SAN DIEGO – There’s a newly approved ban on motor pedicabs, e-bikes and scooters around the San Diego Bay. This follows the passing of strict regulations enacted by the Port of San Diego.
The rain Wednesday was quite fitting for motor pedicab drivers. The port is now hitting the brakes on waterfront tours along neighboring boardwalks.
“I won’t be able to go to the Rady Shell or to the pier, I can’t see all the views. So pretty much, I’m going to show the streets like any other bus,” shared Michael Wawrzynski, who runs a local pedicab business.
Wawrzynski just so happens to own 26 pedicabs, putting a beloved aspect of his 20-year-old business to a screeching halt.
“The pedicabs were once a unique thing where you can go on the pier and show them all the views of Coronado Island and everything, and now that’s going to be taken away from us and that’s going to cost big bucks for me,” Wawrzynski went on to explain.
It’s a win, however, for Janet Rogers. It’s a fight she’s been battling for years now.
“It’s causing enough of a problem on the port that they finally said it’s enough, and we’re going to control it,” shared Rogers, who is a co-chair of Safe Walkways.
Rogers said loud music, speeding and busy walkways were a dangerous combination, putting both tourists and locals in harm’s way.
“People we were getting scared to walk, and that’s the opposite of what we want on the bay.”
But like most rules, there is an exception.
“If you have pedal-only pedicabs, you’re still going to be allowed to ride along the Embarcadero. So they have not banned pedicabs, they have banned motorized pedicabs,” Rogers emphasized.
For Michael, that exception doesn’t cut it.
“Nobody wants to pedal this bike with five people. I can’t do the city tour with five people and show them everything you should see,” shared Wawrzynski.
Under the new guidelines, pedicab operators like Wawrzynski will also have to pay the port an annual fee, starting at $183 per cab in the first year.
“We’ve already been paying the fees to the City of San Diego for the last 20 years and now they’re going to add the fees to the port district,” he said.
To learn more about the new regulations, visit here.
This will go into effect beginning Dec. 14, but are said to be enforced gradually starting with a warning system. However, after one or more violations, permit owners can receive penalties up to $5,000.