OTTAWA — The Village of Ottawa is braced to address a mode of transportation — more or less — most typically found in a more metropolitan environment.

Pedal bar bikes.

The contraptions are known by a host of different names — party bike, pedal crawler, pedal pub, beer bike, bar bike — and they all boil down to the same basic function: an al fresco version of the ubiquitous party bus.

The basic premise is simple. Participants bring their own beverages and pay a fee to hop on a multi-person, commercial quadricycle, replete with table between them, and using pedal power, ride their way — at least potentially — to inebriation. There is, of course, a designated driver of sorts; an individual who doesn’t partake and steers the party onward, and applies the brakes when necessary.

Addressing any concerns about open containers, Ohio Revised Code makes provision for the open consumption of “intoxicating liquors” on commercial quadricycles with certain provisos:

(a) The person is not occupying a seat in the front of the commercial quadricycle where the operator is steering or braking.

(b) The commercial quadricycle is being operated on a street, highway, or other public or private property open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking.

(c) The person has in their

See Pedal/A4

possession on the commercial quadricycle an opened container of beer or wine.

(d) The person has in their possession on the commercial quadricycle not more than either thirty-six ounces of beer or eighteen ounces of wine.

ORC also requires the pedal bar to have four wheels, have at least five seats for passengers, be designed to be powered by the pedaling of the operator and the passengers, be used for commercial purposes, and be operated by the vehicle owner or an employee of the owner.

The issue came before council when an Ottawa resident, Andrew Beaston, approached the village about putting such a commercial quadricycle in service in the village.

On Monday, during council’s regular bimonthly meeting, council heard the second reading of an ordinance stipulating how a pedal bar can legally operate within village limits. The ordinance imposes 13 restrictions, most of which are in keeping with ORC regulations already in place.

The ordinance further imposed penalties for violations of those restrictions. On a finding of guilty on a first offense, the offender is guilty fo a minor misdemeanor. On a second offense within one year of a first offense, the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, and for each subsequent offense beyond two offenses within one year, the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Council also heard the first reading of an ordinance adopting regulations related to the the installation of ponds within the village, a primary component of which is a required acre of land for any pond.

In reviewing the ordinance, Mayor Dean Meyer raised a concern.

“I have one comment on the definition of a pond, and I just want to make sure we’re staying away from koi ponds,” Meyer said. “It says here, ‘in excess of two feet deep,’ but some of these koi ponds, even if they’re three feet. I’m a little concerned about that as trying to regulate koi ponds.”

“To me, I think the solution for them would be to ask for a variance,” Village Solicitor Joe Schroeder responded. “I think the thing about the two feet is it’s a drowning issue.”

Council discussed the issue briefly, and requested that Schroeder adjust the language of the ordinance so as to remove any concerns regarding koi ponds.

The next regular meeting of the Ottawa Village Council is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m.