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Segway

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  • J.H. Crawford
    Well, the curtain has finally been lifted from all the hype. Ginger, AKA it is the Segway:
    Message 1 of 26 , Dec 3, 2001
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      Well, the curtain has finally been lifted from all the hype.

      "Ginger," AKA "it" is the Segway:

      http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,186660-1,00.html

      To say that this has major implications is an understatement.

      Regards,


      -- ### --

      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      postmaster@... Carfree.com
    • Tony Brewer
      ... From: J.H. Crawford To: Sent: Monday, December 03, 2001 12:02 PM Subject: [carfree_cities]
      Message 2 of 26 , Dec 3, 2001
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "J.H. Crawford" <postmaster@...>
        To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, December 03, 2001 12:02 PM
        Subject: [carfree_cities] Segway
        >
        > Well, the curtain has finally been lifted from all the hype.
        >
        > "Ginger," AKA "it" is the Segway:
        >
        > http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,186660-1,00.html
        >
        > To say that this has major implications is an understatement.

        I have spent the last ten years developing not one but two personal
        transport devices. Neither needs any microprocessors, gyroscopes,
        sensors, nor software. Both will sell for far less than the $3000
        consumer cost of the "Segway."

        The first device has two wheels connected by metal tubes, with a seat on
        the top, a steering device and brakes. It can travel at various speeds
        from walking pace to 30 mph or more. I call it a "bicycle."

        The second device is actually a pair of devices, made of leather and/or
        synthetic materials. They can travel at about 3-4 mph. I call them
        "shoes."

        Tony B.
      • Chad McDaniel
        ... Kamen s aspirations are even grander than that. He believes the Segway will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy. He imagines them
        Message 3 of 26 , Dec 3, 2001
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          --- In carfree_cities@y..., "J.H. Crawford" <postmaster@c...> wrote:
          >
          > Well, the curtain has finally been lifted from all the hype.
          >
          > "Ginger," AKA "it" is the Segway:
          >
          > http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,186660-1,00.html
          >
          > To say that this has major implications is an understatement.
          >
          I love this quote:
          ---
          Kamen's aspirations are even grander than that. He believes the
          Segway "will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy."
          He imagines them everywhere: in parks and at Disneyland, on
          battlefields and factory floors, but especially on downtown sidewalks
          from Seattle to Shanghai. "Cars are great for going long distances,"
          Kamen says, "but it makes no sense at all for people in cities to use
          a 4,000-lb. piece of metal to haul their 150-lb. asses around town."
          In the future he envisions, cars will be banished from urban centers
          to make room for millions of "empowered pedestrians"--empowered,
          naturally, by Kamen's brainchild.
          ---
        • Louis-Luc
          ... I believe this new IT vehicle must be used in the street, not on sidewalks. Sidewalks are for pedestrians. When you drive a vehicle, including skates, the
          Message 4 of 26 , Dec 3, 2001
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            > I love this quote:
            > ---
            > Kamen's aspirations are even grander than that. He believes the
            > Segway "will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy."
            > He imagines them everywhere: in parks and at Disneyland, on
            > battlefields and factory floors, but especially on downtown sidewalks
            > from Seattle to Shanghai. "Cars are great for going long distances,"
            > Kamen says, "but it makes no sense at all for people in cities to use
            > a 4,000-lb. piece of metal to haul their 150-lb. asses around town."
            > In the future he envisions, cars will be banished from urban centers
            > to make room for millions of "empowered pedestrians"--empowered,
            > naturally, by Kamen's brainchild.
            > ---
            >
            I believe this new IT vehicle must be used in the street, not on sidewalks.
            Sidewalks are for pedestrians. When you drive a vehicle, including skates,
            the street is yours, even more trivial when cars will be obsolete and gone.

            We need something to make people move better, but above all, end the
            nightmare cars cause to pedestrians and other human-powered road users.

            Louis-Luc
          • Chris Bradshaw
            I read this article (below) at breakfast this morning and turned on the TV in time to see the conclusion of the GMA segment. I will predict that it may
            Message 5 of 26 , Dec 3, 2001
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              I read this article (below) at breakfast this morning and
              turned on the TV in time to see the conclusion of the GMA
              segment. I will predict that it may completely change
              urban transportation as we know it today.

              The device looks like a small chariot without the horse in
              front, or like a bike trailer without the "tractor." The GMA
              co-hosts were manouvering it around an obstacle course (which
              had ramps but not any steps) like pros in minutes.

