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Segway Banned In San Francisco

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the you'll-walk-mister-and-like-it dept.

Technology 1027

bhsurfer writes "The city of San Francisco has banned the Segway [CNN.com] from it's sidewalks before they've even arrived. Apparently Santa Cruz, Oakland and San Mateo are considering a ban as well. What a bunch of spoilsports...or are they? Any thoughts on this?" According to the article, hiring high-powered lobbyists may have backfired. but the city claims safety concerns are behind the decision.

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seg this! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122031)

fp

Hmm... (1)

Peterus7 (607982) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122065)

*wonders if this is the first 'meaningful' post?*

Wasn't there talk of having the postal service ride segways? So what, will they just ban the postal service on san fran, make everybody e-mail?

(I wouldn't mind.)

chigga chigga (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122034)

my name is

LA la la la la la la (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122036)

First post I hope I hope.

Not sure how they could ban something... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122041)

before they have any testing or real user experience on which to base their decisions.

it's a bad idea (0, Offtopic)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122217)

You don't have to be Kreskin to see that.

They don't need "real user experience" because they know it's a bad idea from the start.

What could be funnier? (5, Funny)

caluml (551744) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122045)

But what could be funnier than bombing down a pavement at 30 mph, sending old ladies flying, and knocking over fruit stalls? :)

Re:What could be funnier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122150)

But what could be funnier than bombing down a pavement at 30 mph, sending old ladies flying, and knocking over fruit stalls?

Not you.

liberal contradition AGAIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122191)

I thought liberal cities such as San Fran were supposed to love alternative fuel vehicles.

Sidewalks are for (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122197)

Pedestrians... people on foot not shitheads on motorized shit. Wake up assholes, and this is NOT NEWS! Old stuff. If I encounter s Segway rider on the sidewalk and he/she does not give me right of way, they are dead meat! It will only thake a few such incidents to ban them everywhere. Skateboards and inline skates are already banned along with bycicles! Walking people only! SideWALKS. Get it you morons?!?!?!?

Also: San Fran to ban city residents totally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122238)

San Francisco city council today enacted a permanent and total ban on anyone living within the city. The new plan, favored by many, includes a three year timetable for complete demolition of all Hotels, houses, condos, and apartments.

Mopeds? (4, Interesting)

BitHive (578094) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122046)

I've never lived in any of the cities in question, but I know in Honolulu that tourists can rent mopeds, and they drive them on sidewalks everywhere. I would much rather see them on Segways. It might even keep them out of the roads, too.

makes sense (0, Redundant)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122047)

San Francisco is very hilly. No doubt they anticipated old ladies being run down by out-of-control Segwii and decided to knit the problem in the butt.

Re:makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122134)

SEGWII??

Between that, Xboxen, and Zaurii... damn...

Re:makes sense (0, Offtopic)

bdr1 (249869) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122194)

Segwii???

Beofre inventing plural forms of proper nouns, get your English straight.

The phrase is "nip them in the bud", as in preventing something from flowering. Althought "knit them in the butt" conjures up wonderful images of these aforementioned old ladies wielding deadly knitting needles.

Perhaps you were thinking of a "stich in time"?

Too FAST for pedestrian walkways (0, Interesting)

HyperMind (628041) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122054)

With a top speed approaching 40mph (as reported on CNN this morning) those contraptions are definately NOT suitable for sidewalks and should be licensed as any other motorized transport.

IMHO

Re:Too FAST for pedestrian walkways (1)

jumpingfred (244629) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122119)

I thought that the speed of these things was 12mph not 40mph.

Re:Too FAST for pedestrian walkways (5, Informative)

Dark Bard (627623) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122138)

The ones being sold to the public have an 8 mph limiting key. The industrial ones had a top speed of 15 mph but aren't meant for streets. The skate boarders and bicycles go faster than that on sidewalks. The are a potential hazard but so are many legal devices.

Re:Too FAST for pedestrian walkways (1)

HyperMind (628041) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122200)

Can you honestly say that with the myriad hackers growing bored with the X-box, they won't try to mod the Seg? It's inevitable.

I can see the headline now... (2, Funny)

Kelt (85402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122243)

'Embedded Linux on Segway: IT runs Linux!'... With a full SNMP MIB stack for monitoring your battery life from NetSaint (or whatever they're called now)... Maybe a webcam on the front and a copy of apache so that you can 'journal' your travels...

