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Bill Would Permit Segway Use in Forest Park

January 23, 2008 Accessibility, Bicycling, Central West End, Scooters 33 Comments

Last Friday Ald. Lyda Krewson (D-28th) introduced Board Bill 449 which would allow, with restrictions enforced through a permit process, the use of a Segway in Forest Park. Currently the Segway is legally allowed to use the street, along with cars, trucks, bicycles and scooters. They are also allowed, per state law, to use sidewalks and bike paths:

Defined–requirements for operation.

307.205. 1. For the purposes of sections 307.205 to 307.211, “electric personal assistive mobility device” (EPAMD) shall mean a self-balancing, two nontandem wheeled device, designed to transport only one person, with an electric propulsion system with an average power of seven hundred fifty watts (one horsepower), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a propulsion system while ridden by an operator who weighs one hundred seventy pounds, is less than twenty miles per hour.

2. An electric personal assistive mobility device may be operated upon a street, highway, sidewalk, and bicycle path. Every person operating such a device shall be granted all of the rights and be subject to all of the duties applicable to a pedestrian pursuant to chapter 304, RSMo.

3. Persons under sixteen years of age shall not operate an electric personal assistive mobility device, except for an operator with a mobility-related disability.

4. An electric personal assistive mobility device shall be operated only on roadways with a speed limit of forty-five miles per hour or less. This shall not prohibit the use of such device when crossing roadways with speed limits in excess of forty-five miles per hour.

5. A city or town shall have the authority to impose additional regulations on the operation of an electric personal assistive mobility device within its city or town limits.

The last section above does allow cities to place restrictions. In the City of St. Louis it has been interpreted by the City Counselor’s office that the Segway is a vehicle and is not allowed to use sidewalks and/or bike paths. The current applicable definition comes from ordinance 65138 which was signed by the Mayor in January 2001 — before the introduction of the Segway:

For purposes of this ordinance a “motorized scooter” shall mean any two-wheeled device that has handlebars, is designed to be stood upon by the operator, and is powered by a motor that is capable of propelling the device with or without human propulsion at a speed of not more than 25 miles per hour.

The above ordinance was originally targeted to those motorized skateboards that were popular at the time — hence the ‘stand upon part’ of the definition. The city cites the following as reasons for a Segway being a vehicle and thus banned from use on sidewalks:

Every person operating a motorized scooter shall have all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of any other vehicle as established by ordinance, including, but not limited to, ordinances concerning driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, except those provisions which, by their very nature, can have no application.

Well, OK, but what about this section from the same ordinance:

A person operating a motorized scooter is not subject to the provisions of this code relating to registration, and license plate requirements, and, for those purposes, a motorized scooter is not a motor vehicle.

If we stroll over to the “revised code” for the city and look at the Chapter 17.16 Miscellaneous Traffic Rules we can see all sorts of, well, miscellaneous rules. These include rules on many topics such as crossing fire hoses, boarding in motion, transporting animals, and allowing police officers to ride bicycles on any sidewalk in the city. The city considers the Segway a vehicle and references the following as reasons why it is banned on all sidewalks:

17.16.040 Driving upon sidewalk or bicycle/ pedestrian right-of-way.

A. No person shall drive any vehicle upon a sidewalk except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway.

B. No person shall drive any vehicle upon any bicycle/pedestrian right-of-way. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to persons driving emergency vehicles or maintenance vehicles, persons who drive upon any bicycle/pedestrian right-of-way as a means of ingress or egress to a place of business or a residence or persons crossing any bicycle/pedestrian right-of-way at a point designated by Grace Hill Americorp as river access crossing site. (Ord. 64952 § 2, 2000: prior: Ord. 57831 § 1 (part), 1979: 1960 C. § 827.040.)

So is the Segway a “vehicle” or not? The state of Missouri considers a bicycle a vehicle as well with the operator is subject to the same rights and rules as a motor vehicle operator but we don’t ban bicycles from operating on bike paths.