              The main issues for us is referred to near the end of the
              article: will it be used on streets or on sidewalks? Of course,
              we should favour the former. Although it doesn't pollute (at
              least not around the vehicle) and its doesn't take up much more
              of a "footprint" than a pedestrian, it does have a speed 5-6
              times that of walking and it raises the rider 6-7 inches over
              the adjacent pedestrians.

              I favour a major reform of city streets, reducing their speed
              limit to that of a bicycle (and the segway), at least the curb
              lanes. Pedestrians already have a plethora of wheeled vehicles
              like skate boards, in-line skates, powered wheelchairs, that
              are not suitable on sidewalks that are not just thoroughfares
              but meeting places and which are the only refuge for children
              and the elderly and others simply wanting peace (if not quiet).

              I can see neighbourhoods converting to such a road system, now
              that this device -- which I would knickname the "gadfly" for its
              "magic carpet" performance and potentially pesky ubiquity -- is
              available (not, though, for another year when a "street" version
              is put on the market, and not for those not wanting to pay $3,000
              U.S. ($5,000 Can).

              We probably need to make ourselves known on this issue from the
              get-go.

              Chris Bradshaw
              Ottawa

              = = = = =

              MYSTERY 'IT' INVENTION IS A MOTOR SCOOTER, SAYS _TIME_
              Reuters (as it appeared in the _Ottawa Citizen_, December 3,
              2001)

              WASHINGTON - The ultra-secret "It" invention that has kept the
              world abuzz for nearly a year is a self-balancing, motorized
              scooter that costs less than five cents a day to operate, _Time_
              magazine reports in today's edition.

              Inventor Dean Kamen believes the machine, code-named It but
              officially known as Segway, will eventually replace cars in
              crowded downtown areas by enabling users to zip around at
              virtually no cost and no harm to the environment.

              The two-wheeled device uses a complex array of gyroscopes and
              computers to mimic the human body's sense of balance, _Time_
              said. Users lean forward to move forward, lean back to reverse
              course, and turn by twisting a handle.

              Falling over is impossible, the article said, and the Segway can
              handle ice, snow, and stairs with ease. "The big idea is to put
              a human being into a system where the machine acts as an
              extension of your body, Mr. Kamen told _Time_.

              Over the course of his career, the 50-year-old inventor has
              developed several medical devices, including the first portable
              insulin pump, a briefcase-sized dialysis machine, and a
              wheelchair that can climb stairs.

              With the scooter's range of roughly 27 Kilometres and a top speed
              of 27 km/h, Mr. Kamen and other officials at the privately held
              Segway Co do not see it as a practical replacement for the
              automobile on long-distance trips.

              Rather, they see the machine as a handy way to get around
              congested downtown areas where driving is inconvenient or
              impossible, or as a practical people mover in developing nations
              like China.

              Company officials have met with city planners and federal safety
              regulators to ensure that Segways will be allowed to use the
              sidewalks, with pedestrians, _Time_ said.

              The U.S. Postal Service plans to test the device for its letter
              carrier, and Amazon.com Inc will run trials for use in its
              warehouses, the article said.

              The company expects to introduce a consumer model for $3,000 U.S.
              within a year, and has built a factory near its headquarters in
              Manchester NH, that will be able to make 40,000 Segways per
              month, _Time_ said.

              _Time's_ article, along with a planned appearance on ABC's _Good
              Morning America_, caps a year of frenzied speculation on what
              exactly "It" could be.
            • Mateus de Oliveira Fechino
              To say that this has major implications is an understatement. Frankly, it seems to me like this Segway has opened a new era in carfree discussions :
              Message 6 of 26 , Dec 4, 2001
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                "To say that this has major implications is an understatement."