-Steve

Re:Too FAST for pedestrian walkways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122155)

Out of my way, jerkass!!!!

Wrong! (4, Informative)

sapped (208174) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122181)

Pulled from the article on CNN...

Critics say the Segway is a safety hazard on sidewalks because it weighs 69 pounds and travels at up to 12.5 mph

12mph is a little different from the 40mph you were throwing around.

Re:Wrong! (2, Funny)

soulsteal (104635) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122233)

I think they forgot their metric conversion. Perhaps they work for NASA?

Re:Too FAST for pedestrian walkways (1)

martissimo (515886) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122183)

40 MPH????? [segway.com]

though frankly i do remember at some point reading specs on their website about their "off road capable" model being able to hit 15.

not saying that i would like to be hit one at 12 MPH on the other hand, it certainly wouldnt be pleasant, but it's nothing like turning the sidewalks into the mini highways you imply ;)

40 MPH!! (2, Funny)

goatasaur (604450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122230)

I believe that is the military Segway... approved use by licensed personnel only.

Going 40 MPH on a sidewalk, in a Segway, would be like pedestrian pinball.

Erster (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122057)

Pfosten?

I still don't get it. (5, Interesting)

God_Retired (44721) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122063)

Segway, cool toy, but I just don't see what I would do with it. I can already go on my skateboard pretty damn fast. If I need to go faster I have a bike. If faster than that, my truck. Otherwise I'm walking. I don't get where it fits in, other than some lazy asses and maybe a heavy duty one for delivering mail along the boardwalk.

I'm not even sure that my kid thinks they're cool. I'll ask when I get home.

I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too... (2, Insightful)

Phosphor3k (542747) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122064)

Otherwise they are full of bullshit. One of the reasons they gave for banning it was that it weighs 70 pounds and goes 12 mph, meaning the device could cause injury to a pedestrian.

Re:I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too (5, Insightful)

tx_mgm (82188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122133)

youre not supposed to ride bikes on sidewalks! youre supposed to ride them in the street!
as for the segway, i think they should wait for it to be a problem before wasting their time banning it....i mean, how many of these things did they anticipate being on the sidewalks anyway?

Re:I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122135)

I believe that just about any city prohibits bikes on the sidewalk. Move along now.

Re:I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122139)

Riding bikes on the sidewalk is already illegal. Of course, everyone ignores that. Presumably they would ignore the Segway ban as well.

Re:I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too (1)

mrseigen (518390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122168)

In canada, riding bikes on the sidewalk is only illegal for those under 17 (presumably, you don't want your kid getting wasted in the middle of the road).

Re:I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122145)

Isn't that the same potential energy as a 280 pound pedestrian going 3 mph?

I say we ban fat peds.

Re:I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122182)


Isn't that the same potential energy as a 280 pound pedestrian going 3 mph?


no, thats the same kinetic energy

Re:I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too (1)

kral (182123) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122151)

Bicycles are already illegal on the sidewalk in California. A few exceptions exist (for young children, certain unsafe streets where bicycle traffic is clearly posted to be rerouted to sidewalk...)

Re:I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too (4, Insightful)

svferris (519966) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122172)

The Segways should have to adhere to the same rules that bikes do. Bikes aren't allowed on the sidewalk either. They have to follow many of the laws that cars do. This includes riding in the street, going with the flow of traffic. So, why can't the Segways use the bike lane (or curb area) too?

Re:I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too (1)

ornil (33732) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122224)

What this really means is that this law will be as ignored as the law about no bicycles on the sidewalk.

Re:I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122180)

GULP! I weigh 300 and could probably get up to 12mph, if you rolled a donut down a hill.

Guess I'm not going to SF any time soon.

They are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122187)

Bikes are already banned on sidewalks in most downtown California cities. It's just fine, most cyclists in California would rather claim their right to ride in the road anyway.

Re:I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too (1, Insightful)

thesolo (131008) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122205)

I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too...

Actually, most major metropolitan cities do have laws against riding bikes on sidewalks.

