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Trolley Pub Rolling into Arlington

by Katie Pyzyk — February 26, 2013 at 9:45 am 10,732 110 Comments

Trolley Pub (photo via Trolley Pub Facebook page)While attention focused on the possibility of a Columbia Pike streetcar, another trolley project quietly sneaked its way into Arlington. The Trolley Pub is expected to arrive this spring.

The open-air, pedal-powered trolley lets riders mix drinking and exercising while taking in the Arlington sights. Up to 14 people can ride along on a tour, along with one certified Trolley Pub conductor in the captain’s seat.

The trolley already exists in cities like Raleigh, NC. Pricing is not yet listed for the Arlington trolley, but Raleigh’s charges $30 per person for up to six people on a two hour tour, or $350 to rent the entire 14 person pub for two hours.

Riders who want to drink on the ride have to bring their own alcoholic beverages, but are able to use the on-board ice chest. No hard alcohol or glass is allowed, and alcoholic beverages must remain on board at all times.

The tentative launch date is April 13, according to the Trolley Pub Arlington Facebook page.

  • novasteve

    In some states it’s illegal to ride a non motor vehicle while impaired.

    • drax

      By the way, there is no smoking on the Trolley Pub.

      • novasteve

        Thank God! You can freely breath in all the clean automobile exhaust!

  • ARL

    Finally we get a trolley!

    This is actually in many cities in the U.S. and Europe. Uptight Arlington needs this badly. And what a great fit for Arlington – cycling and drinking.

    • novasteve

      In europe you can take and drink alcoholic beverages on their streetcars. Maybe to pretend we are in europe arlington should allow that?

      • wockney canker

        Actually some uptight rightwinger recently banned it… in London at least.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/7429661.stm

        • novasteve

          1. Boris Johnson is not a right winger. I guess compared to the prior mayor, red ken livingston he might be, but Ted Kennedy would be considered right winger compared to Ken Livingston.
          2. Britain isn’t europe. Though it technically is in europe, nobody considers it europe. When I talk about europe, I’m talking about the continent.

          • drax

            “Britain isn’t europe.”

            LOL. Classic steveism.

          • novasteve

            Go to Britain and ask if they are European. Ask if they are even in europe.

          • wockney canker

            Boris comes from the right wing conservative party. He was also a member of the Bullington club (tory toffs that set fire to twenty pound notes in front of homeless people for a laugh) Granted he is probably not as extreme as your views suggest.

          • novasteve

            I suppose that’s why the UK conservative party voted to support gay marriage, right?

    • Clarendon

      It’s just so that Arlington poeple can feel like they are in Prague. They are so insecure they want to be like Europeans and ride a trolley while they vote for whoever has a D after their name and make themselves dependent on government for beer

  • Ballston Resident

    This is not what I want to see Arlington become. Don’t like this at all.

    • ARL

      Too bad. People want to have fun. Sit at home and watch “Monk” if you don’t like it.

    • DCBuff

      Lighten up, Francis.

    • ph7

      We’ll make sure the trolley doesn’t get on your lawn, Grandpa.

    • Then don’t ride it.

      Seriously – why must you impose your definition of appropriate on everyone else?

  • novasteve

    Say if you have to pee in those two hours?

    • ph7

      I suggest stopping and peeing, then.

      Steve, we can’t solve all of life’s problems for you.

      • novasteve

        Do you own stock in Depends undergarments?

        • drax

          The old geezers who are moaning about this trolley (and the other one, for that matter) are more likely to need Depends.

    • Do It Yourself

      ……BYOC (bring your own can)………..

    • Rick Thickley

      Come on Steve. We’re guys, we can go anywhere. The whole world is our bathroom.

      • novasteve

        Given the ACPD has a lot of free time, you might find your next toilet in jail with that attitude.

  • DCBuff

    THIS trolley has my vote.

  • Arlington Cat

    Arlington sites? Are they going to pedal up 110 to Iwa Jima? Are they going to pedal up Wilson to Clarendon and then down the hill and over the bridge into Georgetown? will they be using Bike paths on the parkway by DCA and Gravely Point? Going around the traffic circle at Arlington National Cemetery should not be a distraction for other drivers, no way!

    Will they be operating it at night competing with the Clarendon bar scene?

    I hope they have seat belts because I can see someone falling off and hitting their head on the pavement. Is Arlington, with all its hills, traffic, road construction, and highway exit ramps the best place for this type of service and entertainment?

    • Bridgeofsighs

      It better not get on the Memorial Bridge. That thing is clearly ready to fall into the Potomac.

  • RJ

    BYOB? weak.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Ballenstien/100001895395405 Tony Ballenstien

      Are you stupid? You know how much money you save by bringing exactly you want? That’s a major bonus

    • ph7

      If you’re an attractive woman, you still won’t have to BYOB. Guys, as always, it’s gonna cost you.

