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San Francisco says no to Segway Transporter
The Union Leader (NH) ^ | 01/20/02 | Denis Paiste

Posted on 01/20/2003 6:06:58 AM PST by NewHampshireDuo

You can’t ride your Segway in the City by the Bay anymore.

As of today — just about a month shy of going mainstream — the Segway Personal Transporter has been banned from San Francisco sidewalks for safety reasons.

San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr., who a year ago joined the hoopla celebrating Segway’s introduction, let pass a city ordinance banning the high-tech scooter when the city’s Board of Supervisors recently voted 9-2 to outlaw the Segway on city sidewalks, spokesman P.J. Johnston said.

Brown earlier had said he opposed the ban, and would veto it, “because he thinks it’s terrible public policy to ban a new technology outright before that technology is even tested in the city, before there is any meaningful debate about pros and cons, before there is any thoughtful understanding of what the safety risks may in fact be,” Johnston said.

However, advocates for San Francisco’s elderly and disabled won the ear of the ban’s sponsor, Supervisor Chris Daly, who represents the downtown district, according to Otto Duffy, an intern to Daly, and a solid majority of supervisors, who eventually supported the measure.

Critics of the gyroscope-balanced, $5,000 scooters feared pedestrians might get hurt by the two-wheeled, 69-pound Segways which travel at speeds up to 12.5 mph — or three times faster than the typical pedestrian. The self-balancing machines go forward when a rider leans forward, and backwards when a rider leans to the rear.

“We don’t want to say that it doesn’t ever make sense. But in urban settings there isn’t enough room for all the pedestrians,” said Ellen Vanderslice, president of America WALKs, a Pedestrian advocacy group based in Portland, Ore.

In hilly San Francisco, officials feared Segways would cause more problems than they would solve, particularly for the disabled and senior citizens.

“There were statistics submitted to us about injuries and the Segways themselves did not have adequate safety features to alert people they might be behind them,” said Tom Ammiano, a San Francisco supervisor who supported the ban.

No state is requiring that its drivers be trained, although some have set minimum age and helmet requirements.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ruled that the Segway is not a vehicle subject to its oversight. Late last year, Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic Institute become the first university in the world to implement use of the Segway Human Transporter after acquiring three Segway HTs this past fall.

WPI’s campus police department has already started using two of the Segway HTs to make patrols around WPI’s 80-acre main campus easier.

The battery-operated, motorized devices, which are the brainchild of New Hampshire inventor Dean Kamen, are being assembled at 14 Technology Drive in Bedford. Segway LLC has its corporate offices in the Manchester Millyard.

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

Ammiano also said Segway’s publicity blitz rubbed officials the wrong way.

“Segway didn’t help themselves by hiring very expensive lobbyists,” he said. “I think that backfired on them, too.”

The company 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. He said attempts to modify the ban in San Francisco were unsuccessful.

“It looks as if (San Francisco) will be the first city in the country, if not the world, to ban this new form of transportation from their jurisdiction,” Dailida said.

Segway Human Transporters, or HTs, have safely logged more than 50,000 hours of real time use in U.S. cities, Dailida said.

Tested by the U.S. Postal Service and put through industrial trials for the last year, the consumer version of Segway went on sale on Amazon.com in November for a price tag of $4,950, and are set to begin shipping in March.

So far, 33 states (including New Hampshire) have passed legislation that allows Segway HTs to operate on sidewalks. But California’s law, passed in August, allowed cities and towns to regulate or ban use of Segway HTs in their communities, as San Francisco has done.

In California, Santa Cruz, Oakland and San Mateo are considering joining San Francisco in banning Segways from sidewalks. There is no similar move in congested Los Angeles, city officials said.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: ban; itlist; sanfrancisco; segwayscooter
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1 posted on 01/20/2003 6:06:58 AM PST by NewHampshireDuo
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To: NewHampshireDuo
Hahah. so much for the "wave of the future" in personal transportation! This was the liberal icon's dream vehicle, now it is banned in the liberal mecca. I love it.
2 posted on 01/20/2003 6:08:21 AM PST by LS
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To: LS
I was looking forward to the "Streets of San Francisco" style chases on these things.
3 posted on 01/20/2003 6:11:04 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Hows that for a segway?)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
The company hired lobbying firms but has made no contributions to any public officials or candidates

Here was their error. They didn't buy, or even attempt to buy any "public officials".

