Last call for beer bikes: Municipal Court upholds Prague's efforts to ban them from the city streets

The Municipal Court has reversed its earlier ruling that the city lacked authority to create a blanket ban.

Ify Nsoha

Written by Ify Nsoha Published on 11.03.2021 16:35:00 (updated on 11.03.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Municipal Court of Prague has ruled in favor of banning beer bikes in Prague. According to the court's March 8 ruling, the measures taken by Prague City Hall to ban the operation of beer bikes on city street are valid. The court rejected a lawsuit brought by beer bike operators, who claimed the city lacked authority to create a blanket ban.

This ruling overturns the previous ruling by the Municipal Court that had said regulating beer bikes was up to to individual city districts. A previous ban had been lifted in the August of 2020, due to the original lower court ruling.

The Supreme Administrative Court, though, later disagreed with the Municipal Court's original verdict and sided with the city. The lower court's new ruling is now in line with the Supreme Administrative Court's ruling.

The Municipal Court in Prague now says City Hall under its general powers can place traffic signs prohibiting the entry of these vehicles to certain areas.

“The Municipal Court has upheld the decision of the Supreme Administrative Court to ban beer bikes. We have in black and white that cities have the power to enforce traffic safety, keep order on the streets, and maintain peace for people who need to concentrate on work during the day and sleep at night,” Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr, responsible for transportation issues, said.

He maintains that beer bikes have a negative impact on the quality of life in the city. Beer bikes hold up to 15 tourists who peddle along city streets while being served beer from a keg. The person who steers stays sober, to avoid drunken driving laws. Residents have complained that the bikes block traffic because they are wide and slow, and cause noise due to the intoxicated inhabitants.

“Beer bikes are degrading for the city as such and especially for the people who live here. I am very happy that the interests of the alcohol business have not won, and the beer bikes in the center are still just a memory. Every business in a public space must operate under clearly defined conditions and with the consent of local and city districts,” he said.

He added that the city's interests come first. “An important lesson is learned from the verdict: perseverance pays off and gives me more strength to fight for the quality of life of the locals,” Scheinherr added.

Efforts to ban beer bikes began in 2018, when they were blocked from Letná Park due to their size causing congestion in bike lanes. In February 2020, the city began its efforts to ban then from the large parts of the city by putting up new traffic signs.

Should beer bikes be allowed on Prague streets?

Yes 19 %
No 81 %
98 readers voted on this poll. Voting is closed

Prague has long been trying clean up the city center of the negative affects of tourism. The city previously banned Segways from the historic center, an effort that also wound up in the courts.

More recently, beggars in large animal costumes, people blowing bubbles and many forms of busking also have been heavily restricted or banned in large parts of the city. Faux historical vehicles have also been the subject of crackdowns. To maintain a consistent look downtown, they city has set rules for signage. Animal activists have called for regulation of horse-drawn carriages.

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