                Frankly, it seems to me like this Segway has opened a new era in
                carfree discussions : "before-Segway , post-Segway"

                Hello, everybody, for those who remember me , Im back

                Mateus
              • Simon Baddeley
                I don t want to seem unenthusiastic or risk a worse fate - being quoted like one of those clever people who said something like they couldn t hit an elephant
                Message 7 of 26 , Dec 4, 2001
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                  I don't want to seem unenthusiastic or risk a worse fate - being quoted like
                  one of those clever people who said something like "they couldn't hit an
                  elephant at this dist ..." but I wonder if this will catch on. Among the
                  many reasons people persist in staying in cars - other than to get from A to
                  B - is that they provide a reasonably roomy mobile sitting room that affords
                  them secure storage and some semblance of protection for a group of up to 4
                  or five people all carrying luggage and needing a place to put shopping,
                  especially when it's cold and wet. If you've sorted those problems by living
                  in town or being good with baggage, then you walk or cycle, using, perhaps,
                  one of a variety of folding bicycles if you mixing choices of mobility. I
                  like the idea of using the Segway for towing things around in a carfree
                  environment but I have difficulty seeing the advantage of this device
                  otherwise. Of course it has novelty value and for that reason alone will be
                  popular for a while and may turn out to have some good specialised uses -
                  especially if sales volume reduces the price dramatically. What I would miss
                  is the way a bicycle allows you to be seated while you move around while
                  also - except in the case of a recumbent - keeping your head on a level with
                  most walkers. Is this just an inability to see the real novelty here? Could
                  be. I stand to be corrected. The invention is obviously brilliant and I'd
                  love to see it as a long term substitute for car-use. I think that what will
                  help achieve carfree cities is a recognition - at the heart of Joel
                  Crawford's book - that cities are more civilised places to be when they are
                  carfree and designed to be friendly to walkers and cyclists while offering
                  impressive rapid transit services and inventive interfaces for unloading
                  road freight cargoes onto mini-carts and a range of tracked carriers that
                  can mingle safely with walkers and other human powered vehicles.

                  Regards

                  Simon


                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Mateus de Oliveira Fechino" <mateus.fechino@...>
                  To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 12:45 PM
                  Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Segway


                  >
                  >
                  > "To say that this has major implications is an understatement."
                  >
                  > Frankly, it seems to me like this Segway has opened a new era in
                  > carfree discussions : "before-Segway , post-Segway"
                  >
                  > Hello, everybody, for those who remember me , Im back
                  >
                  > Mateus
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
                  > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                  carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
                  > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                • Mark Burgess
                  ... Why do you say that? It can t go as fast as a bike, it *can* go much slower than a bike (including coming to a dead stop while still carrying its
                  Message 8 of 26 , Dec 4, 2001
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                    "J.H. Crawford" said:
                    >Let's not lose sight of the fact that Segway is nothing more than a
                    >substitute for a bike.

                    Why do you say that? It can't go as fast as a bike, it *can* go much
                    slower than a bike (including coming to a dead stop while still
                    carrying its passenger), it can turn around on a sidewalk, it can be
                    used by folks who are semi-ambulatory (wearing a cast or whatever),
                    it can go backwards, etc. etc. I don't really see either its form or
                    its functionality as being bike-like at all.

                    "Lanyon, Ryan" said:
                    >I don't see these as being any different than Razor Scooters.

                    You should compare the two a little more closely. Segway slightly
                    resembles a scooter in form: you stand on it (though front-facing
                    rather than side-facing) and hold a handle (a non-pivoting one
                    however); it has two wheels (though with one axle rather than two).
                    But functionality-wise it's not scooter-like in any way whatsoever.
                    Really a scooter is a pedal-free, seatless bicycle, with limitations
                    similar to those of a bike.

                    If Segway is a "substitute" for anything it would be roller skates.



                    > >3. How well will pedestrians and HTs really mix?
                    >
                    >No better than bicyclists riding on the sidewalk, I'm afraid.

                    Certainly bikes don't belong on sidewalks. Why? Because they can't go
                    slow enough, they fall down, they can't go backwards, they aren't
                    very maneuverable, they're too big, etc. If only there was a vehicle
                    that addressed these shortcomings...


                    --
                    Mark
                  • J.H. Crawford
                    ... I don t regard these as terribly important differences; the main thingis that it is much faster than walking and about the same speed as cycling (saving
                    Message 9 of 26 , Dec 5, 2001
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                      Mark Burgess said:

                      >>Let's not lose sight of the fact that Segway is nothing more than a
                      >>substitute for a bike.
                      >
                      >Why do you say that? It can't go as fast as a bike, it *can* go much
                      >slower than a bike (including coming to a dead stop while still
                      >carrying its passenger), it can turn around on a sidewalk, it can be
                      >used by folks who are semi-ambulatory (wearing a cast or whatever),
                      >it can go backwards, etc. etc. I don't really see either its form or
                      >its functionality as being bike-like at all.