So Ald. Krewson’s bill is not looking to examine the bigger issue from a city-wide perspective. BB#449 is geared only at Forest Park and mainly at institutions within Forest Park. Basically the Science Center owns (16) Segways they like to use for groups to show how they work — you know, the science behind them. Legally they should be permitted to use them on roadways in Forest Park but it seems they want to use them on sidewalks and paths. This bill, if passed in its current form, would permit the Director of Parks to formulate rules, an application process and issue permits to those seeking to use a Segway in Forest Park.  To receive a permit you’d need to own the Segway.  Institutions in Forest Park, such as the Science Center, could allow others to use their Segways after the person signed a waiver form.  Anyone riding a Segway in the park would need to wear a prominent plackard — making them look even dorkier.

So all this brings up several questions.  First, does the current laws on the books limit the use of Segways or not?   If yes, do we keep it as is or do we consider where and how we’d like to permit Segways on sidewalks/paths.  For example, besides Forest Park perhaps on the North Riverfront Trail?  If the current laws do not ban the use of Segways on sidewalks/paths, do we want to limit their use.  At nearly $6,000 a pop it is pretty rare to see one out and about except for tour groups.

One time, a few years ago, I crossed the street heading to the Chicago Art Institute and a group on Segways had blocked the entire corner on the sidewalk — making it difficult for me as a pedestrian to get through.  Like my scooter, I have no issues with someone locking up a Segway to a bike rack on the public sidewalk, but I have to wonder about mixing Segway users with walkers, joggers, rollerbladers, and cyclists on paths in Forest Park.  This seemingly non-issue gets complicated pretty quickly.  For more information on the Segway see Wiki and Segway.com.

 

Currently there are "33 comments" on this Article:

  1. Amber says:

    Being an employee of the Science Center I’d have to say I’m pretty sure that we don’t just let people use our segways, they have to go through a training course. Unless this has changed.
    I have mixed feelings about people riding the segways on ped/bike paths in which people are primarily using them for exercise and fitness, or just enjoying the outdoors. The segways are a good way to get around in many instances, but a fitness device they are not.

     
  2. Reginald Pennypacker III says:

    This is great! Now fat people won’t have to walk. We can completely eliminate excercise!

     
  3. Urbanian says:

    Just because Segways are new and techno-cool, we have to come up with rules to govern their use. Dumb.

    There are already rules on the books for electric scooters which are not new, cool, or to be used while standing. Existing rules suffice.

    This would be a non-issue if the science center bought dorky little electric mini-bikes, which would have cost a fraction as much, and would have propelled people just as well. Perhaps they should have considered that those who are too lazy to walk or cycle would prefer a vehicle that allows them to sit!

    Someday when Segways are yesterday’s news, these new rules will be scorned.

     
  4. Nick Kasoff says:

    Sgeways do NOT belong in Forest Park, period. They are too slow for the bike path, and too fast for the pedestrian paths. What an incredibly stupid idea.

     
  5. STeel says:

    Its already bad enough the bike path is filled with pedestrians (who can’t seem to figure out there is a designated ped. path), now we want to add Segways to the mix. What next, they will “sell” a portion of the park so that it can be developed.

     
  6. john says:

    Believe or not these silly, expensive, environmentally unfriendly devices are used by employees of the SCIENCE Center to scoot between offices already. Clearly the Science Center needs to be renamed to to reflect this anti-green-lazy lifestyle. The Segway is a motorized vehicle and should be treated accordingly.
    – –
    These “supposedly” trained Segway drivers have been a major problem on FP bike paths for years. Their use should be limited to parking lots, backyards and streets. The Segway is a perfect example of how the promotion of inferior products defines the character and image of the region and thus should not be allowed.

