Tuesday, July 31, 2012

BarCycle Opposition Letter

I was forwarded this letter today by a valuable Soulard resident that definitely does his homework. This is the letter Alderwoman Phyllis Young sent to the Metropolitan TaxiCab Commission in opposition to the St. Louis BarCycle. To be fair, Alderwoman Young did not write this without having first heard from several concerned residents. This letter was written the day before the Commission decided to table the CCN hearing for the BarCycle for another month because they needed to consult with someone they really didn't need to consult with.

If you want to voice your support before the SRG meeting tomorrow, please sign the petition with your name. Signing it anonymously is the same as not signing it.

Click on the link below to read the letter, copied and pasted from the email I received.

Letter from Alderwoman Phyllis Young in opposition to the BarCycle:

July 11, 2012

Ron Klein
Executive Director
St. Louis Taxicab Commission
St. Louis, Mo. 63103

Dear Mr. Klein:

I am writing regarding your hearing on July 12th about the St. Louis Barcycle.  I have constituents who are concerned about this vehicle operating in the Soulard neighborhood.
I’d like to present a number of the issues I’ve heard about the business.

First, it advertises itself as a ‘barcycle’.  People ride the 16 passenger barcycle, drink, socialize, and pedal.  Granted the operator doesn’t serve the drinks, but advertises that they are available from bar stops or that coolers are allowed.  Unlike a bar where neighboring residents had to sign a petition about the location of a bar this vehicle is mobile and can go past your block at any time. It isn’t like a neighbor having a noisy party once or twice a summer. This vehicle can come by several times in a day or weekend.  Any response is solely up to the operator of the barcycle.  There is no way to protest the license.

I’ve met with Mr. Lloyd, the business operator. He has agreed to turn the music down on the onboard stereo and to ask his patrons to be quieter.  However, if they aren’t in agreement, what recourse does the neighborhood have?  Also, whose idea of a reasonable noise level should be the measure?

Mr. Lloyd has agreed that he’ll stay north of Russell after a certain time.  However, there are residents there who feel that they have enough challenges dealing with the bars alone in that area.  That portion of Soulard has the largest concentration of that type of business.  Is it fair to allow a mobile establishment to add to the concerns?

The other issue discussed is the conflict between the vehicle and the overall traffic of the neighborhood.  Soulard is quite crowded at particular times----ballgame nites, Saturday Soulard Market shopping, and special events.  During those times the streets are filled with pedestrians, cyclists, golf carts, shuttle vehicles, and automobile traffic.  Sometimes seniors on those motorized carts are there as well.  It can be very congested! 

The solution offered is to go down other streets than 9th.  Ordinarily that would work; however, those are the streets that visitors are on---- looking for free parking, and they are mostly the residential blocks so that the noise again becomes a factor. 

The operator says he can pull over to the side to let other vehicles pass.  That’s what the shuttle busses for the bars do now.  It’s very difficult to see around them so that passing is already dangerous. 

As a Commission you are considering a new vehicle for the City.  If this is successful in Soulard will it or another be allowed to operate on Washington Avenue, in the Delmar Loop, along Grand Avenue, or in other popular sections of the City?  How would this fit into the traffic patterns for those neighborhoods, and how would the residents and businesses there receive this concept? 

I appreciate the rules that Mr. Lloyd has proposed for his operation; however, I cannot support his proposal.  I have seen the barcycle operation, and I am not convinced that any rules will make it conducive to the neighborhood.  I understand that he has the support of the business association, but I also know that this activity is an enhancement for the bar business.  It is in my opinion a detraction from the residential quality of life in Soulard.  I believe there’s a delicate balance between the two entities, and I’m working to keep that balance.

I appreciate your consideration of my comments and opinions.  I understand that you have the jurisdiction in this matter.  I am hopeful that you’ll make a decision that is best for the neighborhood.


Phyllis Young