Bike-powered pub crawl sues city for permit
BY LISA DONOVAN Cook County Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org July 18, 2011 7:34PM
Updated: July 19, 2011 2:08AM
The owners of PedalPub Chicago — whose 16-seat, human-powered cycles are geared to ferry the merry from pub to pub — are fighting the city’s decision to deny them a business permit.
On Monday, PedalPub filed a petition in Cook County Circuit Court to overturn the decision.
At issue? The vehicles themselves.
The company is calling itself a bicycle rental outlet for groups. But the city sees it as a sightseeing venture whose vehicles, if operating in the public way, must be powered by a motor, according to city code.
“In order for your business to provide charter/sightseeing tours on the public way, you must utilize a licensed public passenger vehicle,” wrote Joy Adelizzi, a deputy commissioner in the city’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection office. She continues in her May 4 letter to the company: “By definition a public passenger vehicle must be propelled by a motor.”
PedalPub owner Al Boyce says he never sought a business license to operate tours — just a limited business license.
“We’re not giving sightseeing tours, we’re saying rent us and drive our 16-person ‘bicycle’ around town,” Boyce told the Sun-Times. The lawsuit calls the city’s decision “legally erroneous.”
The city Law Department couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
PedalPub has operations in 13 cities across the country.