4 posted on 01/20/2003 6:11:55 AM PST by grobdriver
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Now, THAT'S FUNNY...
5 posted on 01/20/2003 6:12:37 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: LS
I am going to wait for the four wheeled version that has a "cab" to protect user from the weather.
6 posted on 01/20/2003 6:12:37 AM PST by indianaconservative
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To: NewHampshireDuo
“There were statistics submitted to us about injuries and the Segways themselves did not have adequate safety features to alert people they might be behind them,” said Tom Ammiano, a San Francisco supervisor who supported the ban.
Obviously a bicycle bell would be to technically challenging to figure out. ring-ringgggg

No state is requiring that its drivers be trained, although some have set minimum age and helmet requirements.

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

Obviously, San Fransciso officials have made yet another well researched and informed decision to pass on to it's citizens.

7 posted on 01/20/2003 6:20:59 AM PST by Hodar
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To: LS
I'd just bet that you drive an SUV ... right?
8 posted on 01/20/2003 6:22:28 AM PST by ~Peter
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To: Hodar
I'm not a share-holder, but I think this is a great idea. Now elderly and disabled people may get out and about safely, to be able to run errands to the store without needing wheelchair assistance. Small, efficient, and safe, what more could one want?

To see one in action, just follow this link: mms://wm.amazon.usa.speedera.net/wm.amazon.usa/vid/General_use_high.wmv
9 posted on 01/20/2003 6:26:07 AM PST by Hodar
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To: NewHampshireDuo
What a typical steaming load of San Francisco crap.
10 posted on 01/20/2003 6:36:40 AM PST by AdA$tra (Segway = Deathtrap)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
I wondered how cities that ban skateboards, rollerblades, and bicycles from sidewalks could justify letting Segway's in. But they do allow electric wheelchairs and those scooter things you see elderly riding around on.

How fast can electric wheelchairs and those scooters go? Also, I never see people wearing helmets when they ride in wheelchairs or these scooters.

While I find the Segway interesting from a technological standpoint, the idea of pushing it as a 'save the environment' solution was ludicrous. I've also noticed that the 'environmental' Segway rhetoric that was touted when the Segway was first released has quieted down.
11 posted on 01/20/2003 6:42:01 AM PST by tje
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To: Tijeras_Slim
I was looking forward to the "Streets of San Francisco" style chases on these things.
12 posted on 01/20/2003 6:45:41 AM PST by ErnBatavia ((Bumperootus!))
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To: grobdriver
"...Here was their error. They didn't buy, or even attempt to buy any "public officials"..."

DUH!

This was as classic a bribe scenario as has ever existed.

The naïveté of the Segway management team here is breathtaking.

Fire them and replace them with people who understand that so called public officials are very rarely 'unbribable', in one currency or another.

13 posted on 01/20/2003 6:47:10 AM PST by DWSUWF
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To: DWSUWF
I just bought a new motorcycle for $3,000! Why would I buy a segway for two thousand more and can't use anywhere else but on a sidewalk?!
14 posted on 01/20/2003 6:49:25 AM PST by cyborg
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To: grobdriver
made no contributions to any public officials or candidates

That's the company spokesman. I think he's making a point. About San Francisco's government. Obliquely, perhaps.

15 posted on 01/20/2003 6:54:07 AM PST by no-s
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To: cyborg
My thoughts exactly. I'm looking at an electric bike that sells for about USD$850, does 30mph and has a range of 50 miles on a charge.
16 posted on 01/20/2003 6:54:44 AM PST by Squawk 8888
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To: AdA$tra
What a typical steaming load of San Francisco crap.

They will be legal in SF as soon as Segway fits a shopping cart basket and donates a bunch of them to a homeless group.

17 posted on 01/20/2003 6:55:27 AM PST by NewHampshireDuo
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To: NewHampshireDuo
Segways don't worry me, I just wish my city would enforce the law prohibiting bicycles on sidewalks. Sidwalk cyclists are lowlifes who kill then blame the victims for having the nerve to walk outside.
18 posted on 01/20/2003 6:56:59 AM PST by Squawk 8888
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To: NewHampshireDuo
In hilly San Francisco, officials feared Segways would cause more problems than they would solve, particularly for the disabled and senior citizens.