I live in Philadelphia, and here it is indeed against the law to ride your bike on the sidewalk. In fact, I've seen several people get ticketed by the police for violating that law. If you go to center city Philadelphia, you will see bike lanes on the sides of the streets, next to the car lanes.

I would have no problem seeing Segways in bike lanes, but on the sidewalk? No way. They are equally as dangerous as bikes, if not more so (Segways don't have brakes).

Re:I hope they banned bikes on their sidewalks too (5, Funny)

skirch (126930) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122228)

Otherwise they are full of bullshit.

Bill Gates weighs 70 pounds and only goes 10 mph, and just look at all the damage he has caused!

Heh.. (1)

vishakh (188958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122073)

"Segway officials say the scooters have been tested for 100,000 hours on city streets across the nation without injury."

I would imagine that means riding Segways is safer than walking. :-)

Means Empty sidewalks for test purposes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122235)

Some one is going to get hurt and Kamen Industries will be sued out of existance. You heard it here first for the second time, like the first time this was posted...way back in the day!

Banned on sidewalks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122079)

Do they expect people to ride segways on the roads instead, or just not have them in the city?

That's Insane... (1, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122082)

Are they going to ban skateboards, roller blades, and inline electric scooters as well? Seaways are supposed to be safer then these things.

Bleh, fucking lame ass government stifling innovation because of imagined phantoms. Lets keep things exactly the way they are, and then we don't have to worry about the unknown, nothing to fear (except for car crashes...)

I hate this preemptive rulemaking bullshit. If something causes a problem out of proportion to it's benefit then ban it. Certainly they shouldn't be banned until they have been shown to be dangerous!

sidewalks dumbass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122114)

Try riding a skateboard or bike on the sidewalk and see what happens.

Re:That's Insane... (1, Troll)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122147)

Let's clarify a few things: 1.) in most municipalities, it is ILLEGAL to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk, due in large part to the hazard to pedestrians. Rollerbladers move about as fast as a sprinting human, and as such represent a lower hazard.

A Segway, I'm guessing, weighs in the neighborhood of 75 pounds. At the low training speed of 12mph, it moves as fast as an Olympic sprinter. 75 pounds of Segway + ~200 pound rider = 275 pounds. Getting hit by one of these would be like getting hit by an NFL linebacker on a blitz.

Simple physics are enough to get it outlawed, and I'm hoping that my municipality -- Minneapolis -- will do the same thing.

Re:That's Insane... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122169)

In Toronto, blades and boards have to be going VERY slowly to be allowed on the sidewalks. Bike are for the roads only. We need more bikelanes. Then, everyone is happy. Pedestrians, especially the old kind, which you will hopefully be one day, have their walkways, cars have their motorways, and bike, blades, boards and segways can share the bike lanes. That is a good solution to all involved.

Re:That's Insane... (2, Insightful)

ctid (449118) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122175)

Seaways are supposed to be safer then these things.


I don't understand how the Segway, which weighs 69lbs can be safer than a skateboard, or rollerblades. I think that taking the laissez-faire attitude you propose might be difficult in a litigious culture. What if someone really gets hurt by a careless Segway user? Who pays? The temptation might be to sue the richest entity involved, namely the city which is responsible for the sidewalk. This way, the city can say that they did what they could to prevent the problem.

Re:That's Insane... (3, Informative)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122236)

I don't understand how the Segway, which weighs 69lbs can be safer than a skateboard, or rollerblades

Um, maybe because it has brakes?

Re:That's Insane... (5, Funny)

nosferatu-man (13652) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122176)

The Segway might be safer for the rider than a skateboard et. al., but it sure as shit isn't safer for the other people on the sidewalk. It's an extra 70lbs -- on top of who knows how much tofu- and sprout-fed mealy Californian -- moving at up to 15mph. Given how godawfully bad San Francisco drivers are, I shudder to think how many pedestrians would get plowed over by yuppie asshats with their new $8,000 toy.

I have no problem with keeping these things off our sidewalks, for the same reasons that I have no problem with bicycles being confined to the street.

'jfb

Re:That's Insane... (2, Insightful)

extrarice (212683) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122199)

Actually, a lot of cities have banned use of skateboards, skates (quads and inlines), bicicles, and other devices on sidewalks. I, for one, am thankful for that. I shouldn't have to worry about dodging a skater who isn't paying attention to what he's doing.

