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August 31, 2009

Segways in Downtown Huntington Beach?

Surf City Segway Riders to join the busy streets, sidewalks, and trails, alongside pedestrians, joggers, Dog Walkers, and bicyclists?

Huntington Beach officials are seeking a company to install a Segway rental service in downtown that would provide guided tours and allow the two-wheeled motorized scooters to be used for recreational use.

Proposed in July, this idea could be approved by Sept. 8.

The relevent sections of the Proposal, linked above, for Cyclists, are the following:

g. Segway operators will not travel through the beach, pier, and pier plaza

events/activities, which include but are not limited to the arts and crafts exhibits and

farmer’s market held on Fridays.

h. There shall be no operation of Segways on Pacific Coast Highway.

k. All Segway operators must be equipped with two way radios or cell phones.

l. All Segway machines must be clearly identifiable.

m. Due to high traffic volumes during the peak season (Memorial Day to Labor Day),

the City may designate black out days for pedestrian safety.

Story in OC Register.

Very interesting.

From this it appears that Segways will not be allowed on the Beach Bike Trail, which runs, North to South, from Sunset Beach to Newport Beach, along Pacific Coast Highway.

Segways, traveling 12 MPH, with touristy, and local, bar/restuarant hoppers, chatting on their 2-way radios, and cell phones, while navigating the crowded sidewalks of the famous, and always busy (especially on weekends) Main St. area, and surrounding blocks?

I don't know about this.

How are they going to police where these people go?

Seems like a recipe for trouble to me.

A poll, in the Register, that had 300 votes within a few days of the original story, shows OC residents split on the subject.

August 31, 2009 in Riding Orange County | Permalink

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Comments

A recipe for trouble? Indeed.

When Segways crowd into either space -- cyclist or auto -- it begins to operate on perilously thin ice.

While the company's lobbying campaigns continue to tout technology, ignore major public health concerns and clear the path for permissive regulation so cities can continue to put Segways on sidewalks: a larger cultural element seems to get reinforced as well (See Cycling Dude: Does Apathy Smell?)

Progressive municipalities have clearly shown a city's walk and "bikeability" are some of the most important measures of the quality of its social health and vitality.

Segways have consistently demonstrated a perturbation to this natural mobility rhythm. In fact, in the strict application of civic planning tools such as the Green Transportation Hierarchy, ( A pyramid graphic depiction of the priority of consideration in governmental planning for various modes of transportation, walking first as the most green form, followed by cycling then mass transit. ) Segways are placed in the pinnacle -- least efficacious catagory: SOV (single-occupant vehicles).

***NOTES FROM CYCLING DUDE***
1. In addition to being behind the Seat & Feet Site linked under his name, Randy is involved with the unique child & adult Glider Rider Bicycle.

2. More on the Green Transportation Hierarchy.

3. The website of Transportation Alternatives.

Posted by: Randy Eady | Sep 13, 2009 3:57:01 AM

At 12 mph max, Segways are far less the hazard than are bicycles.

On any given day including summer and crowded holidays the corridor between Sunset Beach and Newoort is rife with speeding cyclists who can, & often do, reach speeds of up to 40 mph.

The hazard Segways might create, if any, is for those cyclists who might have to slow down because of them.

Posted by: irochb | Nov 8, 2009 12:26:54 PM

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