     
  7. Amber says:

    While I’m not disputing the stupidity of people riding around on bike paths on Segways, I’m trying to understand the comment made by John about them being environmentally unfriendly. Here are a few facts:
    Emissions Output Summary
    Operating a Segway PT creates:
    • 5.6 times less greenhouse gas per mile than a
    Toyota Prius (82% reduction)
    • 14 times less greenhouse gas than the average
    American car (93% reduction)
    • 20 times less greenhouse gas than a large
    Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) (95% reduction)
    Energy Consumption Summary
    The Segway PT is:
    • 4.5 times more energy efficient than a
    Toyota Prius
    • 11 times more energy efficient than the
    average American car
    • 17 times more energy efficient than a
    large SUV
    Note: All computations based on one passenger per vehicle
    (from http://www.segway.com/downloads/pdfs/energy_efficient_segway_whitepaper.pdf)

    One thing supporters of the Segway say is that a lot of trips made by auto are 5 miles or less in the city and that using a Segway would be A LOT more efficient as a mode of transportation. Seeing them as something like that is more feasible to me that using them as a recreational vehicle in a park where, as I said above, people are exercising, enjoying the outdoors and generally going somewhere to not be driving around.
    Being electrically powered by a battery is not the same as being a fuel powered motor, that shouldn’t really be necessary to point out though.
    I do think that it is a nice idea that these could be a friendly form of transport, but our streets are not really designed for them either. On the other hand, the streets in St. Louis are hardly friendly to bicyclists and scooters as well.

     
  8. Adam says:

    john, were you fired from segway?

     
  9. I’m a little confused here. Isn’t the Segway an ADA recognized mobility device? Like a “hoveround” or your typical “scooter store” scooter? And as such, shouldn’t it be allowed use anyplace an able-bodied person would *walk*? We don’t make senior citizens or the disabled only operate their wheelchairs and mobility scooters on the STREET, in traffic, do we? (the conditions of the SIDEWALKS in much of the city may certainly dictate that, but I digress).

    I was also under the impression from the P-D article I read back when the SLSC (St. Louis Science Center) got the things was that renting them out for people to ride all around FP was the whole point! Now you’re saying that it’s been “illegal” this whole time?

    Not too long ago the city had banned all motorcycles from Forest Park. The AMA was instrumental in getting that thrown out. I wonder how they would feel about the Segway restrictions?

     
  10. Dennis says:

    I agree 100% with Pennypacker on this one. Looks like just a new way for obese people to get around and enjoy the park because they are too dang lazy to get off their butt and walk! I see security guards zipping around on them at the airport and they semto serve a good purpose their but other than that I think the things are useless.

     
  11. ex-stl says:

    Dennis, I think you got Pennypackers comment backwards – he was being sincere in his support of less activity and a more sedentary lifestyle.

     
  12. Nick Kasoff says:

    Stadroller – I don’t know if a Segway is an “ADA recognized mobility device.” Let’s suppose it is. Then at most, that means we have to allow its use by people who are covered by the ADA. Everybody else can walk at Forest Park. If that’s too difficult, stay home and watch TV.

     
  13. dude says:

    Being that these run $2500 on ebay I don’t think the bike path will be inundated with them any time soon. I suspect the riders will get some dirty looks if not rude comments on them from people excercising. Also, what do you do if the thing stops running and you’re 2 miles from your car or point of origin? Technology is great… when it works.

     
  14. SillyLocals says:

    A dork on a Segway is better than a dork in a car, as long as the dork stays with the cars.

     
  15. “I don’t know if a Segway is an “ADA recognized mobility device.” Let’s suppose it is. Then at most, that means we have to allow its use by people who are covered by the ADA. Everybody else can walk at Forest Park. If that’s too difficult, stay home and watch TV. ”

    According to the local dealer they are anyway. But what about people – such as myself – who can pretty much get around normally day-to-day, who don’t really *need* a handicaped sticker or license plates and whatnot? but long walks around Forest Park, through museums, even gorcery and department stores sometines – would certianly leave me in crippling pain for several days afterwards. i may not be able to get / want to / or feel worthy of a Hanidacped placard, but should I not be enabled to enjoy FP like any other pedestrian could? Stay at home and watch TV??? No offense sir, but Frack You!

