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Old Jan 20, 2003, 10:34 PM   #1
medea
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San Francisco bans Segway

While they are at it, it would make more sense to ban motorcycles on the road, go ahead and ban cars and trucks as well and keep they bicycles off the sidewalk.....

With its love of geek chic and congested streets, San Francisco might have been expected to embrace Segway, the environmentally friendly, self-balancing personal vehicle that promises to entice people out of their smog-spewing cars.
Instead, the city on Monday becomes the first large municipality to outlaw the Segway Human Transporter on its sidewalks -- more than a month before the chariot-like vehicles are made available to the public.
The Board of Supervisors acted last month following intense lobbying by Segway LLC in state capitols to change laws to permit the two-wheeled vehicles on sidewalks.
Thirty-three states, including California, approved Segway-enabling legislation. But that doesn't mean major cities will roundly embrace the scooters touted by inventor Dean Kamen, when he introduced them to great fanfare in December 2001, as apt to "change civilization." California's law allows cities to opt out.
The upright device -- controlled by body movements with the help of tiny computers and balance-controlling gyroscopes -- has been tested across the country by postal workers, police officers and meter readers. They're on sale to the public at Amazon.com for $4,950 each and will begin shipping in March.
Critics say the Segway is a safety hazard on sidewalks because it weighs 69 pounds and travels at up to 12.5 mph -- three times faster than the typical pedestrian. No state is requiring that its drivers be trained, although some have set minimum age and helmet requirements.
"We don't want to say that it doesn't ever make sense. But in urban settings there isn't enough room for all the pedestrians," said Ellen Vanderslice, president of America WALKs, a pedestrian advocacy group based in Portland, Ore.
In hilly San Francisco, officials feared the battery-powered Segways would cause more problems than they would solve, particularly for the disabled and senior citizens.
"There were statistics submitted to us about injuries, and the Segways themselves did not have adequate safety features to alert people they might be behind them," said Tom Ammiano, a San Francisco supervisor who supported the ban.
Segway officials say the scooters have been tested for 100,000 hours on city streets across the nation without injury.
Ammiano also said Segway's campaign rubbed officials the wrong way.
"Segway didn't help themselves by hiring very expensive lobbyists," he said. "I think that backfired on them, too."
New Hampshire-based Segway hired lobbying firms but has made no contributions to any public officials or candidates, said Matt Dailida, the company's director of state government affairs.
Along with California, about half the states that passed laws to allow the Segway also permit cities to opt out, but so far most major municipalities are taking a wait-and-see approach, Dailida said.
Dailida says Segway has worked with many state and local legislators to show that the scooters are safe alternatives to cars. Buyers also must attend a multi-hour training course before the scooter is shipped to them, he added.
"We understand that this is an entirely new technology that each city needs to regulate," he said. But "we think the action by San Francisco was premature."
Illinois passed a measure allowing Segways in towns that specifically pass ordinances permitting them. Most, including Chicago, have not done so.
Segway expects New York to allow the vehicle throughout the state except in New York City, where use in the first year would be limited to government and commercial users.
In California, Santa Cruz, Oakland and San Mateo are considering joining San Francisco in banning Segways from sidewalks. There is no similar move in congested Los Angeles, city officials said.
"The bloom is off the rose about the Segway," Ammiano said. "I think a lot of it was ballyhoo. Now, with people looking at the practicality and cost and possible liabilities, I think they're abandoning their enthusiasm about it."


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Old Jan 20, 2003, 11:07 PM   #2
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That's really too bad. When the price of this technology comes down, I can see more and more people using these instead of Cars for short trips (unless the weather is bad, of course). They're just scared of what they don't understand.
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Old Jan 20, 2003, 11:41 PM   #3
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note:

They're not banning the Segway completely, just on sidewalks, where bicycles and other scooters aren't allowed either.
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 09:27 AM   #4
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Huh?

Environmentally friendly? As opposed to walking? Sorry, I don't want some dipship zipping down the sidewalk (yes, even at 12.5 mph) with an extra 83lbs. of momentum behind him. Put them in the bike lanes.

I saw one of these at an Auto Show this weekend. Fun little piece of technology, would have loved to try one, but a walking replacement is the last thing industrialized nations need. Besides, it's just a vertical scooter with a balancing gimmick. Remove the gimmick and you'd have an extra wheel in the back and an extra $2500 in your pocket...