                      I don't regard these as terribly important differences; the main
                      thingis that it is much faster than walking and about the same
                      speed as cycling (saving aside those on racing bikes). There
                      are differences, of course, but for most users they would substitute
                      interchangably as far as function. A competent cyclist can ride more
                      slowly than a pedestrian when necessary.

                      >> >3. How well will pedestrians and HTs really mix?
                      >>
                      >>No better than bicyclists riding on the sidewalk, I'm afraid.
                      >
                      >Certainly bikes don't belong on sidewalks. Why? Because they can't go
                      >slow enough, they fall down, they can't go backwards, they aren't
                      >very maneuverable, they're too big, etc. If only there was a vehicle
                      >that addressed these shortcomings...

                      Actually, bikes can mix fine with pedestrians on sidewalks,
                      as long as there aren't too many of either and the cyclists
                      are careful. Same is probably true of Segway, although I do
                      wonder just how quickly a Segway can stop in an emergency;
                      a bike can stop pretty quickly.



                      -- ### --

                      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                      postmaster@... Carfree.com
                    • Mark Burgess
                      ... ?? A pedestrian can go zero mph.. ... Well, if you were walking and I were riding you d want me on the street. ;-) ... That s a good question. I expect
                      Message 10 of 26 , Dec 5, 2001
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                        At 8:39 AM +0000 12/5/01, J.H. Crawford wrote:
                        >interchangably as far as function. A competent cyclist can ride more
                        >slowly than a pedestrian when necessary.

                        ?? A pedestrian can go zero mph..


                        >Actually, bikes can mix fine with pedestrians on sidewalks,

                        Well, if you were walking and I were riding you'd want me on the street. ;-)


                        >wonder just how quickly a Segway can stop in an emergency;
                        >a bike can stop pretty quickly.

                        That's a good question. I expect that if the guinea pigs this year
                        find an emergency brake necessary one will get added to the Segway.

                        But I think the question that raises is whether or not Segways will
                        *need* to stop quickly as often as bikes do.

                        As a driver I can't count the number of times I've seen (or nearly
                        hit) cyclists who ride across streets or driveways without slowing
                        down or considering the color of the traffic signal or whatever. I've
                        ridden enough to know why: on a bike it's a hassle to stop at every
                        potential hazard, especially if there are toe clips involved, no good
                        pole to lean against while waiting, etc. Upshifting and downshifting
                        can be tedious if it has to be done every block. For me at least
                        there's a definite psychological inertia that's hard to overcome.

                        OTOH when I am a pedestrian I don't mind stopping at corners and in
                        fact feel safer doing so even if the law says I don't have to. I
                        think Segwayists (?!) will feel more like pedestrians and will tend
                        to travel with a similar level of caution.


                        --
                        Mark
                      • Simon Baddeley
                        Any more news about this? S ... From: Chris Bradshaw To: Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 4:22 AM
                        Message 11 of 26 , Jan 13, 2002
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                          Any more news about this? S
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Chris Bradshaw" <chris@...>
                          To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 4:22 AM
                          Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Segway


                          I read this article (below) at breakfast this morning and
                          turned on the TV in time to see the conclusion of the GMA
                          segment. I will predict that it may completely change
                          urban transportation as we know it today.
                        • Jym Dyer
                          ... =v= About the Segway, the revolutionary device that runs entirely on hype? No, but in _VeloNews_ somebody turned Segway Human Transporter into an
                          Message 12 of 26 , Jan 13, 2002
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                            > Any more news about this? S

                            =v= About the Segway, "the revolutionary device that runs
                            entirely on hype?" No, but in _VeloNews_ somebody turned
                            "Segway Human Transporter" into an acronym and wrote a funny
                            screed with the title, "Who Needs This SHT?" You can find
                            it here:

                            http://www.maddogmedia.com/

                            =v= Earlier, I mentioned that I was interested in a much better
                            innovation, the Megway:

                            http://web.0sil8.com/episodes/megway/

                            I was particularly interested in the Meg Ryan model, and there
                            have been some interesting developments there. The last time I
                            was in a supermarket I saw a checkout rack headline in which she
                            allegedly laments that nobody tries to pick her up when she goes
                            to a bar. Well, my first thought was, "Where is this bar?" and
                            my second thought was that, if she can't be picked up, motorists
                            probably won't be able to fold her up and put her in a trunk.
                            Good for her, but no doubt that means sales will suffer, and
                            maybe the price will come down. A boon for us carfree folks!

