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4192Re: [carfree_cities] Segway

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  • Doug Salzmann
    Jan 14, 2002
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      At 03:09 AM Monday 1/14/2002, Joel wrote:

      >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.

      I doubt that. Folks who can't walk very far in comfort are unlikely to be
      able to stand on a Segway for very long. And Segway's only advantage over a
      much-more-comfortable "mobility scooter" or powered wheelchair would be
      that it could be operated at speeds that should be prohibited in pedestrian
      space.

      >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.

      Agreed.

      >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.

      I'm afraid the "if" describes a world that doesn't exist. I walk on shared
      facilities in the Bay Area daily, and have walked and cycled on such
      facilities in many other places. Careful, responsible behavior by
      cyclists, skaters, scooter riders, etc. is so rare as to be a
      calendar-marking event. In general, they all whiz around recklessly,
      overtaking much too closely and much too fast, without warning, riding two
      or three abreast and forcing pedestrians off the edges of the
      pathways,etc. They're in a hurry and they resent the presence of
      pedestrians, which occasionally forces them to slow down, in violation of
      their God-given rights. There's a reason that there are many more cycling
      crashes per mile on shared facilities than on roads: Shared facilities are
      inherently more dangerous.

      The last thing we need is yet another vehicle.

      -Doug
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