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Old Jan 21, 2003, 10:39 AM   #5
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I don't understand what the Segway's advantage is over a $200 mountain bike. It's a neat toy and all, but really, do Americans need any less exercise?
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by alex_ant
I don't understand what the Segway's advantage is over a $200 mountain bike. It's a neat toy and all, but really, do Americans need any less exercise?

EXACTLY!!!

I'm sure most of you know that Woz got a Segway. Anyone want to take bets on his waist size in a few years?
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 10:53 AM   #7
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Just another expensive toy. From what I know, don't think I would want to ride it on the street either!
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 10:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by alex_ant
I don't understand what the Segway's advantage is over a $200 mountain bike. It's a neat toy and all, but really, do Americans need any less exercise?
It is an efficient and expensive alternative to a walker for the elderly or mobility impaired, but I can just imagine the pedestrian alternative to running through the front window of a Dunkin' Donuts when control is lost...
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 01:10 PM   #9
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rigorous test

I would be very impress to see an experiment to replace the motorized cart tranporting people around in Walmart. It would be interesting to see the top speed achieve carrying Walmart customers.
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 02:42 PM   #10
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Re: rigorous test

Quote:
Originally posted by Chomolungma
I would be very impress to see an experiment to replace the motorized cart tranporting people around in Walmart. It would be interesting to see the top speed achieve carrying Walmart customers.
Sorry, the Segway has a 250 lb. weight limit...
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 04:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by jayscheuerle
It is an efficient and expensive alternative to a walker for the elderly or mobility impaired, but I can just imagine the pedestrian alternative to running through the front window of a Dunkin' Donuts when control is lost...
Hmm, I suppose it could be. But then again, so could an electric wheelchair. I'm not sure how much those cost, though. I don't know if I personally want to see elderly people barreling down the sidewalk on these things.
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 05:25 PM   #12
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Re: San Francisco bans Segway

Quote:
Originally posted by medea
While they are at it, it would make more sense to ban motorcycles on the road, go ahead and ban cars and trucks as well and keep they bicycles off the sidewalk.....
If someone would make it illegal to ride a motorcycle in between cars in traffic I would be thrilled. Here, in East Bay and in San Fran I always fear running over some jerk who goes flying through out of nowhere.

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Old Jan 21, 2003, 05:33 PM   #13
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Re: Re: San Francisco bans Segway

Quote:
Originally posted by alset


If someone would make it illegal to ride a motorcycle in between cars in traffic I would be thrilled. Here, in East Bay and in San Fran I always fear running over some jerk who goes flying through out of nowhere.

Dan
I know what you mean, as I was just in the Bay Area. This practice seems to be unique to the Bay Area motocyclists.

Dan, I wouldn't worry for the welfare of stupid people
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Old Jan 21, 2003, 11:40 PM   #14
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anyone buy a segway on amazon yet?
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Old Jan 22, 2003, 12:59 AM   #15
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Re: Re: Re: San Francisco bans Segway

Quote:
Originally posted by Chomolungma


I know what you mean, as I was just in the Bay Area. This practice seems to be unique to the Bay Area motocyclists.

Dan, I wouldn't worry for the welfare of stupid people
It's actually legal everywhere in California. Just more prevalent in high traffic centers such as SF and LA. It is illegal in most other states but because the CHIP want to be able to lane split they must allow everyone to do it. The law states I believe no fmore then 10MPH faster then surrounding traffic though.

Washington allows it only in traffic jams. I don't know if any other states allow it.
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Old Jan 23, 2003, 10:54 PM   #16
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As a long-time pedestrian, I will testify that the Segway is the world's coolest invention for pedestrians.

I am bloody SICK and TIRED of how long it takes to walk someplace! And when I get there, what do I end up with? Sore ankles, fatigue, wasted time!

Pedestrian range with the Segway would be tremendous. You could cover a college campus or a college town on one of those things, i.e., no parking fees! Malls could be built even larger.

It should also be noted that to buy a Segway, you have to recieve training from the company. Segway doesn't want bad publicity from Segway accidents, so they're taking the wise move.

San Francisco is a city I used to respect. Now it's lost that respect.
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Old Jan 24, 2003, 01:25 AM   #17
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Oh waa my feet hurt I hate exercise it it it makes me lose weight. If I lose too much I might fly away.

Just kiddin.
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Old Jan 24, 2003, 05:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by MacBandit
Oh waa my feet hurt I hate exercise it it it makes me lose weight. If I lose too much I might fly away.

