Human-powered pedal cabs, smoking ban move forward in Hamilton

Human-powered cabs, or pedicabs, are rolling toward reality in Hamilton, following a vote Wednesday to send legislation that regulates and accommodates the vehicles.

Also moving to the council’s agenda is legislation that will ban smoking in parks and other city-owned property, following another vote by Hamilton’s Ordinance Review Committee, which is made up of council members and city staff.

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City officials said there will be a designated smoking area near the RiversEdge amphitheater, the site of the popular outdoor summer concert series in the new Marcum Park. The legislation also would prohibit smoking close to entrances of city-owned buildings.

Hamilton native William “Tony” Gray, owner of Taste Great, a food and beverage sports concessions company, plans to launch a pedicab service in the city in coming months.

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Gray, a bicycling enthusiast, said he plans to start with four pedicabs, with hopes of increasing that number of the community embraces the concept. He hopes the number also will grow when the Spooky Nook at Champion Mill mega-sports complex opens, attracting teams and families from about a 3.5-hour drive of the city.

The smoking legislation allows city staffers to cite offenders, although there was agreement that the city would work hard to ensure people know about the new regulations before they take effect, and then issue friendly warnings for perhaps six months before civil smoking citations are issued.

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“The administration’s indicated that they are happy with the ordinance as drafted, and I think it’s being presented to Ordinance Review to pass at this point,” Heather Lewis, the city’s law director, said about the smoking legislation, which officials said can be tweaked over time if needed.

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