Rickshaw drivers protect the earth, need protection from oversized riders

Opinion

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We are in the midst of an energy crisis. Scientists say to solve this energy crisis we will need alternative forms of transportation like supersonic Segways, or fuel-celled rocket roller blades. These forms of transportation are still, unfortunately, years away in development.

However, we have energy-efficient forms of transportation now: the rickshaw or pedicab. Rickshaws use no fossil fuels, cause no air pollution, and are quiet except for the moaning and screaming of struggling rickshaw drivers.

Oak Park has already progressed beyond many communities in the field of rickshaws. It has a rickshaw business, Rickshaw Rick's Custom Cabs, but the village could do more to promote their use.

For instance, are the new proposals for the development of the downtown superblock rickshaw friendly? If so, they will provide ample rickshaw parking, perhaps even a rickshaw parking garage and heated prairie-style rickshaw stands for riders waiting for the next available rickshaw.

The village must not neglect the health and well-being of rickshaw drivers, especially if they are towing average Americans who patronize all-you-can-eat restaurants. A rickshaw driver trying to tow a family of them up Oak Park's continental divide would explode in a pyre of exhaustive combustion, leaving nothing of him but a smoky plume and a pile of cremated body parts ready for the urn.

Therefore, the village must set weight limits on Americans riding in rickshaws. Many might think this is discrimination against overfed Americans. I think not. If you want to take a mule ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, you must weigh less than 200 lbs. This exempts millions of Americans from seeing this natural wonder from the ass end of an ass.

Nevertheless, the regulation exists for the health of the mule, so if we can set weight limits for mules, surely we can set them for rickshaw drivers.

Byron Lanning
Oak Park

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