Rickshaws Pedal Their Way Into Oak Cliff

North Oak Cliff has several pockets of retail and restaurant districts and business owners hope pedicabs will connect customers in a safe and cost effective way.

"We want to have a solution for getting people to the different businesses that are going to be popping up down here, so we want to help the economic growth, but we don't want to start plugging concrete parking lots everywhere," said Matt Spiller, owner of Eno's Pizza Tavern.

Spiller wants to start the pedicab operation by spring and has the support of the city of Dallas.

"We needed to move people around the Bishop Arts area," said Delia Jasso, a Dallas City Council member who serves that area of town. "We started talking about what a route might look like to bring people from Jefferson to Bishops Arts and vice versa and then we realized there are a lot of new restaurants on Davis."
Business owners said pedicabs would allow customers to see more of North Oak Cliff and therefore, spend more.
A pedicab service would also help alleviate parking problems. One thing Spiller does not want to do is allow parking problems to bleed into the residential neighborhoods nearby.
"What you could do is park farther away and then ride a pedicab over here because I think once they're in this district, they are going to want to walk from store to store, but to get to here, it would be nice to have a pedicab," said Jan Steiner, who parked several block away from her destination.
Pedicab operators have to get business permits, licenses and insurance before they are allowed to operate, according the City of Dallas Transportation Department.
The pedicab drivers work for tips and will be given a background check before they are hired. The service would be available only on the Bishop Arts District's busiest nights or when special events take place.
A proposed route would cover about a 1.5 square mile area.
"It should be going down Davis, over to Zang and then Zang to Bishop and down to Colorado and up to Jefferson," Spiller said.
Spiller said he will start with a fleet of three to five pedicabs and see what the response is like before expanding. 

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