      • drax

        At least you know the ladies on that trolley will have well-toned legs.

      • FourEyes

        Go away. Seriously, just stop posting.

  • jackson

    What could go wrong?

    • ph7

      I like to think, what can go right? Sun, women, alcohol, good times.

      • TheMan

        You have your priorities set right, my friend.

        • drax

          Minor adjustment: Women, alcohol, good times, sun. Now they’re set right.

  • Elise

    Are the laws concerning this different than usual DUI laws? I thought it was illegal to operate any vehicle (including a bicycle) under the influence…although I think that varies from state to state, VA may not have that law.

    I mean…it sounds fun to me :) I’d definitely do this!

    • Mike

      The people drinking simply pedal, they are the engine and don’t steer. There is a trained, non-drinking, operator who steers/directs.

      • RJ

        And looks ridiculous as hell. http://youtu.be/cXP6PpMgrlI?t=27s

        • ph7

          So does banging, but it’s also very popular and thoroughly enjoyed by the participants (and even some bystanders)

          • Doug

            +1000 internet points

        • MrsKerin

          That looks awful.

        • Ballstonian

          Thanks for posting the video. I was skeptical at first, but after seeing that, I do think it actually looks fun. And I’m well past my 30s.

          • drax

            I’ve seen it in action in another city. They were playing music and people were singing along. It looked like a really fun time.

      • Elise

        Gotcha, that makes sense!

  • Suburban Not Urban

    How would this be legal? I’m pretty familiar with the ABC laws in VA and the drinking in public laws are fairly strict.

    • ARL

      It’s a for-hire vehicle so it doesn’t count as open container. As long as people don’t take a drink off the trolley, they’re legal. It’s like an open-air party bus.

      • Suburban Not Urban

        But that’s the rub, its open air, so if thats the loophole they are driving down, then somebody screwed up.

        • ARL

          Nobody screwed up. Unless you think the law’s sole purpose is to prevent anyone from having any fun.

    • David

      I am assuming it’s qualified the same as drinking in a Limo, while driving in a normal car it is illegal for passengers to drink booze, however, and I am just assuming, that Limos are permitted for passengers to drink. I guess they have the same type of permit.

      • TrueFacts

        Virginia has no open container laws for passengers in vehicles. It is one of the few states that doesn’t have one yet. So yes, in most states limos are permitted, in VA any car is legal to have passengers drinking.

  • meh…

    yeah…THIS is a GREAT idea……

  • The Internet

    why does the article state O comments, but yet I find 12 comments when I click on the article?

  • Dirty BIker

    I see this thing ending up at the bottom of the hill in Rosslyn at the end of each night, patrons unwilling to pedal back up to Clarendon…

    I also see it cruising the streets right behind Wilson, dribbling beer cans. That should make some folks happy.

    • drax

      Well, yeah, because you’re a typical ArlNow commenter. You see the worst in everything.

      • Dirty BIker

        Errr I’m actually in the “pro-Drax, down with NoVaSteve” camp so give me and my cycling pragmatism a break. The thing is heavy, hills are gonna be a problem and it’s going to traffic wreck havoc on bike lanes, Wilson Blvd or the neighborhoods- how would it not?

        • drax

          Actually, that comment wasn’t meant for you, sorry.

          (I think there’s a power-assist in that thing to help it up hills, btw).

  • cycle-drinker

    Let’s watch this space as stuffy Arlingtonians try desperately to squeeze all the fun out of everything again.

    Have fun looking down your noses from your church pews – I’ll wave to you as I pass by.

    • ph7

      The trolley should detour for a circle through the lot of Cherrydale Baptist. Nothing pisses off those Christians more than observing someone else having a good time.

      • novasteve

        If I suggested they have a pork cookout nearby a mosque would you think that’s funny? It’s nice to have double standards, isn’t it?

        • drax

          You didn’t wait for him to answer whether it was funny or not, steve, you just assumed.

          • novasteve

            Drax, I’m pointing out double standards. These people who attack christians at the drop of a hat would never do the same to muslims.

      • Kill the Trolley

        It’s always good to generalize. That was probably your stupidest comment yet, and that’s saying something.

        • ph7

          I’m sorry for generalizing that Christians are killjoys. To make amends, and demonstrate my open-mindedness, I’ll be sure to invite a room full of them to my next house party, to really get things rockin’

          • drax

            Invite them to ride the Trolley Pub.

  • http://www.arlnow.com/ ARLnow.com

    FYI: We’re currently looking into the legality of the “Trolley Pub” in Arlington. We’ll be sure to follow up when we get a definitive answer.

