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Scooters on bike paths?

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  • abarnes_us
    I live in Chicago, and have had several friends (joggers, cyclists, pedestrians) complain about motorised scooters on the lakefront path. However, I cannot
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 25, 2003
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      I live in Chicago, and have had several friends (joggers, cyclists,
      pedestrians) complain about motorised scooters on the lakefront path.
      However, I cannot find any rule/law/regulation that either allows or
      prohibits them. I don't seem to see any signs that say "no motorised
      vehicles" either. I've checked the IDOT and City of Chicago sites,
      Chibikefed, etc.

      Any help appreciated.
    • Robert J. Matter
      Gasoline powered devices are prohibited on the Lakefront Path AFAIK. Police will let the air out of the tires of gasoline powered scooters they catch on the
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 25, 2003
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        Gasoline powered devices are prohibited on the Lakefront Path AFAIK. Police will let the air out of the tires of gasoline powered scooters they catch on the path.

        This year the only motorized vehcile I've seen on the path is a Chicago cop riding a Segway. I don't even see those new electric scooters you sit on, and I am on the path quite a bit in the summer-- last Saturday from North Ave. to 71st, yesterday from 71st to Fullerton, today from 71st to Monroe.

        Perhaps the city bicycle coordinator Ben Gomberg <bgomberg@...> would know more.

        -Bob Matter
        -----------
        "Nationally there are over 1 million daily commuters and
        nearly 57 million people who report regular bicycling
        activities. According to a recent poll, over half of
        Americans want to bike more than they do now. Currently,
        less than one percent of all transportation funds spent
        each year are directed toward bicycle and pedestrian
        facilities. Yet bicycling and walking account for at least
        7 percent of trips and 13.3 percent of traffic fatalities."
        --Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)
      • lockhughes
        Howdy. My first post here. I m a 50 yr.old pedestrian/transit user in downtown Toronto. In May I gave up my $95 monthly transit pass in favour of a little
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 29, 2003
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          Howdy. My first post here. I'm a 50 yr.old pedestrian/transit user in
          downtown Toronto. In May I gave up my $95 monthly transit pass in
          favour of a little 50lb. standup kick scooter that has a battery
          assist. I've been driving it on streets, sidewalks and paths almost
          daily since February. The <400watt electric motor boosts me up
          little hills and along flats, but otherwise it's like a little game
          about how *not* to use the tiny amount of battery power available, as
          the scoot can be kicked without using the motor and it coasts just
          fine on the downhills, with great brakes and a sturdy frame.

          I am a sidewalk surfer primarily. My speeds are dictated by what's
          around me. My only rule so far "Nobody around me is nervous". Mixed
          with pedestrians I am walking, then kicking and powering the scoot to
          jogging speeds as the sidewalk traffic thins out (yes, kicking the
          scoot is good exercise!) Suburban sidewalks along larger streets are
          empty of pedestrians and the scoot might hit 20kph under power and on
          the downhills.

          Because I *am* mixed in with the pedestrians and bike traffic, every
          trip includes a talk and show and tell about this little vehicle.
          Over a few hundred conversations, I would say the average "person on
          the street" (literally) has been very positive about the scoot.

          My scoot is very quiet (the electric motor is silent) and leaves no
          exhaust as it goes by.

          I also believe it is safer for me than a bike, and safer for my
          fellow pedestrians around me too, than a full-sized bike or vehicle.

          Would anyone here ban my little personal electric vehicle from your
          area bike/walk paths? Over 12% of the land area of my city is
          parkland, including many miles of paths.

          Just curious.

          Thanks

          Lock

          ps... My tranportation cost now less than 2 cents a kilometer with
          the scoot. That's including electricity (but the scoot plugs in
          anywhere and no one has asked me to pay yet.)

          pps... My little scoot is illegal to operate on any road or sidewalk
          in Canada.

          --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Robert J. Matter"
          <rjmatter@p...> wrote:
          > Gasoline powered devices are prohibited on the Lakefront Path
          AFAIK. Police will let the air out of the tires of gasoline powered
          scooters they catch on the path.
          >
          > This year the only motorized vehcile I've seen on the path is a
          Chicago cop riding a Segway. I don't even see those new electric
          scooters you sit on, and I am on the path quite a bit in the summer--
          last Saturday from North Ave. to 71st, yesterday from 71st to
          Fullerton, today from 71st to Monroe.
          >
          > Perhaps the city bicycle coordinator Ben Gomberg <bgomberg@C...>
          would know more.
          >
          > -Bob Matter
          > -----------
          > "Nationally there are over 1 million daily commuters and
          > nearly 57 million people who report regular bicycling
          > activities. According to a recent poll, over half of
          > Americans want to bike more than they do now. Currently,
          > less than one percent of all transportation funds spent
          > each year are directed toward bicycle and pedestrian
          > facilities. Yet bicycling and walking account for at least
          > 7 percent of trips and 13.3 percent of traffic fatalities."
          > --Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)
        • J.H. Crawford
          ... This is a tough one in some ways. It sounds like you re using it responsibly. The problem with this sort of thing is that others will see you doing it and
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 30, 2003
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            Lock said:

            >Would anyone here ban my little personal electric vehicle from your
            >area bike/walk paths? Over 12% of the land area of my city is
            >parkland, including many miles of paths.

            This is a tough one in some ways. It sounds like you're using it
            responsibly. The problem with this sort of thing is that others
            will see you doing it and assume that they can, too, without having
            thought through the issues. "Making pedestrians nervous" is a good
            criterion, and as long as you don't, I don't have a personal problem
            with what you're doing, but I worry about how others will interpret it,
            and where that may lead. In a way, it's similar to biking on the
            sidewalks. We had a rash of it here in Amsterdam about four years ago,
            and the cyclists got to assuming that they had some kind of right to
            be on the sidewalk (they don't) and that people ought to get out of
            their way. This led to a LOT of conflict, and cycling on the sidewalks
            has died back, and is mostly done in a fairly responsible way.

            I'm very concerned about anything that erodes that last safe (usually)
            bastion of walking, the sidewalk.

            Regards,


            -- ### --

            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
          • Rob Hines
            Bike/walk paths are just that, bike/walk paths. Here in Nova Scotia we ve had a horrible time with all-terrain vehicles. Legally they are not permitted
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 30, 2003
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              Bike/walk paths are just that, bike/walk paths. Here in Nova Scotia we've had a horrible time with all-terrain vehicles. Legally they are not permitted anywhere except on the property of the owner of the vehicle. In reality the are everywhere, on sidewalks, city streets, public parks, recreational lands, woodlands, and even in rivers. They have become a safety, security, and environmental disaster. Now, not that your vehicle is like an ATV, but it is motorized. Unless your vehicle is a motorized wheelchair or other device essential to your immediate personal mobility, it shouldn't be permitted on a bicycle or pedestrian pathway.


              On Wednesday, July 30, 2003, at 00:31AM, J.H. Crawford <mailbox@...> wrote:

              >
              >Lock said:
              >
              >>Would anyone here ban my little personal electric vehicle from your
              >>area bike/walk paths? Over 12% of the land area of my city is
              >>parkland, including many miles of paths.
              >
              >This is a tough one in some ways. It sounds like you're using it
              >responsibly. The problem with this sort of thing is that others
              >will see you doing it and assume that they can, too, without having
              >thought through the issues. "Making pedestrians nervous" is a good
              >criterion, and as long as you don't, I don't have a personal problem
              >with what you're doing, but I worry about how others will interpret it,
              >and where that may lead. In a way, it's similar to biking on the
              >sidewalks. We had a rash of it here in Amsterdam about four years ago,
              >and the cyclists got to assuming that they had some kind of right to
              >be on the sidewalk (they don't) and that people ought to get out of
              >their way. This led to a LOT of conflict, and cycling on the sidewalks
              >has died back, and is mostly done in a fairly responsible way.
              >
              >I'm very concerned about anything that erodes that last safe (usually)
              >bastion of walking, the sidewalk.
              >
              >Regards,
              >
              >
              >-- ### --
              >
              >J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
              >mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
              >
              >
              >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/
              >
              >
              >
              >


              Rob Hines
              81 York St.
              Sydney NS B1P 6B5
              robhines@...
              902.379.2404
            • abarnes_us
              This is a very tricky issue indeed - I wouldn t want to ban something that is a benefit to some. Especially for what will be an aging population that will
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 30, 2003
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                This is a very tricky issue indeed - I wouldn't want to 'ban'
                something that is a benefit to some. Especially for what will be an
                aging population that will remain healthy and active into "old age"
                Please! I'm not saying at 50 you're older!! but, I agree with what
                you say in regards to 'responsible use', which is not an age-specific
                problem. I've seen a total lack of 'responsible use' in every road
                user, from 10yr olds to "those that should know better", be it biker,
                walker, rollerblader or skier!, so is it more about good manners than
                rights?

