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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Segway

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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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