They left out homeless bums. If introduced to SF, the bums would demand that they be issued Segways so that they could destroy them , run over other citizens, drive them into traffic as well as parked cars, etc.

Yes, Segway officials should have consulted SF's real leaders, the bums.

19 posted on 01/20/2003 7:00:55 AM PST by csvset
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To: AdA$tra
Reminds me of the disaster in SF when a French company wanted to install self cleaning pay toilets ( the prototype I saw was spotlessly clean). By the time the disabled advocates and other pc types got done with it the company told SF to stuff it. Try finding a clean public toilet in SF....
20 posted on 01/20/2003 7:05:53 AM PST by Kozak
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To: Hodar
Elderly and disabled not know for good reflexes and balance. I and my siblings seriously discussed the Segway for our mother, but all agreed it would be dangerous.
21 posted on 01/20/2003 7:09:07 AM PST by not-an-ostrich
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To: cyborg
"...I just bought a new motorcycle for $3,000! Why would I buy a Segway for two thousand more and can't use anywhere else but on a sidewalk?!..."

I agree... I wouldn't give you $5 for a Segway, let alone $5000.

My point is that the people who sell them appear to be living in a fantasy world.

It's not a good thing that many (if not most)decision makers take bribes, but it IS a real thing.

And it's probably an eternal thing as well.

A 70 pound gizmo, doing 12 mph on a crowded sidewalk is a do-able thing, but it's just dicey enough in today's civil law environment to provide a little bit of friction...

The kind of friction that can almost always be greased by an envelope full of money.

It's been this way all my life, and my father's as well.

It's real simple... If you hate the idea of bribing people so much that you refuse to do it, your business options will always be constrained by your choice not to do so.

22 posted on 01/20/2003 7:09:09 AM PST by DWSUWF
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To: Hodar
I was wondering what happens to an elderly person's 69 lb Segway when it runs out of juice...
They can't carry it, I doubt if you could push or drag it unless the motor disengaged somehow.
Recharging from a wall socket would require some sort of transformer/rectifier that wouldn't be onboard because of the weight.

You seem to be the Segway guy here, and someone has surly thought of these problems.

23 posted on 01/20/2003 7:09:38 AM PST by MrB
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To: NewHampshireDuo
LOL... I read this story. Thoughts, trial attorneys are frothing at the mouths to see who has the cash cow dollars for injuries and sufferings.....
24 posted on 01/20/2003 7:12:47 AM PST by runningbear
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To: ErnBatavia
See you on the sidewalks Skag!

25 posted on 01/20/2003 7:15:10 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Segway rules the wasteland!)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
The real problem is security.
26 posted on 01/20/2003 7:18:40 AM PST by Aquinasfan
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To: runningbear
All segway has to do is donate about 100 of these to the DNC so that the campaign workers can zoom around town to get out the vote. They wil soon be legal in SF after that.
27 posted on 01/20/2003 7:20:09 AM PST by Jon Geb
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To: ErnBatavia

28 posted on 01/20/2003 7:25:15 AM PST by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
In hilly San Francisco, officials feared Segways would cause more problems than they would solve, particularly for the disabled and senior citizens.

This from "officials" who don't give a damn what drunken bums, petty criminals, and careless city bus drivers do to San Francisco's disabled and senior citizens on a daily basis...

29 posted on 01/20/2003 7:30:13 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves
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To: spodefly
LOL
30 posted on 01/20/2003 7:31:56 AM PST by NewHampshireDuo
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To: spodefly
McQueen in a snare(LOL) That is symbolic of the public in liberal cities like SF. They(city leadership) don't want solutions to their problems. They want issues to perpetuate the same old tired routine. Mienwhile, the public is hung out to dry.
31 posted on 01/20/2003 7:36:48 AM PST by oyez (Ammo first.)
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To: MrB
I was wondering what happens to an elderly person's 69 lb Segway when it runs out of juice..

I've been wondering what happens when some elderly rider has a stroke and falls forward while riding on the thing. Months later a decomposing body or skeleton is found riding down a lonely sidwalk?