                I'm not too familiar with these small electric scooters, but one
                criterium for motos on streets in the US is a brake system separate
                of the throttle (that is to say that there is a caliper or similar
                that slows the wheels by friction against the rim). I believe that
                there are also some speed/displacement regulations in regards to
                motos/mopeds, but this is more to do with whether or not you need to
                have an operator's license.
              • lockhughes
                Hello Rob, and list Thanks for your reply! ... Soooooo, what re the Sydney police doing about this!!!? ... OK. Well, given that my little electric scoot with
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 8, 2003
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                  Hello Rob, and list

                  Thanks for your reply!

                  --- In carfree_cities, Rob Hines <robhines@m...> wrote:
                  > Bike/walk paths are just that, bike/walk paths. Here in Nova
                  >Scotia we've had a horrible time with all-terrain vehicles.
                  >Legally they are not permitted anywhere except on the property
                  >of the owner of the vehicle. In reality the are everywhere,
                  >on sidewalks, city streets, public parks, recreational lands,
                  >woodlands, and even in rivers. They have become a safety,
                  >security, and environmental disaster.

                  Soooooo, what're the Sydney police doing about this!!!?

                  >Now, not that your vehicle is like an ATV, but it is motorized.
                  >Unless your vehicle is a motorized wheelchair or other device
                  >essential to your immediate personal mobility, it shouldn't be
                  >permitted on a bicycle or pedestrian pathway.

                  OK. Well, given that my little electric scoot with rider doesn't
                  weigh as much as many bicycles, and doesn't go as fast as many
                  bicycles, and has better brakes than many bicycles, and is safer for
                  me to ride than a bicycle, what are your concerns exactly, about it
                  being motorized? Most of the time, folks around me do not even
                  realize I have a power-assist onboard! Is it the vehicle that is
                  dangerous, or the operator? And, would you ban kick scoots (non-
                  motorized) from pathways and sidewalks as well?

                  And... so, what do folks here think about the Segway? It has similar
                  operating characteristics to my scooter... just costs about 7 times
                  as much. Could the Segway co-exist with folks on the sidewalks and
                  pathways and bicycle lanes?

                  Don't know about Sydney, but here in Toronto, the suburban sidewalks
                  are in excellent shape (no gutters or potholes) and almost devoid of
                  foot traffic - most folks have their butts parked in their SUVs <sigh>

                  Thanks

                  Lock Hughes
                  Toronto Harbour
                  http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/TorontoEVA/
                • Rob Hines
                  ... The fact that it is motorized is my only reason. Legislation has to draw the line somewhere. If people power their own transportation with their own
                  Message 8 of 9 , Aug 10, 2003
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                    On Friday, August 08, 2003, at 06:59AM, lockhughes <felixkc123@...> wrote:

                    >Hello Rob, and list
                    >
                    >Thanks for your reply!
                    >
                    >--- In carfree_cities, Rob Hines <robhines@m...> wrote:
                    >> Bike/walk paths are just that, bike/walk paths. Here in Nova
                    >>Scotia we've had a horrible time with all-terrain vehicles.
                    >>Legally they are not permitted anywhere except on the property
                    >>of the owner of the vehicle. In reality the are everywhere,
                    >>on sidewalks, city streets, public parks, recreational lands,
                    >>woodlands, and even in rivers. They have become a safety,
                    >>security, and environmental disaster.
                    >
                    >Soooooo, what're the Sydney police doing about this!!!?
                    >
                    >>Now, not that your vehicle is like an ATV, but it is motorized.
                    >>Unless your vehicle is a motorized wheelchair or other device
                    >>essential to your immediate personal mobility, it shouldn't be
                    >>permitted on a bicycle or pedestrian pathway.
                    >
                    > OK. Well, given that my little electric scoot with rider doesn't
                    >weigh as much as many bicycles, and doesn't go as fast as many
                    >bicycles, and has better brakes than many bicycles, and is safer for
                    >me to ride than a bicycle, what are your concerns exactly, about it
                    >being motorized?

                    The fact that it is 'motorized' is my only reason. Legislation has to draw the line somewhere. If people power their own transportation with their own power, walking, cycling, scooters, hen they are in direct control of the speed and direction of themselves. Motorized transportation is one step away from that where there are two steps, the person using their power to manipulate the controls and the motor responding. Adding the second step increases the chance of collision. Also, the problem is not only with motorized units. They are incompatible with pedestrians/cyclists/non-motorized transportation in the sense that some people may not know what to expect from the driver of a motorized device and the confusion may lead to a collision of some type. Pedestrians walking with pedestrians is less dangerous and people have expectations as to how to deal and maneuver with other pedestrians who are likely traveling at the same speed.