    • newty25

      I think there are a few hurdles. Open container, drunk in public, you can get a DUI for operating on public roads, they may need an beer and wine permit (which would require food sales), etc. Sounds like too many to make it viable.

      • TrueFacts

        Just look at this like a limo that happens to be pedal powered and it solves all of those problems. There is a driver who is not drinking (he is a company employee) like a limo driver. The rest are just limo passengers who happen to be pedaling. In addition, Virginia doesn’t even have open container laws for passenger vehicles if the drivers is drunk (or showing any signs of drinking). Check out § 18.2-323.1 , it’s for drivers not passengers.

        • TrueFacts

          opps, that should be “driver is not drunk”

        • Suburban Not Urban

          And is completely open air, so I’m getting hassled by the drunks while walking down the street.

          • drax

            So you can’t be hassled by drunks who are also walking down the street?

            Or from an open window of a limo?

            Seriously, people, stop hating fun.

      • http://patrick.wagstrom.net/weblog/ pridkett

        The Pedal Pub operates in numerous other cities with these restrictions. I’m familiar with the Minneapolis incarnation which actually has a keg on board so the “bartender” can serve beer.

        The way they get around the DUI issue is that the peddlers don’t actually steer or brake the thing. There’s a trained driver on it who can brake and also steers the vehicle. The driver, as an employee, doesn’t drink and doesn’t pour drinks. The driver also provides some commentary.

        The open container issue was touchy in Minneapolis, but in Minneapolis it’s perfectly legal to drink in the back of limousines if driven by a paid professional driver, so they ruled this was a similar situation as the “driver”, but not the propulsion, is a paid professional.

        In any case, its’ a fun little thing to do in Minneapolis, where it generally sticks to the roads and follows road paths that are also taken by the horse drawn carriages (e.g. right lane of traffic in the roadway), which as much as drivers in Minneapolis may dislike it, are legal on most streets.

        Edit: Forgot to mention that the “bartender” in Minneapolis is a member of the party, not the employee/driver.

        • ARL

          I saw it in Minneapolis too. It looked like enormous fun. The biggest problem I see is Arlington’s hills and traffic. Downtown Minneapolis has strangely normal traffic congestion, unlike our hideously overburdened roads. Of course, encouraging cycling can only help us in that regard.

          For those who are worried about drinking too much – it’s hard to drink heavily while pedaling heavily.

          • ph7

            Start in Ballston, end in Rosslyn, easy trip.. No one is going to pedal the opposite direction. Or just hire a couple of roided out gymrats to keep the good times rolling for the lazy drunks.

      • Clarendon

        I think open containers of alcohol are legal inside a vehicle. DUI only if the driver is drunk. Doesn’t seem a whole lot different than renting a bus for a bachelor(ette) party and BYOB. Is this vehicle street legal though ?

        • newty25

          I think the main point is… it’s never going to fly around here. Even if it makes it through the legal hurdles… where would you drive it? Up and down Fairfax Dr to Clarendon? Halfway into Clarendon you have the enormous hill. Go down to Crystal City and pedal around there? Ummh, yeah… that doesn’t sound like fun either.

          • Clarendon

            You must be talking about coming from Rosslyn – Ballston to Clarendon is a pretty pretty flat and easy ride.

          • newty25

            That was the point. What is so scenic and fun about the ride from Ballston to Clarendon? The large empty hole in the ground? The small lot of cars for sale? The empty DARPA building? Have fun on that ride. By the time you get to Clarendon and the good stuff, you’re heading downhill.

          • ARL

            A ride through an empty desert would be fun on that trolley.

          • newty25

            Actually, no. No it wouldn’t.

    • Josh S

      Wait, what? You just publish random press releases now?

    • http://www.facebook.com/kaikaapro Kai Kaapro

      Moderator: Let me know if you have any questions on the legality of the Trolley Pub. I’m the managing partner of the new company.

  • John Fontain

    Will this trolley be on a fixed track?

  • No Thanks

    So I have to pay someone $30, bring my own alcohol, and manually pedal myself and others around Flintstones style? I’ll pass. If this summer is anything like the last, breaking a sweat in 90-degree temperatures while drinking dehydrating booze sounds less than appealing. Not to mention, a $30 ride in southern Raleigh, NC, translates to a $45-$50 ride up here in Northern Virginia. And the whole trolley for $350? I think you can get a table (alcohol included!) at a D.C. lounge for around that price. Sorry pub trolley, but better ways to spend my money and actually enjoy my drinks come to mind.

    However, typical Arlingtonians (i.e., 30-something-year-old dudes who never mentally left college) will probably be all over this and make it a success. Just like they’re so suddenly all over the “new” brunch and bar-side TVs at the re-branded A-Town (i.e., the same TVs and brunch that were long available when it was Caribbean Breeze, folks).