                            =v= But now I have another concern. You see, the Megway runs
                            on a soy latte and an English muffin, but in her last movie,
                            Meg Ryan hung out at Cafe Lalo, where lattes cost $4 apiece and
                            you have to bring your own soymilk. More recently, I saw an ad
                            for her new movie, in which she's jumping around in front of
                            Petrossian, where lattes are $6 and, again, no soymilk.

                            =v= So now I'm worried that, while the Meg Ryan model might be
                            ideal for many of my needs, particularly in the area of comedy
                            and romance, the cost of fuel might make her too expensive an
                            alternative for everyday transportation. If I could adapt her
                            to run on my homemade soy lattes (which are organic, cost much
                            less, and IMHO taste much better), we might work things out.
                            <_Jym_>
                          • Simon Baddeley
                            Thanks, Jym. Who knows, the thing might catch on but I don t think it will. I like your Megway though and I have no heart for mocking an invention into which
                            Message 13 of 26 , Jan 13, 2002
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                              Thanks, Jym. Who knows, the thing might catch on but I don't think it will.
                              I like your Megway though and I have no heart for mocking an invention into
                              which someone has put so much creative investment. I was surprised Joel that
                              thinks highly of it, but may be that's about being open to new ideas. You
                              win some you lose some and some you just can't tell. I hope I am open too
                              innovation. I like gadgets but I can't very excited by the Segway. It is
                              ingenious and interesting but compared to a bicycle it lacks style. It
                              requires too much passivity from its user - which would of course make it
                              good for people with limited mobility, so maybe I'll come to one in later
                              years. I do like the PowerTryke though:

                              http://www.epc-wheelchairs.co.uk/cycles/pdq.htm

                              The Powertryke is an electric powered front wheel with brakes and handlebars
                              that attaches to almost any wheelchair. I am having one demonstrated in
                              early Feb when I go to visit my mother because I think it can liberate
                              people who are otherwise bound to normal wheel chair speeds. Her husband in
                              his late 80s is missing getting out and about. this might help.

                              I'll tell you what I think when I see the thing at work.

                              Regards

                              Simon

                              34 Beaudesert Road
                              Handsworth
                              Birmingham B20 3TG
                              United Kingdom
                              00 44 121 554 9794
                              00 44 7775 655842
                              07775 655842
                            • Doug Salzmann
                              ... Mocking an invention is not the same as mocking the inventor (although inventors will usually experience it that way). Segways, used on
                              Message 14 of 26 , Jan 13, 2002
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                                At 04:40 PM Sunday 1/13/2002, Simon wrote:

                                >I like your Megway though and I have no heart for mocking an invention into
                                >which someone has put so much creative investment.

                                Mocking an invention is not the same as mocking the inventor (although
                                inventors will usually experience it that way).

                                Segways, used on sidewalks/pavements, where the inventor intends them to be
                                used, are just a new way to assault and intimidate pedestrians. Here's my
                                slightly scatological mockery: <http://www.talkpath.com/sht>.

                                We need to reject the idea that they can be operated safely in a pedestrian
                                environment. They cannot be.

                                Now, if the users want to operate them in the roadways, I'm all for
                                it. Anything that slows down the cars.

                                > I was surprised Joel that
                                >thinks highly of it, but may be that's about being open to new ideas.

                                Does he? I missed that. Well, Crawford is usually right about these
                                things, but. . . not this time, if he supports powered vehicles in
                                pedestrian space.

                                >The Powertryke is an electric powered front wheel with brakes and handlebars
                                >that attaches to almost any wheelchair. I am having one demonstrated in
                                >early Feb when I go to visit my mother because I think it can liberate
                                >people who are otherwise bound to normal wheel chair speeds. Her husband in
                                >his late 80s is missing getting out and about. this might help.

                                Devices like this should not be operated in pedestrian space at
                                higher-than-walking-speed, either. Disability should not constitute
                                license to intimidate and inconvenience others -- effectively turning the
                                tables and disabling the pedestrians.

                                -Doug
                              • Jym Dyer
                                ... =v= I wish I could take credit, but somebody else came up with that site. ... =v= Well, I think the invention is really impressive, and I d actually be
                                Message 15 of 26 , Jan 13, 2002
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                                  > I like your Megway though ...

                                  =v= I wish I could take credit, but somebody else came up
                                  with that site.

