Lakewood May Close Quadricycles ‘Loophole’

Mayor Michael Summers said that safety is the main reason for concern.

There’s nothing stopping Dominic Latessa from pedaling his quadricycle in Lakewood. 

For now. 

Police cited the Lakewood resident for pedaling his four-wheeled, non-motorized “Rhoades Car” on Madison Avenue on Sept. 26, 2012.

Lakewood Municipal Court Judge Patrick Carroll recently found him not guilty of riding a “toy vehicle.”

Mayor Michael Summers told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the city might need to consider closing a “loophole” in the law.

“We’ve got an unregulated activity that could imperil citizens on the vehicle and others around it — particularly in cars,” Summers told Lakewood Patch.

“If there are more of these, we could have some serious accidents. This subject is complicated enough that it needs some careful study.”

In his opinion, Judge Patrick Carroll agreed that 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. 

“Neither the Ohio Revised Code nor the Lakewood Codified Ordinances set out a definition of a toy vehicle,” Carroll wrote in his opinion last week, suggesting that any changes should be made in the legislative, not the court.

“There’s some interesting stuff out there, but we have to be thoughtful about this," added Summers, adding that council may review an ordinance at an upcoming council meeting soon.

Alanna Faith January 15, 2013 at 04:14 PM
The neighbors had a Rhoades car when I was growing up. They had 7 kids and I had the benefit of enjoying cycling around the neighborhood with them. It was a great way for 4 or 5 of us to ride together. We sang "Surrey with the fringe on top" and had a lot of fun. Alternative bicycles need to be part of the discussion if action is to taken against Rhoades cars. What about adult tricycles? What about bikes towing enclosed child carrier trailers? What about tandem bikes with kiddy seats attached or towing trailers? What about bikes with the child's bike extension attachment? There are numerous ways that bicycles manifest into transportation for simply getting to the coffee shop, farmer's market or to mass transit, besides their value for fitness and recreation. Not to mention the environmental consideration.
Renee January 15, 2013 at 04:27 PM
I agree with you. What about the older individuals and those with handicaps who drive around on those rolling chairs or electric chairs (I don't know what they are called) but on a regular basis I seem them used in the streets. One specific instance is on Marlowe between Detroit and Clifton. There is a gentleman who drives right down the middle of the road going North on the side where cars should be driving South. Are these considered bicycles? That needs to be addressed as well. And Rhodes cars can be battery operated too, so in that case are they still considered a bicycle?
Alanna Faith January 15, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Renee - The use of mobility chairs on streets and sidewalks should be part of the discussion as well. As thousands of baby boomers turn 65 everyday, the US population is aging and increased use of mobility chairs should be anticipated and discussed.
Rob Horro January 15, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Anything more than making them put a big ol orange reflective triangle on it, and I will organize a protest rally and bus in the Amish with the pitchforks. Seriously though, noone should be driving more than 35 miles per hour on any street in Lakewood anyhow, so why is this really a big deal? If anything, they shouldn't be treated any worse than a tractor.
Renee January 15, 2013 at 10:56 PM
I agree they should not be treated differently but I just think they need to be educated on a safe way to go about town. Tractors go with the flow of the traffic and they have lights. I am referring specifically to the mobility chairs. Going against the traffic in the middle of the street is really dangerous, even at a slow pace and that goes for bicycles too. Maybe there could be city sponsored education for cyclists of all ages? Just this afternoon there was an older lady riding her bike down Clifton going West in the lane where traffic was going East. It is just dangerous. I watch for them as am sure everyone does but I just think they don't know its dangerous. Even at a slow pace an older person could break a bone much easier from fender/bender type accident. I think its great to see so many people cycling. And what about at night. So, many times people are not visible on Clifton if they are wearing dark clothing. If a car was driving without headlights would that be a problem? Whether it is a cyclist, mobility chair or Rhodes car they should be allowed on city streets but operated safely.


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