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Niagara Falls
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Pedal Pub anxious to get rolling

NOTL Pedal Pub is anxious to get rolling again, after Niagara Region said it wouldn’t approve the operation of the vehicle on regional roads.

The region is looking for town comment on the issue before a decision is made about how the Pedal Pub will operate.

“It’s sort of like a speak now or forever hold your peace kind of deal,” Lord Mayor Betty Disero told council Monday.

Tony Visca, owner of Pedal Pub, presented possible routes for council to endorse.

One route goes through the Old Town, while the other goes through Garrison Village and back to Mary Street, stopping at some wineries on Niagara Stone Road.

The Old Town route was the most popular in 2019, the first year of operation, with 1,500 groups taking the tour.

Visca said though the bike isn’t a motorized vehicle, the company does its best to operate as if it was.

He said there was some concern about volume of songs, so the company has lowered the volume in residential areas.

The Pedal Pub has brought about $50,000 in revenue to area businesses, by way of cost-per-guest payments, he said.

That’s not including the amount of money people are spending while at the wineries, which Visca estimated to be about another $25,000.

Coun. Clare Cameron asked how the company would ensure social distancing.

Visca said the seating would be limited to 10 instead of 15 people and riders would have the option to wear a mask or a shield.

He added the bike requires at least eight people to pedal it.

Disero asked whether provincial orders during the pandemic even allow the bike to operate, but interim CAO Sheldon Randall said he didn’t know.

Coun. Gary Burroughs asked if there were problems getting down Queen Street, creating traffic jams but Visca said the bike pulls over if there’s traffic behind it.

Visca said there hasn’t even been a “close call” on the routes so far.

Disero asked the Pedal Pub to not start operating on Sundays before noon.

She said she hears “We Are The Champions” eight times a day, as she lives close to the Pedal Pub’s headquarters — not close enough to declare a conflict of interest though, she said.

A motion by Burroughs referred the presentation to staff so they can report back to council later.

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