Pedicabs Clashing Again With Park Police | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Pedicabs Clashing Again With Park Police

Play associated audio
Pedicab drivers say the U.S. Park Police haven't stopped a crackdown on them, even after the Tourmobile buses left earlier this year.
John Jacks
Pedicab drivers say the U.S. Park Police haven't stopped a crackdown on them, even after the Tourmobile buses left earlier this year.

D.C. pedicab operators have been complaining of hostile treatment from police around the National Mall for much of the year. Although business slows down as the weather gets colder, some pedicab drivers say unpleasant interactions with police are again heating up.

Pedicab operators in the District started complaining of a police crackdown on their industry in the spring. Brian Graber, who's been operating a pedicab for three years now, says the U.S. Park Police force -- which has jurisdiction over the National Mall -- were enforcing rules before, but something has changed.

"This year, it started getting ferocious, if you will," Graber says. "I don't know what happened."

Oskar Mosco says he thought things would calm down once the National Park Service contract with Tourmobile ended in October, since many confrontations with police have centered on pedicabs picking up customers in designated Tourmobile pickup locations.

But in the past couple of weeks, he's seen another increase in hostile attitudes from some officers.

"The same officers are coming up," he says. "We talk about getting badge numbers, to have some accountability."

The Park Police did not respond to requests for comment on this story -- the National Park Service has said it is drafting revised regulations for pedicab operation around the mall.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) is drafting a letter to the National Park Service this week, urging Park Service officials to involve pedicab operators as they formulate the plan.

Norton says tension between police and pedicab operators should be resolved with simple sit-down meeting, but she says now revamping the transportation plan for the National Mall goes beyond resolving tensions between pedicab operators, the police and the park police.

"Are we going to have multi-modal, green transportation on the mall?" asks Nortion. "Or are we going to have monopoly transportation? That's the kind of issue the public needs to weigh in on. I'm hoping the Park Service understands that."

NPR

Director: 'The Interview' Is A Case Of Accidental Irony

Sony's movie, The Interview, was meant to be just a silly comedy, but now it's a symbol of free speech. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to its screenwriter, Dan Sterling.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
NPR

Tennessee's Medicaid Deal Dodges A Partisan Fight

An agreement between the Tennessee Hospital Association and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam expands Medicaid without tax dollars, an agreement that could be a blueprint for other states.
NPR

Facebook Finds That Not All Users Want To Review Their Year

The social media giant's "Year in Review" app has upset some who prefer to forget 2014's unpleasant memories.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.