Seems that many in Nashville are ready to put the brakes on pedal taverns.
Locals in Music City have always had a love/hate relationship with the mobile bars that shuttle groups of partying bachelorettes and other tourists around the downtown area.
Ok, it’s mainly hate from the locals…
But after a video went viral of a man stumbling off a pedal tavern and falling headfirst into an oncoming car, many in the city – both officials and citizens alike – are ready to see more regulations on the transportainment industry.
In the video, a man is seen getting off the bike and taking a few steps (well, more like a few stumbles) onto the street, before tumbling right into a lane of traffic and bouncing his head off an oncoming car.
Now, to his credit, the guy pops right back up and walks it off like it’s nothing (when you’re that drunk you don’t feel anything anyway), but the video has many in the city calling for government to step in and step up the regulation of the party vehicles.
“This is another of many examples of the dangerous situation that has evolved from overserved individuals riding in moving vehicles without any safety measures. Public safety is our number one concern.”
Safe Fun Nashville, a group advocating for changes to regulations of the so-called “transportainment industry,” has started a petition calling on city leaders to step up and pump the brakes on the mobile party vehicles:
“While Music City has become a great place to visit, for too long the party scene has spilled out from the bars onto the tractors, wagons, hot tubs, army vehicles, buses, limos, pedal taverns, and anything else that rolls. Right now, these unregulated party vehicles are causing a bigger hangover than they’re worth for both visitors and residents of Music City.
We shouldn’t have to sacrifice the safety of our visitors, pedestrians, and residents so that a few guys with a tractor license can make money off of a bachelorette party.”
And just last week, the Metro Nashville Transportation License Commission denied applications for 14 new pedal taverns after calls from several city leaders to halt the addition of more of the vehicles to Nashville streets.
But pedal cab companies are warning that the latest video doesn’t tell the whole story – and that the man seen falling into the car wasn’t even a passenger, but was just a random drunk guy who stumbled up to the bachelorette party and hopped on the pedal tavern.
Nashville Pedal Tavern, the company that owns the vehicle in the video, released a statement on the incident:
“The man in this video was not a patron or passenger of Nashville Pedal Tavern. Our bachelorette private party was at the end of their tour when an overly intoxicated man stumbled up from the street and jumped on the bike without invitation.
The group yelled “stranger danger” as instructed as part of our safety guidelines. This is when both the driver and group told the man to leave immediately.
He then got off and stumbled into the car. Multiple people including the men in the car attempted to ask him if he was ok but he just ran off.”
The company said that the problem isn’t with pedal taverns, it’s with people being over-served in the downtown party district:
“This video is not a Nashville Pedal Tavern issue but is clearly an over-intoxication issue.
When guests are with us, they are screened prior to the tour for intoxication, ID checked, as well as monitored by our drivers during the tour who are all ABC certified. We absolutely do not allow our guests on board or the opportunity to get to the intoxication level this man was at.
There is a much bigger issue in Nashville right now than us, yet we are the target people point fingers at. There is no accountability for establishments over-serving customers, an influx in new, unregulated vehicles hitting the streets every weekend, an increase in violence and crime on a daily basis and more.”
The problem that Metro Nashville is facing, though, is that pedal taverns are pretty much the only party vehicle that the city is legally allowed to regulate: Any vehicle that carries more than 14 passengers or weighs more than 10,000 lbs is regulated by the state Department of Transportation, with the city government largely powerless to do much of anything about them.
But calls to give the city more room to regulate party buses have increased since July, when a Michigan man was hospitalized after falling off and being run over by a party bus on Broadway.
Until changes are made, though, it doesn’t seem like much is going to be changing as far as the pedal taverns and party buses go.
The woo-wagons are likely here to stay – so just be safe if you decide to hop on one.