                                  > I have no heart for mocking an invention into which someone
                                  > has put so much creative investment.

                                  =v= Well, I think the invention is really impressive, and I'd
                                  actually be very interested in trying one out. I have to admit
                                  I'm as vulnerable to the charms of nifty gadgetry as any other
                                  engineer. I just don't think it's something to redesign cities
                                  around, and I think all the hyperbole to that effect deserves
                                  a bit of parody.
                                  <_Jym_>
                                • Louis-Luc
                                  ... I really hope that Segways are to be a replacement/alternative to cars. If I ever get the chance to use one, I ll be more than happy to take my place on
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Jan 13, 2002
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                                    > Segways, used on sidewalks/pavements, where the inventor intends
                                    > them to be
                                    > used, are just a new way to assault and intimidate pedestrians.
                                    > Here's my
                                    > slightly scatological mockery: <http://www.talkpath.com/sht>.
                                    >
                                    > We need to reject the idea that they can be operated safely in a
                                    > pedestrian
                                    > environment. They cannot be.
                                    >
                                    > Now, if the users want to operate them in the roadways, I'm all for
                                    > it. Anything that slows down the cars.
                                    >
                                    I really hope that Segways are to be a replacement/alternative to cars. If I
                                    ever get the chance to use one, I'll be more than happy to take my place on
                                    the road as a true vehicle, while looking at pedestrians on my right
                                    enjoying themselves on the sidewalk. If everyone does see Segways as
                                    vehicles, then motorists will find it normal to share the road with them,
                                    just like sharing the road with cyclists. And as pedestrians, our job is to
                                    use full width of the sidewalks; making Segwayists feeling they can't speed
                                    up on sidewalks and their place is on the road -- to slow down cars :-)

                                    Louis-Luc
                                  • Jym Dyer
                                    ... =v= Well, that s the crux of my complaint about the hype: it was rolled out with much fanfare as a revolutionary device that would replace the car, but
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Jan 13, 2002
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                                      > I really hope that Segways are to be a replacement/alternative
                                      > to cars. If I ever get the chance to use one, I'll be more
                                      > than happy to take my place on the road as a true vehicle ...

                                      =v= Well, that's the crux of my complaint about the hype: it
                                      was rolled out with much fanfare as a revolutionary device that
                                      would replace the car, but when that first media splash ended,
                                      they quietly dropped all mention of that vision.

                                      =v= Take a look at their website now and you'll see nothing but
                                      photos of people riding them on the sidewalks, and some babble
                                      about "empowered pedestrians." There was also a _Salon_ article
                                      in which Dean Kamen revealed that he didn't think much of the
                                      whole idea of people walking from place to place. Ugh.

                                      > If everyone does see Segways as vehicles, then motorists will
                                      > find it normal to share the road with them, just like sharing
                                      > the road with cyclists.

                                      =v= Of course, they'll first have to learn that they need to
                                      share the road with cyclists. :^|

                                      =v= My concern is that the Segway will be consigned to bike
                                      facilities, in much the way that California has led the nation
                                      in clogging our bike lanes and paths with all manner of slow,
                                      polluting motorized gizmos. Segways go an average of 11mph,
                                      much slower than a bicycle.

                                      =v= My other concern is that, wherever they end up, they'll be
                                      operated by people with an overinflated sense of entitlement.
                                      They'll have spent $3000 or more for this gizmo, and by God if
                                      any old ladies with walkers or mere bicyclists get in their way,
                                      they're gonna mow us down.
                                      <_Jym_>
                                    • joel crawfordd
                                      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
                                      Message 18 of 26 , 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.

                                        Regards,

                                        J.H. Crawford




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                                      • Doug Salzmann
                                        ... 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
                                        Message 19 of 26 , 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
                                        • Richard Risemberg
                                          ... And by pedestrians. I bicycle occasionally on an ostensibly bicycle-only facility on the beach in Los Angeles--my purpose being free exercise, people
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Jan 14, 2002
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                                            Doug Salzmann wrote:

                                            > 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.
                                            And by pedestrians. I bicycle occasionally on an ostensibly
                                            bicycle-only facility on the beach in Los Angeles--my purpose being free
                                            exercise, people watching, and the presence of the ocean. Pedestrians
                                            are prohibited from using the facility except to cross it, but of course
                                            they crowd onto it in hordes, and the cops hardly care. It's one of the
                                            few places in LA where one can indulge in athletic riding without having
                                            to watch for cars, but instead one faces crowds of oblivious waddlers
                                            trudging along three or four abreast, or just standing there, usually,
                                            by some bizarre preference, in the middle of a blind turn. The path is
                                            well-posted, but in spite of numerous accidents, no one cares much.
                                            There's talk of building a separate path for bikes paralleling the first
                                            one, a pretty ridiculous expense.

