Thursday, 4:30 PM
No more pedal parties in Boston
By Globe Staff
The Boston City Council has banned the strange-looking circular contraptions known as "conference bikes" from city streets, after concerns were raised that they were unsafe.
"We felt we would potentially save somebody’s life down the line if we got them off thoroughfares," said Councilor Stephen J. Murphy, chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee.
"Should they go on pathways like by the river ... perhaps they could come back, but not on city streets with motor vehicle traffic," he said.
People were arrayed in a circle on the seven-person bikes and all of them pedaled, providing the power to move the bike. One person would steer.
Rick O’Connell, owner of Boston Pedal Party, which ran a fleet of the bikes, said his business had seen "commercial success," giving rides to tens of thousands of customers. He also said the bikes have been allowed in some other cities.
His company's website, which was still operating today, promises "outdoor adventure with family and friends you’ll never forget!"
But O'Connell said, “What the city governs the city governs and I respect that. ... I respect the opinion of the city that they might have caused some accident.”
Murphy said the bikes could go only at very low speeds "and they’re in traffic lanes, and you have people sightseeing on them, having a good time and they’re oblivious."
The roads are for traveling, he said, and not for having a "semi-stationary party."