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Monterey Bay Region Celebrates Tannery Arts Center and Bike-Powered Taxi, Santa Cruz Pedicab

The party at the Tannery Arts Center on June 1, 2012 was buzzing, and included in the excitement was the presence of Santa Cruz Pedicab, the only bicycle-powered taxi in the Monterey Bay region at this time.

Now that’s community:  Mutual support for openings

Santa Cruz Pedicab celebrated its first day in business by accepting the invitation of the Tannery Arts Center to play a special role in the Digital Media and Creative Arts Center grand opening festivities:  They provided transportation for people going to and from the lively party–the ribbon-cutting ceremony, open studios, performing arts showcase, including live music, dancing, and more.  Get a glimpse through the photos below.

And Santa Cruz Pedicab provided a generous gift to honor Tannery Arts:  The new pedicab company provided that transportation to party-goers as a courtesy, free of charge!  What a lovely way to support this Monterey Bay region hotspot community, “an affordable, accessible and sustainable home for Santa Cruz County artists and arts, cultural, education and heritage organizations.”

The Tannery Arts Center was founded on the Salz Tannery property–a business recognized nationally in 1971 as one of the first deliberate bike-to-work places of employment.   (The signage error refers to “late 1970s”; click here for “Boss Helps to Buy Bicycles as Employees Take to Road” from the July 6, 1971 Toledo Blade.)  The first official Bike to Work Day in the Monterey Bay region came years later–in 1987.

Origins of Santa Cruz Pedicab

Santa Cruz Pedicab is part of Pedalers Express of Santa Cruz, a bike-powered courier service also known as PedX. Read more about the start-up of Santa Cruz Pedicab in “Three-wheeled tourist attraction preparing to roll in Santa Cruz” by Shanna McCord in the 4/26/12 Santa Cruz Sentinel.

The Santa Cruz Pedicab website has basic information up and welcomes phone calls, 831-222-0789.  Their home base is at The Hub, 703 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz. You’ll typically find them biking routes focused on Beach Street and Pacific Avenue, although their services can be engaged for other routes as well.

Inspiration for Monterey and San Benito Counties

Bicycling Monterey salutes our Santa Cruz neighbors for leading the way!  May their example foster bike-powered pedicabs throughout the increasingly pedal-powered Monterey Bay Tri-County Region.  Consider the many possibilities:

Riding in a pedicab to San Benito County’s history spots would be charming.  A ride from the National Steinbeck Center through some of the diverse neighborhoods of Steinbeck’s hometown would give a new experience of biking Salinas.   Taking a pedicab from the Monterey Bay Aquarium up to Pacific Grove’s main street would help preserve the peace and quiet of this “last hometown,” while still drawing in new visitors to PG businesses.  Pedicab service from Old Fisherman’s Wharf to downtown Monterey through the Custom House Plaza could help protect this historic spot (see “change” notes in “Where the plazas are in downtown Monterey“) while encouraging waterfront visitors to explore downtown businesses, museums, historic spots, and more.

And imagine someday experiencing a car-free downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea, with bike-powered pedicabs, electric shuttles, MST trolleys, and other alternatives to streets packed with private vehicles.  What a lovely walkable, bikeable community that would be.

Ecology-economy sustainability

Santa Cruz Pedicab epitomizes ecology-economy sustainability.  By providing this attractive transportation option, Santa Cruz Pedicab helps reduce carbon emissions and otherwise benefits the environment.  At the same time, Santa Cruz Pedicab boosts the economy by providing another local attraction for the many people who will be drawn to have this unique ride–and for those passengers to more easily reach the places where they want to dine, shop, enjoy live entertainment and educational attractions, and otherwise do business in Santa Cruz.

Safety

As the Sentinel’s 4/26/12 story reported, Santa Cruz Pedicabs bought their cabs from Main Street Pedicabs of Denver, Colorado.  The cabs have lights, turn signals, and hydraulic brakes.

The Santa Cruz Police Department requires pedicab drivers to have background checks for felony convictions and driving under the influence.  (As noted in “Alcohol and safe biking” tips in “Wine-ding your way along Monterey County bikeways,” BUIs can be issued just like DUIs!) Santa Cruz City officials considered safety factors and the merging of pedicabs with other traffic before granting the necessary permits to Santa Cruz Pedicab in late April.

And you can bet that Santa Cruz Pedicabs requires their drivers to be very knowledgeable about California bicycle laws and safety tips.

Pedicab leaders

Thanks to Micah Posner, Curtis Swain, Debora Wade, Karsten Wade, and Zachary Wolinsky for their work making Santa Cruz Pedicabs possible, giving new inspiration on green transportation to the entire Monterey Bay region, and beyond.  Learn about this team of leaders; click here.

More June 1 scenes from

Tannery Arts Center

Tandy Beal

Santa Cruz County Supervisor Neil Coonerty and wife, Lucie Coonerty.  Many will recognize Neal, too, as former owner of Bookshop Santa Cruz.

One of the day’s delightful surprises:  Bob Reid.

His Abracadab songs entertained my son many moons ago, after first being introduced by KUSP‘s “Saturday’s Child.”  Today, Bob’s music and lyrics were altogether new to me–and much enjoyed, as before.

“This rapper may be part of the Poor Boys, but he has the most “high visibility-for-bicycling” jockeys seen at the party.

These siblings were dancing in the sunshine–and long after they’d gone home, the dancing at Tannery Arts went on, til midnight.

Catherine Serguson

founding editor of the new Central Coast literary magazine Catamaran, at her Tannery Arts office.

Residents of the Tannery Arts community clearly include a lot of bicyclists, just as back at Salz Tannery in 1971.

There were a variety of striking dance performances in this studio throughout the late afternoon and evening.

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Company

Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony quartet

As for the incredible array of paintings, drawings, fiber arts, and more throughout the Tannery Arts Center, rather than provide photos of those, you are encouraged to experience them in person!  Visit the TAC website‘s events section for more info.

And if you don’t bike there on your own power, consider calling Santa Cruz Pedicab for a ride, even partway there.

Related posts on this site

Looking for Santa Cruz County bike maps? You’ll find links to those in the bike maps section of this site’s Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide.

While the Bicycling Monterey website is focused primarily on Monterey County, there are numerous posts specific to our neighboring county of Santa Cruz (e.g., People Power fundraiser), along with posts and pages of info relevant for biking anywhere.

Special thanks to David Gilmore, Rebecca Robinson and the Santa Cruz Weekly, and Lily Dayton and the Santa Cruz Good Times for keeping this fun event on my radar!  It was very tempting to head back up for the second of the two-day grand opening festivities.  Alas, the June 2 memories will be for others to keep.

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