     
  16. Carlos says:

    The comments above mostly reflect inaccurate information. Allow me to correct some things:

    “This is great! Now fat people won’t have to walk. We can completely eliminate exercise!”

    Segways are not exercise devices; Segways are transportation devices. They were designed to eliminate single car trips. Some disabled people who can stand but have trouble walking now have the ability to go places they couldn’t go before.

    “There are already rules on the books for electric scooters which are not new, cool, or to be used while standing.”

    If this person actually read the rules, they would know that Segways are pedesrtian devices, not scooters, They don’t act or react like a scooter, and they have been found to be safer than a manual wheelchair, with the ability to react 100x per second (US Dept of Transportation study). Read the actual law in any state, and you’ll see that Segways, scooters, motorized wheelchairs and motorized bikes are all in different categories with different rules applied.

    “Believe or not these silly, expensive, environmentally unfriendly devices are used by employees of the SCIENCE Center to scoot between offices”

    Segways are electric with no emissions. They use about 18 cents of electricity every 24 miles. To say that they are “environmentally unfriendly” is simply incorrect.

    “I’m a little confused here. Isn’t the Segway an ADA recognized mobility device?”

    Yes, you are correct. Correct in the fact that you are confused. There is no such thing as “an ADA recognized mobility device”. By federal law, there can be no definitive list of mobility devices for disabled people because new devices are invented daily.

    Some people need to take their heads out of their butts and let people who choose to travel with a non-oil dependent device that is extremely safe and quieter than a bicycle alone. If you want to walk, fine. If you want to bike, fine. If some people want to Segway, let them. Don’t be afraid of technology, especially when it involves a device that takes some cars off the streets, lessens traffic, creates more parking spaces, and makes the air a little cleaner. Jeez. Lighten up.

     
  17. Is there a new congestion problem on the roads of Forest Park that is preventing people from riding their Segways?

    If so, maybe we should ban cars from the roads in deference to our many dedicated Forest Park Segway riders.

     
  18. Dennis says:

    Carlos, I don’t think Segways will take any cars off the streets. More likely it will add a trip for some people. Like “Oh hey, it’s such a nice day, I think I’ll load my Segway into the car trunk, DRIVE up to Forest Park and take it out for a spin”. I see them as useful for just a limited part of the population. Like people who have jobs that require them to be on their feet all day and also be able to get from point A to point B many times a day and quickly. Like the security guys I’ve seen at the airport. As for riding around in the park, I think I’ll just stick to my bike. It’s a lot easier to load into the car and a lot lighter. And you can ride a bike on the street and just skip the whole CAR thing completely!

     
  19. IdiotsEverywhere says:

    Anybody who thinks Segways are safe should get their heads out of their rears and watch the other idiots travel on them. Promotional publicity doesn’t equate to sales or or serve as a replacement to common sense. Environmentally friendly advocacy groups in London, even in tech friendly San Fran, have said no-way to Segway. Want to know what Paris Hilton and President Bushleague have in common? Just watch them crash on a techno-advanced Segway…dumb toy for dumb rectals!

     
  20. Bill Burge says:

    “Its already bad enough the bike path is filled with pedestrians (who can’t seem to figure out there is a designated ped. path), now we want to add Segways to the mix. What next, they will “sell” a portion of the park so that it can be developed.”

    You are, in a word, wrong. The asphalt path is a mixed use path. That’s why it was allowed for the St. Louis Track Club to notch of the mile markers for the running communities use.

    The interior path is a poor excuse for a a ped bath at that. It mostly appears to be an old asphalt path that was chosen not to be repaired. If forest park truly put in quality interior paths made of crushed limestone or the like, AS THEY SHOULD, you would see many a pedestrian move off the mixed use path.