Re:That's Insane... (1)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122222)

"Are they going to ban skateboards, roller blades, and inline electric scooters as well? Seaways are supposed to be safer then these things."

On the sidewalks (like the article talks about...)? Yes.

"Bleh, fucking lame ass government stifling innovation because of imagined phantoms."

You don't think people riding heavy motorized machinery on sidewalks is going to be perfectly safe? We can't even keep people from being hit by cars, and they don't even drive on sidewalks!

"Certainly they shouldn't be banned until they have been shown to be dangerous!"

Why? Did you fail physics class? But if you'd like me to prove it to you, just stand right there...

excessive lobbying without campaign contributions (1)

NynexNinja (379583) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122083)

It seems like if you pay for lobbyists you better had made campaign contributions first!!! How fucked up is that?

High-powered lobbysists? (1)

fname (199759) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122085)

I read the article earlier today, and a previous one about their success lobbying "blitz." They spent like $100,000 ($1 million). The "high-powered lobbyist comment" seems little more than a self-serving, completely false pat on the back.

Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122086)

You don't wan't to be going down the hill out of control and "smash".

skating issues (1)

chloroquine (642737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122090)

I guess if they allowed the Segway on the sidewalk, they might have to reconsider allowing skateboards. Heaven forbid they allow skateboards on the sidewalks. (this is my poor effort at sarcasm, please excuse)

segways on hills (2)

joeldg (518249) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122092)

The article mainly states that segways on crowded streets going three times the speed of a pedestrian are probably dangerous. If you have been to SF then you would be worried about some overweight sysadmin putting up California street on one of these as I could only imagine and out of control segway going down that..

Even CNN Posts Old News.. (1)

CBNobi (141146) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122097)

A quick search [google.com] on Google News reveals a Register article [theregister.co.uk] stating that the city council of San Francisco voted last month to ban the Segway.

How far are we into January, again?

And San Francisco already has a booming bike population, AFAIK (currently dwindling, from what I hear), so it's not too much of a big deal for most of its citizens. Also keep in mind that many other states/cities actually support or allow Segways on their streets.

Amusingly enough, TechTV [techtv.com] , the cable channel that often reviews new gadgets, is based in San Francisco. Guess they'll have to review the Segway in some studio.

because... (0, Insightful)

Jamie Zawinski (775) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122098)

Letting people drive 30MPH on the sidewalk is ridiculous! If it's a vehicle, it should be in the road, not on the sidewalk -- like bicycles are. "Entirely new technology" my ass.

Re:because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122159)

Jamie,

Agreed. Nothing more than a $5,000 penis enhancement. It belongs in the road, like other forms of transport. Besides, a bike is much cheaper, more efficient and definitly better than that piece of crap.

Re:because... (3, Insightful)

Alderete (12656) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122219)

Ummm, my understanding is that the standard Segway goes 12 MPH max.

Is 30 MPH a number you have a reference for?

seriously (1)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122099)

Why spend so much on a Segway when a bicycle is cheaper and just as effective? In fact, Americans should be riding bikes as the general populace is over-weight anyhow.

And the added-bonus is that the bicycle doesn't polute either/

Re:seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122188)

I may be a lard ass, but at least I can spell pollute. You're a stupid cock sucking hippie.

Car industry also has lobbyists you know... (1, Redundant)

arivanov (12034) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122108)

According to the article, hiring high-powered lobbyists may have backfired.

See Subj:

Actually the city is right. Vehicles like the segway belong in the bicycle lane. They have no place on the sidewalk.

Skateboarding is not a crime ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122109)

Skateboarding is not a crime ....
BUT IT SHOULD BE!

Sidewalk Bans (1)

Nessak (9218) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122111)

I know many cities, small and large, ban the ridding of bicycles on the sidewalks. The reasoning behind this decision is often becuase it is hard to stop a bicycle and there is a safty risk riding one when people are comming out of stores.

I don't know if I agree with many of these bans (I like a bike a lot and sometimes you need to ride on the sidewalk) but there is some logic behind this decision. I think the idea of banning anything electric powered (becides wheelchairs, etc) on the sidewalk might not be a bad idea so long as room is available on the steet. I would hate to have to get hit when I was walking to a store becuase someone wanting to ride their segway at 12mph. (That would still hurt a lot if it hit you.)