    ARLnow, if this does hit the streets, a short piece on the legal loophole behind this business model would be interesting to know.

    • Doug

      HAHA, you don’t HAVE to do anything! But yea, since its not your cup of tea, then a business shouldn’t be allowed to try and make money or it’s a stupid idea since you wouldn’t do it.

      • No Thanks

        Doug: I know, RIGHT?

    • ARL

      I’m in my 50s and never mentally left college. You apparently went straight to a rocking chair at age 20.

      Lighten up, Francis.

      • No Thanks

        ARL: Good for you! Maybe you’ll snag a seniors discount. Haha, no rocking chair for me yet, but it sounds pretty bad a**. Can you whittle me one once you’re done reading that AARP magazine?

        • ARL

          I’m not in a rocking chair, I’m on a beer trolley, having fun.

          You?

    • ph7

      I’m glad you won’t be on the trolley, then. The good thing is only people who want to be on it, drinking and having fun, will be doing so. You can grumble in the dark corner of your bar. Have fun your way, I’ve have fun my way!

      • No Thanks

        ph7: Haha, I’m glad I won’t be on it either. However, judging by your spelling skills (i.e., it’s “trolley,” not “trolldy;” it’s “I’ll have,” not “I’ve have”), this college-on-wheels experience has your name all over it. Remember to hit up ARL first though. At 50, it can be tough finding college-minded drinking buddies.

        • ARL

          Not it’s not. They’re on the trolley with me.

          Stay at home and moan about things if you want.

          • doing it wrong

            Looks like ARL and ph7 have the same issue. Neither picked up any spelling/grammar skills in college.

          • ARL

            Or neether uv us keer wut u think of us.

      • Merry Prankster

        Well you are either on the trolley or you aren’t………….

  • Arlington Cat

    And no Arlington Brah will ever pitch an empty off the trolly. I also am concerned about having to pee while pedaling, could their be a muscle priority conflict there?

  • John Fontain

    The Rosslyn BID issued a press release in response to this news:

    “The Rosslyn Business Improvement District is collaborating with Arlington County to explore ways of actively managing mobile beverage vendors within the community.

    “Our review of this issue is a work in progress,” says BID Executive Director Cecilia Cassidy. “The goal is a level playing field, an enriched streetscape and a variety of drinking experiences, while enabling brick-and-mortar drink purveyors as well as trolley pubs to thrive.”

    Challenges

    Pub trolleys present certain challenges.

    · Trash left behind by pub trolley vendors that property owners must pay to have removed

    · Pedestrian walkways blocked by pub trolley lines, creating safety issues

    · Limited parking spaces absorbed by pub trolleys, preventing customers from reaching brick and mortar pubs

    · Restrooms within property owners’ buildings being used by pub trolley vendors and customers

    · Health, hygiene and safety concerns

    The BID is coordinating a set of recommendations with other Arlington County BIDs that will be presented to the County within the coming weeks. Based on benchmarking of best practices with other cities across the country, issues covered in the recommendations include location and schedule of pub trolleys, trash, parking and access to restroom facilities.”

  • novasteve

    No hard alcohol allowed? So you could technically have a premade malt beveraged mixed drink if it were in a can but not a premade mixed drink using liquor? Does that mean Port and sherry are not permissible if they had box wine versions? Certainly no boxed thunderbird either, right?

  • ARL

    No fun! Fun must be disapproved of!

  • novasteve

    Funny if they had this is NYC you could drink some 300000 calorie mudslide drink in a liter bottle (if made with some malt beverage) but you couldn’t have a 20 oz coke.

    • chciken chef

      Oh the hypocrisy!

  • Hank

    This thing is rad-assed. Can you use it as a primary means to commute? I hope so.

  • skippy johnson

    I’m going to lay down $30, have to pedal myself around and not get at least one beer for my money? Good luck with that . . .

  • novasteve

    I’m curious, if MD passes the mandatory helmet law for everyone would people need to wear helmets if they had this thing in MD?

  • Ashton Heights

    Looks like a great idea. I am surprised that the usual commenters didn’t belabor the point that this pedal trolley will probably travel mostly on Clarendon and Wilson, and REALLY hold up traffic, so it will be a good preview for the CoPi trolley.

  • Ahhlington

    But seriously, this idea is just so utterly stupid.

  • someofyouneedtogetlaid

    This is a fantastic idea, and I’m excited about it!

  • Joseph

    Oh great, more drunk interns going clogging Clarendon

  • Yay!

    This is awesome! I’m a 41-year old mom and Arlington resident, and I can tell you that we’ve already emailed this to a bunch of people and we are trying to figure out when to book the whole trolley. Finally, something different than sitting in a sports bar!

  • Sydwayz

    Just a matter of time before this happens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16N22K06Hto

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