee for each pedal car.

Today’s hearing brought out a few concerned residents, particularly a few of them who live near Acorn Mini Storage, 2547 5th St. NE. That’s where Twin Cities PedalPub picks up and drops off passengers for it’s Northeast tour.

Neighbors said PedalPub passengers will get done with their tour and party in the neighborhood. One neighbor detailed public urination, fights and foul language, saying the pedal cars “ruin our summers.”

Today’s public hearing did not bring out complaints from neighbors of other pedal car starting points, such as Black Forest Inn on Nicollet Avenue and near St. Anthony Main. Those are further from residential neighborhoods.

The city’s lead licensing inspector, Linda Roberts, said she know of no accidents between pedal cars and vehicles.

Lisa Goodman (Ward 7) had some harsh words for the pedal car industry, saying that the state legislature effectively forced the pedal cars onto the city.

“As a result of state law, we have to allow people to have open consumption, as long as they’re sitting on pedal pub stools, but if they’re off the pedal pub stool they can’t have open consumption,” Goodman said.