Good. I for one wondered about this. (1)

fredbsd (311595) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122113)

Yes, they are neat and an engineering marvel. But damn it, there are more of us 'poorer' bi-peds who actually need the sidewalks.

Maybe if there were a seg-lane like a bike lane on the road, then great. But those things are just too damn bulky to allow for both walkers and segway enthusiasts share the sidewalk.

I am glad to see a city do this. I hope Boston follows suit. There are just too many pedestrians walking around in our crowded cities for these things.

Just my thoughts.

They'll use it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122246)

This will be great for advertising:

The Segway -- Banned in Boston!

What about bicycles? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122117)

I've been run over/almost run over by more bicycles than I can count. I'm sure the granola crowd in SF loves the bicycle. These are safer than bikes because there is a maximum speed limit. for Segways.

Seems that the issue here at that the lobbyists forgot the golden rule of the campaign contributions. Bribery is legal. Use it.

In my town, motorized scooters and motorized anythings are banned on sidewalks and paths, no matter how slow they go. Even a motorized skateboard gets you a shaken finger from the local cop. Segway already falls into the banned category where I live.

Like Kamen said, they need to design cities around the thing. It doesn't fit the current model.

And the City of San Franciso has been using them! (5, Interesting)

elzbal (520537) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122120)

The first (in fact only) time I've ever seen a Segway was on the streets of San Francisco. I saw a Postal employee riding down the sidewalk with his USPS-branded saddlebags on the sides. I wonder if they have had bad experiences with Segway on their streets...

False (1)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122241)

Title of your post:

And the City of San Franciso has been using them!

From your post:

I saw a Postal employee ...

Do you honestly not know that the postal service is not run by individual cities? Please be more careful before you make these kind of accusations.

You need a training course? (4, Interesting)

lingqi (577227) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122121)

Buyers also must attend a multi-hour training course before the scooter is shipped to them...

I thought one of the main thing about Segway is that it was supposed to be sooooo intuitive like walking? what's up with the multi-hour training?

besides that - does multi-hour mean 2 hours? or 5 hours? Worse yet - Non of the "mandated this many hours courses" I have ever attended lasted for the specific number of hourse.

Take, for example, in NY before you get a license you need a 5 hour (or somesuch) course. Not that I am complaining (that much) but the course ended after about three at a "DMV approved course center." - I say this because if the Segway was not as intuitive as they gloat, and a lenghty safty course was really necessary, then I'd fear of walking from now on - While bad drivers for the most part run into other cars, bad segway charioteers will mostly run into pedestrians.

Re:You need a training course? (1)

porkface (562081) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122170)

>>I thought one of the main thing about Segway is that it was supposed to be sooooo intuitive like walking? what's up with the multi-hour training?

Yeah, I learned to walk in under an hour!

Just like bicycles! (1)

AuraSeer (409950) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122123)

I dunno about SF, but in my city it's illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk. That's for safety reasons too; a pedestrian who happens to step in your way is gonna get hurt if your reflexes aren't fast enough. Knocking someone down with a Segway is even easier than with a bike.

AFAIC, it's perfectly reasonable to treat Segways like any other kind of two-wheeled motorized scooter. Make 'em travel in the street.

score one for the elderly, poor, able and mobile!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122125)

Well, there is a bit of good news. I fight traffic on my bike daily, and it is a nightmare. We have maybe 5 km of bike lanes in the City of Toronto, and some of them do not intersect. Plus, sticking them on the busiest, nasties streets (Chinatown = 1 streetcar lane, one car lane, one shared care lane with bike. AHHHHHHHH!!!!!) BUT, I NEVER ride the sidewalk unless I am hopping the curb to get to the bike lockup. I purposefully keep the pedestrians far away from my faster moving wheels. There is no reason the Segway should have access to the sidewalk. They are heavy, and they move quickly. More bike lanes would be the better solution overall.

segways don't kill people ... (1)

Seth Golub (3326) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122130)

Given how bad and dangerous some drivers are, prohibiting motor vehicles on sidewalks seems like a fine thing to do. Are people really going to be that much safer and more attentive drivers on a segway than in a car?