     
  21. r. willis says:

    just to be clear:

    1. we are talking here only about the paved bike paths in forest park.

    2. the existing state statute permits the use of a segway on public roads with limits of 45 mph or less, on sidewalks, and on (recreational) bike paths unless a city decides otherwise.

    3. the existing city ordinance does apply to segways, even though it was written for scooters, and forbids the operation of a segway on bike paths.

    4. what krewson wants to do is to permit the operation of a segway on the paved bike paths in forest park, but only if the segway is rented from a vendor who has a permanent facility in the park as of the date the ordinance becomes effective.

    5. in other words, the science center.

    6. under the ordinance, you would still not be able to bring your own segway onto the paved bike paths.

    7. not certain whether the gravel paths are a “pedestrian right of way,” but would guess probably yes.

    r.

     
  22. r. willis says:

    correcting an error in my previous post
    you could get a permit from the parks director to operate your own segway on the bike paths
    but the director can determine that sixteen is already enough
    and decline to issue further permits

    r.

     
  23. Carlos says:

    Dennis, and others,

    One of the misconceptions about Segways is that they take up extra room on the paths. It’s an optical illusion. The wheels are 19 in tall, the device has handlebars 4+ feet in the air, so it reminds one of some kind of scooter when you look at one from a distance.

    In reality, the footprint is less than 22′ wide. The wheels are right underneath you, and they take up as much space as a person walking. I’m 6′, 185. My shoulders are actually wider than a Segway’s wheels. By comparison, bikes are much bigger than a person, and much more dangerous, with the ability to go much faster.

    Most people aren’t afraid of bikes, because they are much more familiar with them. While a person on a bike has the ability to go 40 mph running into people, injuring and knocking them over, people just don’t behave that way. The bike rider would be the first one to be hurt. In the same sense, A Segway rider has the ability to go 12 mph (jogging speed), but also doesn’t in a crowd of pedestrians.

    30,000 Segways are SAFELY gliding on the sidewalks of the world’s cities (many of them busy sidewalks like the ones I commute 6 miles a day on) for 5 years now. Google ‘Segway Accident” and see how long it takes you to find even 2 legit accidents. It’s about people’s behavior. You are more likely to find accidents with motorized wheelchairs than Segways.

    $200 million was spent to develop a ped device that would be SAFE. That’s the point. They haven’t sold in the millions yet because there is no marketing budget, and the American consumer won’t buy into a new, strange invention unless they see them on TV in a commercial; ESPECIALLY when they cost $5000. Plus they’ve gotten a bad rap from people who’ve never used them and think they’re scooters. In reality, sales are slow, but steady. Ask any Segway owner, and we love them. We would never give them up. They work.

    Another misconception is that $5000 is expensive. Sure, 5 grand is expensive for a toy, but a Segway is not a toy, it’s a transportation device (Is $5000 expensive for a car or motorcycle? Not at all.) It replaces my car every time I go to work, saving me $200 a month in gas and parking. At 18 cents a week it costs me to operate, my Segway paid for itself a year ago, just on the gas savings from leaving my car at home for trips into town.

    Segways are harmless. People who use them would visit the trails anyway. Ask any Segway owner to really tell you about their usage and what they’re REALLY like instead of imagining what they must be like.

    Carlos

     
  24. “Is $5000 expensive for a car or motorcycle? Not at all”

    Well, yeah, it kinda is. You can get a brand-new Honda Meropolitan for under $2,000 and quite a few different 125cc-150cc range scotoers for well under that price figure – more like around $3,000. A Genuine Buddy 125 costs around $2,700 MSRP, wil do 60mph, gets about 100mpg… so at today’s gas prices costs about .027/cents per mile to fuel.

    A good used 50mpg/VW TDI is also getting down there in KBB or NADA these days.

    Not that your reasons for owning/operating one aren’t valid, I just don’t think that it’s price point is a winning arguement, IMHO.