                                            I LOVE walking for transport, in fact presently preferring it to
                                            bicycing, but when I bike, which I also love, I do so becuase I wish to
                                            go farther faster while still being engaged in the world. Politeness
                                            and deference need to exist on all sides.

                                            Then again, people walk along railroad tracks and are regularly
                                            macerated by trains here, so I shouldn't expect much. (Somehow they try
                                            to blame the trains...!)

                                            Richard
                                            --
                                            Richard Risemberg
                                            http://www.living-room.org
                                            http://www.newcolonist.com

                                            "Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is
                                            just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads
                                            to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made."

                                            Lu Hsun
                                          • Doug Salzmann
                                            ... Absolutely. ... Is there a similarly-attractive pedestrian-only facility serving the same stretch? ... Indeed. However, on shared facilities, all other
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Jan 14, 2002
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                                              I said:
                                              > > Careful, responsible behavior by
                                              > > cyclists, skaters, scooter riders, etc. is so rare as to be a
                                              > > calendar-marking event.

                                              And Rick responded:

                                              >And by pedestrians.

                                              Absolutely.

                                              > I bicycle occasionally on an ostensibly
                                              >bicycle-only facility on the beach in Los Angeles--my purpose being free
                                              >exercise, people watching, and the presence of the ocean. Pedestrians
                                              >are prohibited from using the facility except to cross it, but of course
                                              >they crowd onto it in hordes, and the cops hardly care.

                                              Is there a similarly-attractive pedestrian-only facility serving the same
                                              stretch?

                                              >I LOVE walking for transport, in fact presently preferring it to
                                              >bicycing, but when I bike, which I also love, I do so becuase I wish to
                                              >go farther faster while still being engaged in the world. Politeness
                                              >and deference need to exist on all sides.

                                              Indeed. However, on shared facilities, all other users must yield to
                                              pedestrians and operate in such manner as to avoid startling, intimidating,
                                              assaulting and terrorizing walkers. Among other things, that means, like
                                              it or not, operating at near-walking speed when passing/overtaking
                                              pedestrians. They won't do that, though, absent enforcement that just
                                              doesn't happen. So, the best practice is to severely restrict the
                                              operation of all vehicles in pedestrian space.

                                              Bicycles, Segways, etc. belong on the roadway.

                                              >Then again, people walk along railroad tracks and are regularly
                                              >macerated by trains here, so I shouldn't expect much. (Somehow they try
                                              >to blame the trains...!)

                                              Not me. I blame the planners.

                                              -Doug
                                            • Jym Dyer
                                              ... =v= Yeah, it s called the beach.
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Jan 14, 2002
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                                                > Is there a similarly-attractive pedestrian-only facility
                                                > serving the same stretch?

                                                =v= Yeah, it's called the beach.
                                                <_Jym_>
                                              • Doug Salzmann
                                                ... Cute. But I m going to assume that Jym is serious. In which case, the obvious question would be, So, why isn t that sufficient for cycling? And the
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Jan 14, 2002
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                                                  I asked:

                                                  > > Is there a similarly-attractive pedestrian-only facility
                                                  > > serving the same stretch?

                                                  And Jym responded:

                                                  >=v= Yeah, it's called the beach.

                                                  Cute. But I'm going to assume that Jym is serious.

                                                  In which case, the obvious question would be, "So, why isn't that
                                                  sufficient for cycling?"

                                                  And the answer would be that ordinarily-equipped bicycles don't operate
                                                  well in sand, and that it would be unreasonable to expect cyclists to pedal
                                                  along the beach for long distances -- the speed is too slow and the
                                                  exertion too great. Likewise, aimless strolling along the beach is
                                                  wonderful recreation, and may even be good exercise for many. However,
                                                  walking in sand for long distances is strenuous, quite difficult for many
                                                  people, and should no more be required or expected of pedestrians than
                                                  riding in sand should be expected of cyclists.

                                                  So, my question of Rick remains:

                                                  > > Is there a similarly-attractive pedestrian-only facility
                                                  > > serving the same stretch?