New Technology Apprehensions... (4, Insightful)

Murdock037 (469526) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122131)

Think of it this way: in ten years time, what will have more fatalities per machine on the road, the Segway or the car?

Judging from everything I've read about the Segway, it'll be the car, of course. So why don't they ban cars in San Francisco, too? Because use of cars is too widespread, and the public would be outraged if you tried to take them away.

If the Segway's all the hype suggests, then maybe in years hence the new machine will become as entrenched in daily life as the car (...assuming San Fran doesn't become a national trendsetter on the issue, and kill the Segway before it's given a chance). Until then you can expect this sort of thing. Just imagine how many people are going to worry about the first supersonic turbo-boostered flying rocket cars, you know?

Pavements (sorry - sidewalks) (2, Insightful)

SimonInOz (579741) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122137)

Sidewalks (ok, I can speak USA) are for walking. As a bicycle rider I sometimes ride there if the road is untenable. People wander about a lot. They even dart from left to right in a random fashion. This is their right, if you ask me. And I go to great lengths to make sure I avoid them - they have the rights, not me. A Segway occupies much the same area as a bicycle (it's a bit shorter) but I do not believe it would be as good at avoiding people (it can't lean, though it turns very well). I agree with San Francisco. Keep the sidewalks free for pedestrians - SF is one of the few cities where people actually still walk - let's not threaten their sanctuary!

Re:Pavements (sorry - sidewalks) (0)

AuraSeer (409950) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122234)

FTR, a Segway takes up rather more "sidewalk space" than a bicycle. Where a bike has just the width of your body, a Segway has a platform wide enough to stand on, plus the thickish wheels outside that.

And although its low-speed turning is far better than that of a bike, high-speed turning leaves a lot to be desired. Since only your weight is holding you on the vehicle, it's quite possible to fling yourself off the side if you try to turn too quickly.

That's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122140)

I live in Los Angeles, and I was walking down Westwood Blvd. today and I saw a guy fly by on one. It went pretty damned fast, and looked really cool. It was the first time I had seen a Segway in reality.

It'll be a shame if no one can play with cool toys like this because hippys like the San Francisco government ban them.

Coming soon... (1)

xv4n (639231) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122144)

..."Segway racing" video game for the XBOX.

Segway is a Safety Hazard (1)

mcguyver (589810) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122152)

Critics say the Segway is a safety hazard on sidewalks because it weighs 69 pounds and travels at up to 12.5 mph

In my mind Segway's are not a safety hazard however we are talking about a state where tort laws are out of control. The city probably wants to avoid potential lawsuits from handicapped people, people that get run over, or others than crash on a sidewalk crack. Then there is the idea if Segway's are legal then is it the city's responsibility to maintain the quality of sidewalks? Anywho - I do not agree with the law that bans Segway's but I can see why it exists.

Teens on wheels (1)

rxed (634882) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122153)

I wonder if you can have a decent subwoofer attached to Segway? :-)

Reasonable... (2, Insightful)

groman (535485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122156)

Bicycles can't be on the sidewalks, why should segways be an exceptions. It's like a bicycle for lazy yuppies, and I'd pretty annoyed if one of those started whizzing near me on San Francisco streets and I'd have to dodge out of it's way. However, I would be equally annoyed to waste my weekend peeling the remains of a segway rider off my car's grill. I guess people will have to learn courtesy.

Just snotty (1)

spacecomputer (545222) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122157)

I don't know why but ever since they (San Francisco) have considered the Segway, I've gotten the impression that they are just being snotty. Have no good reason for it, just a gut reaction....

Shocker. (0)

antis0c (133550) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122162)

Gorvernment officials banning something they don't understand? Shocker.

Is this really a surprise? (0, Flamebait)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122163)

We're talking about a state that has banned smoking in bars, fer crissake! Is anyone really surprised they're anal-retentive enough to ban a scooter? By the year 2010, everything will be illegal in California.

Safety Concerns. (1)

goatasaur (604450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122173)

Yeah, I can see that.

You can't tip a Segway over while driving it. The only "safety concern" with people on Segways is that people in cars will swerve onto the sidewalk to hit them.

hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122177)

...maybe if they made them in pink and purple, the people in San Francisco would change their minds...or maybe change the name to GayWay. /flame

Much easier to do this... (1)

blakestah (91866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122179)

than improve the homeless situation here....

or improve MUNI...

this is exactly the kind of thing we PAY our supervisors to do. Last week they voted to change the name of pet owner to animal guardians, link here [sfgate.com] . Yet more evidence of our tax dollars being useful.

