Beer-Bikes Have Moved to Karlín. Prague is Preparing a New Ban

Cara McErlean

Since March 1st, beer bikes have been banned in the wider center of Prague. But their operators have not given up – they simply moved the traffic to other parts of the city, as reported by Lidovky.cz.

One such area is Karlín, where residents complained about noisy tourists last week riding on mobile beer bars despite the cold weather. The town hall decided to resolve the situation strictly.

In the center of Prague, beer bikes are no longer allowed. The Municipality has banned cars wider than 1.2 meters in zones where cars must not weigh more than 6 tons, and the beer bikes do not fit into this regulation.

These restricted zones cover most of the center of Prague from Bubeneč to Braník. But, like the Segway two-wheelers, the beer bikes were moved by their operators to another part of Prague. As Žižkov and Vinohrady are unsuitable for riding due to the hilly terrain, the choice fell on Prague 8, especially the Karlín district.

The Karlin locals are now getting to know what the residents of the city center experienced almost daily. On pedal carts as wide as a standard van, 10 to 15 tourists sit, slowly driving through the streets and drinking beer.

They often enrich their ride by singing, shouting or playing loud music. Drinkers, unlike normal cyclists, are not subject to any restrictions on alcohol consumption, which has led some operators to introduce the “you puke, you’re out” rule.

Beer bikes slowing traffic and disturbing pedestrians have appeared all over Karlin and around Invalidovna.

Prague 8 spokesman Martin Šalek told Lidovky.cz that the city district is registering the problem and is working on an immediate ban on beer bikes. “We are not going to tolerate the Beerbikes in Karlín. That is why we immediately started to work on traffic signs in cooperation with the Transport Department, which will forbid these bike pubs,” said Mayor Ondřej Gros.

Transport chairman Martin Jedlicka added that the traffic signs were discussed with the traffic police in record-breaking time and that traffic signs limiting vehicles to a width of 1.2 meters will be fitted in the coming days. According to the spokesperson, Prague 8 officials tried to enact this ban last year along with the bans in the city center, but the Municipality refused.

It took a long time to get the beer bikes out of the city center. First, their operation was limited in Letenské sady in 2018, and in August of the following year, they were to be banned throughout the center. However, an objection was filed by the company that supplied beer to beer bikes, which pushed the regulation back to March 1st, 2020. Now, the ban on the entry of beer bicycles can be seen on established road signs.

The ban on beer bikes is circumvented by operators in other ways besides moving to other parts of the city. Reporter Janek Rubeš noticed beer buses, which offer tours of Prague with liters of beer and a stripper. On the Vltava river, beer pedal boats have begun appearing.

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