     
  25. Carlos says:

    StL_Stadtroller,

    OK, I shouldn’t have said motorcycles, just cars. Sure, there are motorcycles well under 5k, but they can’t go where a Segway goes, and vice versa. Unlike Motorcycles, Segways can leave the road, go off the beaten path on a ped trail, go on a sidewalk, even a shopping mall or an office bldg.

    Unlike Motorcycles, Segways are not vehicles, don’t have emissions, don’t burn gas, and don’t make noise. You can park them on the sidewalk like a bike. You don’t need insurance, even though you can get it (most people don’t insure their bicycles for liability, and Segways are way safer than bikes). And there are no filters, hoses or fluids to replace or maintain. The initial investment is $5k, but in the end, it’s cheaper than any other transportation device except a bike (and there’s times when one can’t use a bike).

    When email was just coming out and most people didn’t have a PC (they were $8k in the late 80s), many people wondered if email would replace snail mail. After a while, people realized that email was just an alternative to snail mail, and people would continue to use both. The same applies to Segways. They are not trying to replace cars altogether, just a few of them; enough to relieve the traffic, emission, and gas price pressure.

    Carlos

    [SLP — As someone who has gone car-free I find the Segway a poor substitute.  If I’m trying to go a few miles down the road I am not going to use the sidewalk (especially city sidewalks) because it would take forever.  My tiny scooter is much faster.  But, based on your logic if I got an electric scooter I should be able to use it on sidewalks and bike paths — not a good idea in my view.]

     
  26. Carlos says:

    One more thing…

    There’s a link to the Missouri vehicle code in the blog above, but the Segway (an EPAMD) laws are buried and hard to find. Here’s the section on Segways:
    ________________________________________
    Defined–requirements for operation.
    307.205. 1. For the purposes of sections 307.205 to 307.211, “electric personal assistive mobility device” (EPAMD) shall mean a self-balancing, two nontandem wheeled device, designed to transport only one person, with an electric propulsion system with an average power of seven hundred fifty watts (one horsepower), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a propulsion system while ridden by an operator who weighs one hundred seventy pounds, is less than twenty miles per hour.
    2. An electric personal assistive mobility device may be operated upon a street, highway, sidewalk, and bicycle path. Every person operating such a device shall be granted all of the rights and be subject to all of the duties applicable to a pedestrian pursuant to chapter 304, RSMo.
    3. Persons under sixteen years of age shall not operate an electric personal assistive mobility device, except for an operator with a mobility-related disability.
    4. An electric personal assistive mobility device shall be operated only on roadways with a speed limit of forty-five miles per hour or less. This shall not prohibit the use of such device when crossing roadways with speed limits in excess of forty-five miles per hour.
    5. A city or town shall have the authority to impose additional regulations on the operation of an electric personal assistive mobility device within its city or town limits.
    (L. 2002 H.B. 1270 and H.B. 2032)

    Equipment required.
    307.207. Every electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD) when in use on a roadway during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise shall be equipped with the following:
    (1) A front-facing lamp on the front or carried by the rider which shall emit a white light visible at night under normal atmospheric conditions on a straight, level, unlighted roadway at five hundred feet;
    (2) A rear-facing red reflector, at least two square inches in reflective surface area, or a rear-facing red lamp, on the rear which shall be visible at night under normal atmospheric conditions on a straight, level, unlighted roadway when viewed by a vehicle driver under the lower beams of vehicle headlights at six hundred feet.
    (L. 2002 H.B. 1270 and H.B. 2032)

    Roadway operation, requirements.
    307.209. Every person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD) at less than the posted speed or slower than the flow of traffic upon a street or highway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as safe, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction, except when making a left turn, when avoiding hazardous conditions, when the lane is too narrow to share with another vehicle, or when on a one-way street.
    (L. 2002 H.B. 1270 and H.B. 2032)

