At the conclusion of the last episode, we learned that the president of the Soulard Restoration Group had sent a letter to the St. Louis Taxicab Commission supporting the licensing of the BarCycle (“The St. Louis BarCycle is a 16 passenger party on wheels! Get your crew together and navigate the bars in Soulard on this pedal driven bar crawl machine!” - BarCycle website). There will be a second licensing meeting at the Taxicab Commission at 9 a.m. on August 26, apparently at the commission headquarters at 2628 Delmar. Executive Director Ron Klein will host the hearing.
The reason for the support, as stated in their letter, was that “Dan Lloyd [owner] has presented his revised operation procedure to our organization. We feel that with the new rules on hours of operation, noise levels, safety, and route, the BarCycle can be an asset to our Soulard neighborhood.” The letter, apparently representing the concurrence of the SRG membership, was signed by Sean Cochran, president of the organization.
Before we all jump on the SRG’s and the BarCycle’s bandwagon, it is interesting to note the testimony of Karen Landon, who also wrote a letter to the Taxicab Commission. Karen lives in the 2300 block of S. 11th Street.
She wrote: “When I bought my home, I chose a location away from the bar activity. Now, the new barcycles easily assault my block with abandon. They are intrusive, loud and dangerous. I live on a hill so it takes quite a bit of pedal-power to get that vehicle up the hill. On several occasions, it has stopped in front of my house and the drunks just hunker down to party – and party loudly. They use foul language, throw trash and have hit my car after falling off the bench. They quickly recover and pedal away screaming, leaving me with the remains of the day.”
She continued: “This is a residential neighborhood. We have small children on our block. Residents should have rights for safety and respect. The barcycles cruise down my hill on 11th street at rapid speeds. They scream with delight. They do not stop at the stop sign. They would not be able to stop for a dog, pedestrian or small child. They are drunk (although I am sure the driver says he/she is not drinking). This is a disaster waiting to happen and I do not feel I should have to be at the mercy of this new nuisance.”
Karen added: “Please have due respect for the residents. These vehicles are not only intrusive, but diminish the historic elegance and charm of the neighborhood. I do not feel I should have to tolerate mobile bars rushing into a residential area. Please stop these vehicles from damaging my neighborhood.” Well written. Karen notes in her letter that she has lived in Soulard for over 30 years.
Oddly, the BarCycle owner - Dan Lloyd - appeared at a recent SRG meeting to press his case for licensing by the Taxicab Commission. He left a handout for those attending, a peculiar two page letter which summarized the results of his meeting with Alderwoman Phyllis Young. Ms. Young’s letter was posted earlier on this blog. She is opposed to any licensing of the BarCycle.
Dated July 9th, 2012, the letter states: “If the license is granted by the taxicab commission, hopefully these guidelines will minimize the disturbance to Soulard residents while still maintaining a fun atmosphere for patrons and promoting Soulard businesses.”
Dan continued: “Allow me to first recap our conversation of the concerns you mentioned in your letter:
“1.) Prolonged operation without necessary permits. I want to reiterate that this was an unintentional oversight and not a devious plan to avoid paying fees and acquiring licences. I lived in Columbia, Missouri when I started the business and filed all of the necessary paperwork for the state of Missouri. Being unfamiliar with St. Louis when I started, I was under the mistaken impression that Soulard was separate from the city of St. Louis and did not consider that I would need to contact city officials as well. I contacted the president of the Soulard Business Association at that time before I started and when I got the go ahead from him I thought I was ready to go.
“Once I became more familiar with the city I should have realized more licensing was necessary with St. Louis but I was more concerned with the operation of the business and less focused on the start up procedures. It was clearly a mistake on my part and I should have done the proper due diligence at the start.”
Wow, can Dan sling it or what? He needs more than adult supervision. He needs a invitation to get out of town. But this isn’t the end of it. He continues:
On the issue of noise and his routes, he carries on like a true pro: “Noise on the BarCycle is something that can be reduced considerably. For starters, the onboard stereo will be turned down to a more reasonable volume going forward and there will be a new rule of no shouting or loud singing...Driving down alleys was a rare occurrence before and will not be done from this point forward. Additionally my rates are set to increase shortly which will likely draw an older and milder crowd.”
So Dan - although the letter has no name attached to it - has displayed a total lack of respect for the neighborhood. This is something SRG members can appreciate.
He concludes with the new rules for BarCycle patrons: “No screaming or excessively loud noises, no dismounting vehicle while in motion, no littering, no glass, respect neighborhood after tour is complete.”
Only after having his leash jerked does Dan acknowledge that there may be other people on the planet. His letter speaks volumes about what kind of a person he is - another sleazy sos who has washed ashore here on Happy Island. He is going to start respecting the residents of Soulard? Only SRG members would believe that.
Can we suggest that he go back to Columbia. We hope that the Taxicab Commission has more sense than to believe this guy. We sure don’t.