Prague, June 2019 - people pedal through the city on a Beer Bike (via iStock.com / Photoservice)

Prague puts the brakes on beer bikes, with new signs banning the vehicles going up

Beer bikes have joined Segways in being banned form most Prague streets

Beer bikes will finally be booted from the streets of Prague, as road signs are now going up. The city has been trying to eliminate them for some time, but faced legal complications. The move follows on recent banning of bubbles, giant animal costumes and other things that complicate life in the city center.

“Good news! Today we have started and by the end of February we will install signs forbidding beer bicycles on the perimeter of the whole zone along with vehicles over six tons,” Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě) said on Facebook.

“In other words, beer bikes will no longer move with impunity in Bubeneč, Hradčany, Malá Strana, Old Town, Vyšehrad, Nusle, and Podolí as far as Braník, because bicycles wider than 120 centimeters will not be allowed. Police will begin to enforce it uncompromisingly next weekend. Prague is supposed to be the home of Praguers, not of alco-tourism. This year’s tourist season will be without drunks screaming on wheels,” he added.

The signs do allow most normal bikes to still use city streets, at they should fit under the 1.2 meter limit.

Beer bikes hold up to 15 tourists who peddle along city streets while being served pints. The person who steers stays sober, to avoid drunken driving laws.

The ban was expected to take effect throughout Prague from August 2019, but operators took the issue to court. Gwern, one of the Czech breweries that supplies beer for the beer bikes, filed an official complaint regarding the ban with the Czech Ministry of Transport.

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beer bike
Beer bike in Old Town. via Raymond Johnston

“The company supplies beer to beer bikes, and unfortunately this is probably just a case of delaying and keeping the business alive as long as possible,” Scheinherr told the press at the time, adding that he was hopeful it would be resolved within weeks. But that stretched into months, and the beer bikes continued.

The situation with beer bikes parallels the banning of Segways in much of the city center in 2016, which carried on despite legal restrictions until signs a network of signs was in place.

The beer bikes were first banned from Prague 7’s Letná park in August 2018, using the same 1.2 meter size limit. The district administration at the time said they were a nuisance to visitors who came to enjoy the panoramic view.

People begging in animal costumes. via Raymond Johnston

Prague isn’t the first European city to implement a ban on beer bikes; in Amsterdam, where locals reportedly termed the vehicles “moron movers.” beer bikes were banned from the city center in 2017 after numerous complaints related to inappropriate behavior and traffic violations.

The city has also put restrictions of faux-historical vehicles, and visual smog including some forms of begging and busking, and inappropriate signage and displays in stores in the historical center. The Prague 1 district in cooperation with the Knights of Malta have restricted graffiti on the Lennon Wall due to drunken tourists writing in appropriate things in spray paint.

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