Council Backpedals on Proposed Quadricycles Ban
Public safety committee looks instead to a place a few restrictions on them. But the discussion isn’t quite over.
Think width restrictions and safety lights.
But the case isn’t closed just yet.
Members of council’s public safety committee discussed the quadricycle issue further at its meeting Tuesday night.
At-large councilman Ryan Nowlin, the committee chairman, said he’s received several emails on the topic.
“The city has tried to become more bike-friendly,” he said. “I am happy to see that more and more people are interested… I am sensitive to the fact that as we try to legislate this, people will see it as the city being anti-cycling.”
Judge Patrick Carroll has already ruled that Dominic Latessa’s four-wheeled, non-motorized “Rhoades Car” isn’t a toy.
It doesn’t fall under the classification of a horse-and-buggy or a tractor, either.
Latessa, a Lakewood resident, was cited for pedaling his “quadricycle” down Madison Avenue last September, before Carroll tossed out the case last year.
Mayor Michael Summers has also shifted gears somewhat on an earlier proposal to close what he called a “loophole” in the city’s ordinances.
“I’ve matured in my view of this,” Summers recently told Lakewood Patch. “We only have one of these right now. It’s important not to overreact. We can study it; we can pay attention and think about it.”
Safety, everyone agrees, is the point.
“Initially when this came up, it seemed more like a novelty,” said Ward 3 councilman Shawn Juris, adding that he’s “shifted perspective” on the issue.
“But the more I dig, I noticed that we don’t limit any other forms of alternate transportation… Is this a huge difference between what’s already operating on the roads?”
In his opinion, Judge Patrick Carroll said the quadricycle is not likely safe for the roads, but pointed out that the vehicle — not unlike a bicycle — doesn’t fall under the classification of a toy.
The Rhoades Car is a four-wheeled bike that “rides like a car.”
It’s 5-feet long, with two front seats — each with a set of pedals — and a bench-style backseat. Latessa said it weighs about 125 pounds unoccupied.
Ward 1 councilman David Anderson suggested possible width and length restrictions “on pedaled-powered cycles on our streets.”
“Safety is the issue,” he said.
“To me it comes down to operating on the streets without impeding traffic,” added Ward 2 councilman Tom Bullock.
Latessa, who attended Tuesday’s meeting, told cleveland.com that riding his Rhoades vehicle is a good way to spend time with his autistic son, Tyler.
“As long as they let me ride it, I am fine with that,” Latessa recently told Lakewood Patch. “My son is more important than any ordinance.”
The committee is expected to discuss the issue further at an upcoming meeting.