Just kiddin.
Yeah, for your information, I am actually trying to lose weight right now. This has nothing to do with that. Walking is inefficient and has speed and range limitations. Cars are expensive to run and take up lots of space, and they also pollute. The Segway is the transporation of the future, and San Francisco has decided to make itself obselete.
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Old Jan 24, 2003, 07:28 PM   #19
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Yeah, it's brilliant...

Quote:
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac
As a long-time pedestrian, I will testify that the Segway is the world's coolest invention for pedestrians.

I am bloody SICK and TIRED of how long it takes to walk someplace! And when I get there, what do I end up with? Sore ankles, fatigue, wasted time!
There's these neat things called "bikes" that you can pick up used for $2,900 less than a Segway and are completely environmentally friendly. They don't even use electricity (which is primarliy generated by fossil fuel burning).

These are swell toys, but a futuristic movie with tons of people scooting around in these things in the cities would be the "gayest" thing I've ever seen, with a cool factor right up there with unicycle riding and stamp collecting...
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Old Jan 25, 2003, 04:03 PM   #20
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Unfortunately, bicycles require greater physical exertion and take up more space. A Segway rider takes up no more space than a pedestrian on foot. And Segways can more easily go uphill.

And how appropriate of you to show your stupidity by means of homophobic slurs...

Last edited by Phil Of Mac; Jan 25, 2003 at 04:09 PM.
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Old Jan 25, 2003, 05:37 PM   #21
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Beam me up, Scotty!!

Quote:
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac
And how appropriate of you to show your stupidity by means of homophobic slurs...
Yeah, I guess "dorky", "wimpy", "geeky", "nerdy", "wussy", "twinky" or "effeminate" would have been more accurately descriptive of the image of a Segway rider. I apologize to the homosexual community (especially those of you I know?and use the term more than I) for my adolescent homophobic slur.

I could better show my stupidity by supporting this ridiculous excuse for a scooter. Wake me up when technology comes up with something more compelling, practical, affordable and efficient than this engineers wet-dream...

Oh wait, I'm standing on them.
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Old Jan 25, 2003, 05:38 PM   #22
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Re: Beam me up, Scotty!!

Quote:
Originally posted by jayscheuerle

Physical exertion, the bane of modern humantiy...

Yeah, I guess "dorky", "wimpy", "geeky", "nerdy", "wussy", "twinky" or "effeminate" would have been more accurately descriptive of the image of a Segway rider. I apologize to the homosexual community (especially those of you I know?and use the term more than I) for my adolescent homophobic slur.

I could better show my stupidity by supporting this ridiculous excuse for a scooter. Wake me up when technology comes up with something more compelling, practical, affordable and efficient than this engineers wet-dream...

Oh wait, I'm standing on them.
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Old Jan 25, 2003, 09:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac
Unfortunately, bicycles require greater physical exertion and take up more space. A Segway rider takes up no more space than a pedestrian on foot. And Segways can more easily go uphill.

And how appropriate of you to show your stupidity by means of homophobic slurs...
Actually a Segway takes up about 1.5x as much room as an average pedestrian.

Bicycles are the most efficient form of transportation known to man.

Segway promotes a sedentary lifestyle something America needs no help with.
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Old Jan 25, 2003, 10:57 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by MacBandit


Actually a Segway takes up about 1.5x as much room as an average pedestrian.

Bicycles are the most efficient form of transportation known to man.

Segway promotes a sedentary lifestyle something America needs no help with.
If physical exertion is such a good thing, why don't we give up all our technology, live in the woods, and hunt with our bare hands? The purpose of technology is to make it easier to live our lives. And it's easier to use the Segway than it is to bicycle. Incidentally, you can ride a Segway inside a shopping mall far more easily than you can ride a bicycle, and without being made fun of.

A "sedentary lifestyle" is exactly what civilization *is*. Live with it.
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Old Jan 25, 2003, 11:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phil Of Mac


If physical exertion is such a good thing, why don't we give up all our technology, live in the woods, and hunt with our bare hands? The purpose of technology is to make it easier to live our lives. And it's easier to use the Segway than it is to bicycle. Incidentally, you can ride a Segway inside a shopping mall far more easily than you can ride a bicycle, and without being made fun of.

A "sedentary lifestyle" is exactly what civilization *is*. Live with it.
If you can't walk through a shopping mall you better have a medical reason.

I agree that it could be useful for around town but for distances you can walk you should. Also a bicycle is definitely cheaper and for me faster.
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