                                                  -Doug
                                                • Simon Baddeley
                                                  Doug - I shouldn t have said speeds . You are quite right. I liked the PowerTryke because it appears to allow wheelchair users to go on forest tracks with
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Jan 14, 2002
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                                                    Doug - I shouldn't have said "speeds". You are quite right. I liked the
                                                    PowerTryke because it appears to allow wheelchair users to go on forest
                                                    tracks with reasonable gradients at a little faster than walkers and
                                                    certainly better than the wheel chair. In towns it seems it may be able to
                                                    get you round rather better than a wheel chair.
                                                    Regards
                                                    Simon

                                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                                    From: "Doug Salzmann" <doug@...>
                                                    To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
                                                    Sent: Monday, January 14, 2002 1:44 AM
                                                    Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Segway


                                                    At 04:40 PM Sunday 1/13/2002, Simon wrote:

                                                    >I like your Megway though and I have no heart for mocking an invention into
                                                    >which someone has put so much creative investment.

                                                    Mocking an invention is not the same as mocking the inventor (although
                                                    inventors will usually experience it that way).

                                                    Segways, used on sidewalks/pavements, where the inventor intends them to be
                                                    used, are just a new way to assault and intimidate pedestrians. Here's my
                                                    slightly scatological mockery: <http://www.talkpath.com/sht>.

                                                    We need to reject the idea that they can be operated safely in a pedestrian
                                                    environment. They cannot be.

                                                    Now, if the users want to operate them in the roadways, I'm all for
                                                    it. Anything that slows down the cars.

                                                    > I was surprised Joel that
                                                    >thinks highly of it, but may be that's about being open to new ideas.

                                                    Does he? I missed that. Well, Crawford is usually right about these
                                                    things, but. . . not this time, if he supports powered vehicles in
                                                    pedestrian space.

                                                    >The Powertryke is an electric powered front wheel with brakes and
                                                    handlebars
                                                    >that attaches to almost any wheelchair. I am having one demonstrated in
                                                    >early Feb when I go to visit my mother because I think it can liberate
                                                    >people who are otherwise bound to normal wheel chair speeds. Her husband in
                                                    >his late 80s is missing getting out and about. this might help.

                                                    Devices like this should not be operated in pedestrian space at
                                                    higher-than-walking-speed, either. Disability should not constitute
                                                    license to intimidate and inconvenience others -- effectively turning the
                                                    tables and disabling the pedestrians.

                                                    -Doug







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                                                  • Richard Risemberg
                                                    ... Yes, indeed, and bikes are not permitted on it. (In some strecthes of this twenty-mile beach, the facility is shared, and then I do slow down.) R --
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , Jan 14, 2002
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                                                      Doug Salzmann wrote:

                                                      >
                                                      > > I bicycle occasionally on an ostensibly
                                                      > >bicycle-only facility on the beach in Los Angeles--my purpose being free
                                                      > >exercise, people watching, and the presence of the ocean. Pedestrians
                                                      > >are prohibited from using the facility except to cross it, but of course
                                                      > >they crowd onto it in hordes, and the cops hardly care.
                                                      >
                                                      > Is there a similarly-attractive pedestrian-only facility serving the same
                                                      > stretch?

                                                      Yes, indeed, and bikes are not permitted on it. (In some strecthes of
                                                      this twenty-mile beach, the facility is shared, and then I do slow
                                                      down.)

                                                      R
                                                      --
                                                      Richard Risemberg
                                                      http://www.living-room.org
                                                      http://www.newcolonist.com

                                                      "Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is
                                                      just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads
                                                      to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made."

                                                      Lu Hsun
                                                    • Doug Salzmann
                                                      ... Well, in that case, if you can t avoid colliding with these scofflaws, try to pick affluent ones. ;-) -Doug
                                                      Message 26 of 26 , Jan 15, 2002
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                                                        At 09:08 PM Monday 1/14/2002, Rick wrote:

                                                        > > Is there a similarly-attractive pedestrian-only facility serving the same
                                                        > > stretch?
                                                        >
                                                        >Yes, indeed, and bikes are not permitted on it. (In some strecthes of
                                                        >this twenty-mile beach, the facility is shared, and then I do slow
                                                        >down.)

                                                        Well, in that case, if you can't avoid colliding with these scofflaws, try
                                                        to pick affluent ones. ;-)

                                                        -Doug
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