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Re: [carfree_cities] Segway

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  • Simon Baddeley
    Any more news about this? S ... From: Chris Bradshaw To: Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001 4:22 AM
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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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