    Violations, penalties.
    307.211. Any person seventeen years of age or older who violates any provision of sections 307.205 to 307.211 is guilty of an infraction and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than five dollars nor more than twenty-five dollars. Such an infraction does not constitute a crime and conviction shall not give rise to any disability or legal disadvantage based on conviction of a criminal offense. If any person under seventeen years of age violates any provision of sections 307.205 to 307.211 in the presence of a peace officer possessing the duty and power of arrest for violation of the general criminal laws of the state or for violation of ordinances of counties or municipalities of the state, said officer may impound the electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD) involved for a period not to exceed five days upon issuance of a receipt to the child riding it or to its owner.
    (L. 2002 H.B. 1270 and H.B. 2032)
    ________________________________________________

    Carlos

     
  27. Carlos says:

    [SLP — As someone who has gone car-free I find the Segway a poor substitute. If I’m trying to go a few miles down the road I am not going to use the sidewalk (especially city sidewalks) because it would take forever. My tiny scooter is much faster. But, based on your logic if I got an electric scooter I should be able to use it on sidewalks and bike paths — not a good idea in my view.]

    I’m glad you brought up your environment. It reminded me of the following:

    Ther are 3 misconceptions about Segways: They are supposed to work for everyone, everywhere, and we’ll never have to drive a car again.

    Segways aren’t for everyone. Segways aren’t for every environment. Segways aren’t supposed to replace ALL cars.

    The way to alleviate traffic and parking problems is not to eliminate ALL cars, just some of them. If 5% of cars were off the road at any given time, parking and traffic problems would be relieved. I love using my car when I 1) have to go 12+ miles in a hurry. 2) have cargo. 3) have passengers. 4) don’t want to get rained on. The other times I have my Segway as an alternative to bringing my 2000 lb hunk of steel to work everyday (and paying someone $8 to put my steel thing in a garage all day while I’m at work).

    I’m sorry your sidewalks aren’t Segway friendly, but many, like mine, are. Also, in CA, and many other states, Segways can use the bike lane in certain situations.

    Segways are harmless and quiet. They are a Godsend to disabled people who can stand, but not walk. They help the environment by keeping cars off the streets, out of the gas stations, and out of the parking spaces. I wish the municipalities who want to restrict their usage would just get an education about these devices and stop being afraid of them. Responsible legislators don’t make responsible decisions based on their imagination, they make responsible decisions based on facts. Get the facts. Segways are great. Try one 🙂

    Carlos

     
  28. Mike says:

    Carlos said “A Segway rider has the ability to go 12 mph (jogging speed)….”

    12 mph is jogging speed? Seems like the Mitchell Report might need to be revised to include Carlos.

    I’m not sure if it’s just that you haven’t been on the paths in FP, but even running at only an 8 min/mile pace (7.5 mph), I end up passing a lot of people.

     
  29. Jim Zavist says:

    another innovation/franchise to regulate? http://www.westword.com/2008-04-24/news/wheels-of-fortune/

     
  30. john says:

    Segways unsafe? The Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled about 23,500 Segways because they can “apply reverse torque to the wheels, which can cause a rider to fall.” http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2006/09/71789
    – –
    Environmentalists are vigorously opposed to the bills relaxing rules governing Segways. While the Segway may appear eco-friendly at first to those unwilling to get the full story, clean air proponents say that such bills, if signed into law, would do harm by making life harder for pedestrians and cyclists. The fallout will cause such eco-friendly choses to be replaced by more motorized vehicles, especially automobiles.
    – –
    Scooters are better than Segways as they are less expensive, more reliable, can carry heavier loads, go further, more versatile,…and most importantly, Kamen doesn’t control the market.

     
  31. George says:

    Sit-down Segway, safe for streets, is set

    Thu Apr 9, 2009 5:18PM EDT

    Before you ride a Segway, you probably just dismiss the thing as an impractical toy for rich kids. Which, in all fairness, it is.

