For those who closely follow the city council agenda, you already know that the Pedicab Ban, as originally written, is scheduled for a vote next Tuesday, February 28. (Item 73 on the 2/28 agenda.) Fear not. Word from those close to the negotiations indicates that the ordinance will be pulled from the agenda Tuesday morning.
After months of productive conversation and meaningful negotiation, the Omaha Police Department and the community pedicab supporters have come to an agreement that preserves the rights of pedicab owners while addressing the safety and traffic control issues raised by the police.
Though we are waiting on final language from the city legal department, the points of agreement going into the drafting stage are as follows.
- The city will limit the number of cabs to 25 with a maximum of four cabs per operator.
- The pedicabs will be restricted from using 13th street and 10th street between Capitol and Cuming.
- The restrictions will only be in effect from three days prior to the CWS and one day following.
- Vehicles and operators will have some licensing requirement.
- Vehicles will have to meet certain specifications.
The success of this process is a testament to the power of people and organizations working in a productive manner with government agencies and elected officials. Central to this effort were the good offices of the Omaha Young Professionals and the efforts of the North Downtown Omaha, Omaha Bikes and community members. The Omaha Police were open to the process and have been excellent partners in developing an outcome that brings the community and law enforcement together.
While we wait for final language to issue a blanket endorsement of the new ordinance, we are confident that the solution we, as a community, built will be acceptable to all parties. Should the language of the law reflect the substance of the agreed terms, we are confident that the council will approve it unanimously.