You Know You’re a Big City When…

Sacramento has long suffered a reputation as a cow-town (See Arco Arena, Cowbells). But now apparently we’re growing up, and I don’t just mean the planned high rises downtown.

What am I talking about then? Pedicabs! In just a few short months they may be coming to a downtown street corner near you.

This is just a bit ridiculous to me. I spent four years living in San Diego, where City Councilman Ray Trethway got the idea to bring them to Sacramento. The pedicabs I saw there were often idle, awaiting the next drunkard to stumble out of a Gaslamp Quarter bar only to be slowly pedaled away to the next too-expensive bar.

I sure didn’t see these pedal-powered contraptions “taking conventioneers from their hotel to the Gaslamp Quarter in a huge pedicab parade of Budweiser and Bud Light branded pedicabs,” as this advertising site claims. Of course, the only time I was in the Gaslamp was at night, not when there are lots of conventioneers around anyway.

The other thing that strikes me as really odd about bringing this concept to Sacramento is that Sacramento seems a lot more spread out to me than the Gaslamp was. The Gaslamp seemed so much more confined, boxed in by hills, major thoroughfares and blighted areas.

I’m all for alternative forms of transportation, especially downtown, but I highly doubt this is going to get us anywhere. It won’t reduce congestion or improve transportation times. And really, imagine riding in one of these things in the middle of a Sacramento Summer’s afternoon. While you’re at it, can you think of anyone who would want to be doing the pedaling on such a day?

2 Comments so far

  1. cd (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 12:01 pm

    I don’t know, there seem to be many cycle-happy crazies out there in the heat of the day anyway, might as well make some cash doing it!

    I agree that Sac is spread out, but while I agree the cabs won’t really take off, they could be beneficial where stuff is far enough to not want to walk, but near enough that an $8 minimum fare cab seems a bit overkill as well.

  2. Jamus (unregistered) on July 12th, 2006 @ 1:01 pm

    What I think would be an even better idea than these novelty transports, would be to reintroduce streetcars downtown. This proposal came up about a year ago, but I haven’t seen much on it since. They’d likely be cheaper (for the riders that is) and faster than pedicabs.

    In fact, there used to be a streetcar running up J Street, a long time ago.

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