                    Most of the time, folks around me do not even
                    >realize I have a power-assist onboard! Is it the vehicle that is
                    >dangerous, or the operator? And, would you ban kick scoots (non-
                    >motorized) from pathways and sidewalks as well?

                    Definately not.


                    >And... so, what do folks here think about the Segway? It has similar
                    >operating characteristics to my scooter... just costs about 7 times
                    >as much. Could the Segway co-exist with folks on the sidewalks and
                    >pathways and bicycle lanes?

                    >Don't know about Sydney, but here in Toronto, the suburban sidewalks
                    >are in excellent shape (no gutters or potholes) and almost devoid of
                    >foot traffic - most folks have their butts parked in their SUVs <sigh>
                    >
                    >Thanks
                    >
                    >Lock Hughes
                    >Toronto Harbour
                    >http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/TorontoEVA/
                    >
                    >
                    >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/
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >


                    Rob Hines
                    81 York St.
                    Sydney NS B1P 6B5
                    robhines@...
                    902.379.2404
                  • lockhughes
                    Hi Rob, and carfree ... wrote: LH OK. Well, given that my little electric scoot with rider doesn t LH weigh as much as many bicycles, and doesn t go as fast
                    Message 9 of 9 , Sep 23, 2003
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                      Hi Rob, and carfree

                      sorry, I missed this earlier post:
                      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Rob Hines <robhines@m...>
                      wrote:
                      LH> OK. Well, given that my little electric scoot with rider doesn't
                      LH>weigh as much as many bicycles, and doesn't go as fast as many
                      LH>bicycles, and has better brakes than many bicycles, and is safer
                      LH>for me to ride than a bicycle, what are your concerns exactly,
                      LH>about it being motorized?
                      >
                      RH> The fact that it is 'motorized' is my only reason.
                      RH>Legislation has to draw the line somewhere. If people
                      RH>power their own transportation with their own power,
                      RH>walking, cycling, scooters, hen they are in direct
                      RH>control of the speed and direction of themselves.
                      RH>Motorized transportation is one step away from that where
                      RH>there are two steps, the person using their power to
                      RH>manipulate the controls and the motor responding.
                      RH>Adding the second step increases the chance of collision.

                      So Rob, first off, I am in no less control on my little scooter than
                      the bikes and bladers etc around me. The manufacturers have various
                      safety schemes too for power assist. Stuff like pedelec products,
                      where the bike only adds power as pressure is applied to the pedals,
                      or brakes which cut power as brakes are applied, and systems which
                      only provide any power when the vehicle first reaches a 2-3mph pace.

                      "Motorized" is a convenient place to draw a line, but it is the wrong
                      place to draw this line. It penalizes responsible folk, folks who
                      live in windy or hilly areas, large people, folks that need to haul
                      cargo, folks that may have a mobility problem.

                      How `bout those mobility scoots? I haven't seen a rash of news
                      reports yet about accidents in these? `Course, they are very slow
                      speed vehicles. But that just gets back to my comment about SPEEDS
                      being the thing to regulate or moderate, not so much the vehicles.

                      RH>Also, the problem is not only with motorized units. They are
                      RH>incompatible with pedestrians/cyclists/non-motorized
                      RH>transportation in the sense that some people may not
                      RH>know what to expect from the driver of a motorized
                      RH>device and the confusion may lead to a collision of some
                      RH>type. Pedestrians walking with pedestrians is less
                      RH>dangerous and people have expectations as to how to
                      RH>deal and maneuver with other pedestrians who are likely
                      RH>traveling at the same speed.

                      I agree with you. From my experience (a few hundred km driven on
                      urban sidewalks) a very few persons do appear nervous at a distance.
                      They can still appear nervous as I *walk* by. I believe they are gun-
                      shy from past experience with reckless bike riders (note, it is the
                      drivers that are reckless, and not the vehicles.) About 99% of the
                      time I would say I am treated as if I were a cyclist.

                      LH> Most of the time, folks around me do not even
                      LH>realize I have a power-assist onboard! Is it the vehicle that is
                      LH>dangerous, or the operator? And, would you ban kick scoots (non-
                      LH>motorized) from pathways and sidewalks as well?
                      >
                      RH> Definately not.

                      Well Rob, if we can't agree, at least with my little scooter, you
                      won't be able to tell if it is powered or not as I go by, so I assume
                      that will suffice! :)

                      Here's an example of the kind of thing you will never even notice
                      as it goes by you on your sidewalk:
                      <http://tinyurl.com/oc4f>

                      The ONLY complaints folks have center around reckless drivers and
                      the noise and smell of the gas powered scooters.

                      Lock
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