Knoxville Rickshaws?

Rickshaws in Knoxville?

Forget the trolley -- downtown Knoxville may soon offer a more exotic transportation option.

While much of this morning's CBID meeting was devoted to a discussion about various accounting questions, the real news is that CBID and the city are looking into the possibility of having pedicabs/rickshaws in the downtown area.

The Scope is hoping to learn more, but CBID executive director Michele Hummel said at the meeting that "there is a group wanting to do pedicabs or rickshaws in the downtown area."

The next obvious question, of course, is how to address Knoxville's severe shortage of downtown rickshaw parking spaces.  (Just kidding.)


The woman behind the idea is Joni Ford, formerly of Terminus Real Estate and now with CitySpaceRealty. Ford said Tuesday that 20 rickshaws are currently being built in Colorado, and that she's hoping to launch the service by Aug. 1.

"It'll be charming for the city," Ford said. "It's going to connect South Knoxville and our waterfront with downtown, which is a huge goal of mine. The other thing it's going to accomplish is to connect 4th and Gill to downtown, as well as (the) Fort Sanders campus area."

Patricia Robledo, the city's business liaison, said a new ordinance would be required to accommodate the venture, but that a draft version has been circulated among various city departments.