    But once you actually ride a Segway, you immediately want one, if for no other reason than so you can tool around your driveway on it — like a skateboard for grown-ups.

    Now Segway is taking a turn for the practical, teaming with General Motors on something called Project PUMA (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility), which finally turns the Segway’s self-balancing technology into something that might conceivably become useful outside the gates of your manor and the polo grounds. The project was formally announced this week at the New York Auto Show and it looks awfully cool so far.

    The PUMA features the familiar two wheels, side by side, just like the Segway has, but the similarities start to diverge from there. First, you ride the PUMA not standing but sitting down — as does your navigator. That’s right, there’s room for two people in the PUMA (and possibly more down the line), which means you’ll be able to chitchat with someone about the people pointing at you from the sidewalk while you drive around town.

    Then there’s the speed and range. At a maximum speed of 35 miles and hour and 35 miles on a charge (all tentative — this is prototype stuff), you’ll be able to get around on city streets without being flattened into the pavement. (The original Segway tops out at 12 1/2 miles an hour, far slower than a typical bicycle, and has a max range of 24 miles.)

    There’s no telling what PUMA will cost, but the company mentions it will be a third the price of a car (don’t know which car) at most. $8,000, perhaps? Seems like a reasonable place to start — the electric Smart Fortwo two-seater (which is a fixture at San Francisco tourist destinations being driven by mouth-agape renters) runs about $12,000 to start.

    There’s also no word on a release date, but here’s hoping at least for a chance at a test drive in the near future. Stay tuned!

     
  32. Lily Kerns says:

    I am 76, I can walk but more than a block causes intense pain. With my doctor’s approval, I recently purchased a Segway to use as my EPAMD (electric personal mobility device) instead of a wheelchair which would not meet my needs at all. It is a Godsend. I can now go to the mall, wander through a large department store, go to Silver Dollar City. I don’t have to drive my car two blocks to attend church. I can enjoy trails that would be inaccessible to me otherwise. And yes, I can do this legally under both ADA rules and MO law.

    The Segway has a smaller footprint and is more maneuverable than any wheelchair, scooter or bicycle. It weighs less than a power wheelchair and has soft tires so is unlikely to injure another person’s foot. It has a zero turning radius and can stop on a dime. It is stable at any speed from 0 to 12.5 miles per hour. It allows you to adjust your speed to any situation including crowded sidewalks. My son who has MS commutes on one into downtown San Francisco. You have to do something stupid to fall off it. It is, in fact, an amazing piece of technology. If you have never ridden one, you have no way of knowing what it can do and how easily and well it does it.

    I would walk if I could. A Segway is not aerobic exercise, true, but it is definitely body core exercise. After my first long day of riding even my rear end knew it had been used!

    One of the fastest growing markets for Segways is the disabled. The Seg4Vets organization has now given more than 300 of these, specially modified to fit individual needs, to disabled vets wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. As these men return to their home towns we will be seeing more Segways used for this pupose.

    Acceptance and access is a problem as is apparent from the tone of this discussion. The public image tends to be Mall Cop or expensive toy. In my area, I met with the director of the local zoo to demonstrate the Segway’s capabilites and safety before the Park Board approved its use on city trails and facilities. The Missouri Department of Conservation has so far refused to acknowledge it as a legal mobility device for use in MDC facilities.
    On the other hand, with one single exception, the malls and department stores, including Walmart and Bass Pro, have accepted it, although I have been stopped and asked if I am disabled (which they are allowed to do.)

    Like any other device for moving people it is only as safe as the individual who operates it _and_ the other people who share the roadway or walkway. Just last week I was in the Branson Landing mall when a small child darted out directly toward me. I have exceptionally quick reflexes and swerved sharply. I realized, afterward, that even though I was moving with the speed of other pedestrians, that maneuver could easily have been extremely dangerous and thrown me off of it, but the Segway and I handled it with no problem at all. I have a whole new respect for the capabilities of this machine.

     
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