The CAT

(Click The CAT above for the full text) This prototype vehicle was constructed in order to demonstrate some of the ways in which “Pedicabs” can be re-configured, maybe even re-conceptualized, in order to make full use their potential. They are now operating in many other urban spaces, in countries across the world. In some, they are already being converted to electric operation en masse, by law, in order to help improve the breathable air. Attention to their siblings, cargo and delivery cycles, is expanding exponentially, with next hour/same day/next day service the rule now. It is time to think about this subject seriously, rather than dismissing it as a bit of strange overpriced, nostalgia The CAT is: Only 40” wide, (it might like to be 48” to better accommodate side-loading wheelchairs), The city permits pedicabs to be 55” wide Seven feet long, with an additional 40” for the foldable extension, which can provide for a second wheelchair or cargo use Seven feet tall, in order to enable a 6’+ tall person to stand inside comfortably and provide some space for ancillary equipment Depending on weather, is surrounded by clear polycarbonate windows, that can be folded away when not in use.…

The Half

(Click The Half for the full text) A hybrid Human/Solar/Battery/Electric-Powered, NYC-legal pedicab (and potential cargo-carrying) vehicle. Ten feet long, four feet wide, and six-foot tall. It can be partially or completely open to the weather or totally enclosed. Its low platform, permits it to be both ADA-legal wheelchair and hand truck accessible, by a ramp, which can serve either sidewalk or the street. There are two potential pedalers, and room for four or more additional passengers. The shell is made of clear, weather-protecting, polycarbonate. There are 500 watts of solar panels on the roof. The comfort and safety of passengers are paramount. Can transform into a stationary source of local news at intervals. I was one of the two founders, over 25 years ago, of this industry in NYC. Unfortunately, rather than an important, new form of transportation, pedicabs have come to exist, virtually entirely, as an expensive way to experience Central Park. The potential of this activity to provide the public with a needed new means of getting around the city, with huge environmental benefits and positive effects on healthfulness, was lost, when the taxi industry successfully lobbied to limit their impact on their industry. Many regulations need to…

The Other Half

(Click The Other Half for the full text) A Trike. 3’ x 6’ x 6’ tall. It can be wide open to the air or fully enclosed in a folding polycarbonate shell. It may carry one, two, or three people. One drive wheel is an anchored-in-place, pedal-able unicycle, the two others are hub-motor equipped, electric-powered wheels. The vehicle can travel, facing either the three or the six-foot side, either tandem-style or the more sociable side-by-side. The seats, and wheels, all pivot and move, easily, to enable this to happen. Use in dense urban spaces is what is expected here, and at a maximum speed of 15-20 mph to ensure safe operation. The wheels are all linked together so that when facing the six-foot side, with the pedaler steering, all the wheels turn together. When facing the 3’ side, the pedaler steers, and the back wheels go straight, as in all trikes. Batteries are stored under the vehicle, which can be charged in place or slide out like a drawer and be rapidly replaced. A solar panel acts as a roof as well as a source of power. When an opening above is preferred it can be temporarily stored, with the…

The Half & Other Half 1/2+1/2

How are these vehicles different from current transport and why does that matter? Each suggests a different approach to designing and deploying our lightest and most accommodating, slow-speed, urban vehicles. Each provides for the users to determine how much of a cover is being provided for an otherwise almost completely open platform, depending on weather conditions and other factors such as the desire for quiet or privacy. One has a capacity of up to nine people, the Other only three, and maybe personal, passenger, cargo, or multi-modal. The Half provides for wheelchairs and hand trucks. A version of the Other Half could also. Most users will be provided with resting places that permit them to choose their posture, recumbent, sitting, leaning, or standing. Foot and arm cranks will enable energy to be generated, and channeled, into the electrical system, to be used when needed. They use the least material to accomplish several important tasks, durably, beautifully, economically, sustainedly, and creatively. One element of this effort is to design for, and have a strong effect upon, over time, the way in which these devices are deployed and the conditions under which they are provided to their operators. Financing these vehicles, in…