Segway in San Francisco (4, Informative)

polyiguana (76056) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122190)

Here's a better column about the whole debate from the San Francisco Chronicle. [sfgate.com] Basically, you have a bunch of uptight people over there, over a technology that hasn't even been used by the public yet. Fortunately, other cities, like Sacramento, are waiting to see whether there are any problems caused first, before acting.

how many segways needed to reach critical mass? (2, Interesting)

urbazewski (554143) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122193)

San Francisco was the birthplace of critical mass [critical-mass.org] , the bicycle advocacy group that organizes monthly rides to take-back-the-roads --- as they say :

"we aren't blocking traffic, we are traffic"

how long before segway riders organize take-back-the-sidewalks rides?

annmariabell.com [annmariabell.com]

Obviously, they spent.... (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122201)

Obviously, they spent too much money on buying lobbyists, and not enough money buying legislators.
-russ

100 miles on a segway ht today... (4, Interesting)

ptorrone (638660) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122202)

i use a segway ht to go 7+ miles per day, i given up a car, saved over $10,000 and i've even lost 10lbs with my extra time that i have each day to do more things like (exercise) as opposed to sitting in traffic.

you can read about it here on my personal journal of owning a segway ht:
http://www.bookofseg.com [bookofseg.com]

today i hit 100 miles, it took about 14 days of commuting to hit that, i didn't count other trips or previous commute trips so i could keep careful logs. for the first 100 miles or so, i personally saved about $582.00+ by using a segway ht, gave up a car and lost 10lbs. some things weren't quantifiable, results may vary for others.

http://www.bookofseg.com/100miles/ [bookofseg.com]

if you would like to chat about it, lemme know-- i'd love to!

cheers,
pt

Ever Ride One?? (2, Informative)

Dan the Control Guy (128767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122211)

I have.. and as strange as it sounds, it is NOT LIKE A VEHICLE. It is an extension of your body. If you hit any obstacle, it automatically stops, and if pressure continues it goes into reverse. It is WAY cool, and I would think a running individual would be more dangerous.

it's San Fran, what'd you expect? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122220)

In an area where one city has banned certain types of coffee beans, what'd you expect? They've been bending over for the minority for some time and it's only logical that they'll continue to do so.

I remember on 20/20 where they interviewed that Kamen guy they showed these pedestrian activist groups more or less claiming Kamen wanted to hurt old ladies. I was just screaming at the television "GET A LIFE!" to these nuts who all desperately needed either jobs or consciences (pedestrian activism???? I mean really, I don't want to get run over on the sidewalk either but that has to be the least important form of activism on the planet).

Bay Area /.ers, many of you helped elect these PC-nuts so don't act like you didn't see it coming. Get some reps with some common sense next time around!

More Socialist Class Envy BS (-1, Troll)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122232)

If the Segway cost as much as a scooter or skateboard, this would not be happening. Every one of these cities mentioned are notorious for their anti-success antics, where they are against anything that cannot be afforded by everyone.

Never mind the fact that the Segway can do SOME good for SOME people, if your average maggot infested hippie cant afford it, then NOBODY should have the right to it! This has nothing to do with safety, or protecting some old lady from getting run down by an out of control Segway, this is about, "IF I CANT HAVE IT, NEITHER CAN YOU!!!!!!!!

This is no different than our current progressive tax system, and no different from those who want to control the activities of those they cant otherwise extort and blackmail into paying more and more for less and less in the name of Compassion.

Idiots.

Are Segways Wheelchairs for the Able? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5122237)

Just wonderin...

the gool ol' boy system of gubmint... (2, Interesting)

stubear (130454) | more than 11 years ago | (#5122239)

"New Hampshire-based Segway hired lobbying firms but has made no contributions to any public officials or candidates, said Matt Dailida, the company's director of state government affairs."

The problem apprarently was that Segway, LLC. failed to sufficiently bribe California city officials. Now they're going to have to dig deeper into those pockets to make up for the hurt feelings of city officials and overcome the entrenched pedestrian rights groups.
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