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  • joel crawfordd
    Jan 14, 2002
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      Hi All,

      I'm e-mail crippled right now and have to post my
      responses using one of the free-mail programs.
      I do not check mail at the address from which I'm
      sending, so do not reply to this address.

      There has been some question regarding my position
      on the Segway. It's not simple, so here goes:

      The Segway does little or nothing that a bike does
      not do, except that it may be useful for people like
      my mother, who never leared to ride a bike and is
      too old now.

      That said, I can see it having some application is
      two separate areas:

      1. Within cities, it can be used in streets and
      bike lanes as another form of personal transport.
      Its 12.5 MPH speed is sufficiently high that it can
      reasonably mix with bicycle traffic. (I know that
      those of you who regard 30 MPH as a normal and
      responsible speed to ride in dense urban areas will
      not agree with this. Most people don't ride bikes
      faster than 15 MPH, and I think all urban street
      traffic should be limited to 15 MPH in all cases,
      not excepting bikes. The danger to crossing
      pedestrians is simply too great at higher speeds.

      2. In other areas, I think the Segway can probably
      be ridden safely on sidewalks (where these exist),
      as long as the riders are responsible and yield to
      pedestrians. We see the same sort of thing with bikes
      in lower-density urban areas--they can be ridden on
      sidewalks if the riders are responsible and careful.

      As to the long-term effects of the Segway on urban
      development, I'm inclined to think that they will
      be minimal--they're too expensive to have a large
      impact. They do have one nice attribute--they have
      a small enough footprint that they can readily be
      taken onto level-loading metros and are quite easy
      to park in crowded urban areas. The size of bikes is
      a fairly serious nuisance in their use in cities.


      J.H. Crawford

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