32 posted on 01/20/2003 7:55:30 AM PST by templar
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To: NewHampshireDuo
I cant wait for somebody to drop a big V-4 gasser in one
33 posted on 01/20/2003 7:57:47 AM PST by joesnuffy
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To: templar
Months later a decomposing body or skeleton is found riding down a lonely sidwalk

That's pretty funny, in a distasteful way.
Yeah, it wouldn't fall over... until the batteries ran down. And how would you catch it? Someone would have to jump from one to another.
I can see it now: "Speed IV - A Segway to a better movie"

34 posted on 01/20/2003 8:02:18 AM PST by MrB
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To: spodefly
LOL...excellent McQueen. Who's the other guy?
35 posted on 01/20/2003 8:10:52 AM PST by muleskinner
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To: muleskinner
The other guy is Dick Cheney.
36 posted on 01/20/2003 8:12:51 AM PST by csvset
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To: NewHampshireDuo
The company 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 real reason the HT has been banned from San Francisco!

37 posted on 01/20/2003 8:43:21 AM PST by Gritty
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To: Kozak
Actually that isn't true.

Decoutu (sp?) does all the public toilets here in SF, and they're a disgusting mess with drug addicts who use them all the time, and the homeless that sleep in them. So you're not correct.
38 posted on 01/20/2003 9:05:38 AM PST by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: NewHampshireDuo
Since I live here, I am familiar with the argument against Segways.

The argument was that our sidewalks are too crowded to let these things on them officially. Then, while demonstrating how safe they were the Segway sales person crashed into one of our historical buildings and caused a big crack in the side of the building (marble). They were seen by a reporter and other witnesses, denied they did it and have refused to pay for the damaged marble and building. It's a pretty big scandal here.

The problem, since I live here, is that our sidewalks are too crowded to have these things, and they don't have adequate braking systems (see paragraph above).
39 posted on 01/20/2003 9:09:46 AM PST by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: *IT_list
http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/bump-list
40 posted on 01/20/2003 9:11:49 AM PST by Free the USA (Stooge for the Rich)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
You've really gotta love San Francisco. It's OK to sh*t in the streets, but you can't ride a Segway.
41 posted on 01/20/2003 9:12:55 AM PST by jpl
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To: ~Peter
Yeppers. I'd own a bigger one if I could! But I also own a gas =guzzing Caddy, too!
42 posted on 01/20/2003 9:17:11 AM PST by LS
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To: muleskinner
LOL...excellent McQueen. Who's the other guy?

Cheney.

43 posted on 01/20/2003 9:40:27 AM PST by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: NewHampshireDuo
Here's the latest model:


44 posted on 01/20/2003 9:46:35 AM PST by Revolting cat! (Someone left the cake out in the rain I dont think that I can take it coz it took so long to bake it)
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To: MrB
Use an extention cord. Duh.

/stupid humor

45 posted on 01/20/2003 10:17:15 AM PST by Eagle Eye
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To: Revolting cat!
That the "chopper" model?
46 posted on 01/20/2003 10:59:55 AM PST by NewHampshireDuo
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To: MrB
The range of the segway is 20 miles (optimal), approximately 15 miles typical, and about 10 miles when taken 'cross country'. Assuming San Fran is categorized as 'cross country' and the passenger weighs less than 250 lbs. Thats approximately 3 hours at 3-4 mph. Segway is not intended as a long distance cruiser, but as a short distance commuter device. It also has a convenient 'gas gauge' built into the top. Go to Amazon.com, and they have a really good description, movies and an exploded view of the features and how it's put together. It's really impressive.
47 posted on 01/20/2003 11:56:11 AM PST by Hodar
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To: Tijeras_Slim
maybe it can't maneuver over the homeless' feces and vomit that taint the streets and sidewalks.......
48 posted on 01/20/2003 12:03:59 PM PST by duckbutt (I would never leave anything in San Francisco - - I refuse to go!)
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To: ~Peter
And one that sits up higher than the others, has 4whl drive and an airhorn...to watch those old people jump when i blow it. Lessee, and a cb, an some fuzzy dice. I WANT SIDEWALK ASSAULT VEHICLE!...Can you imagine the havoc created by these things on a crowded sidewalk, especially if 25-50% of the folks have one and the rest don't?
49 posted on 01/20/2003 12:11:49 PM PST by Adder
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To: not-an-ostrich
Elderly and disabled not know for good reflexes and balance.

There are 3 solid-state gyroscopes, with 3 redundant backups that keep balance for the person. You may try to tip it over, but the microprocessor will rotate the tires such that you cannot tip over. When you park it, there is not a kickstand, it automatically balances itself. To move it around, just push and it will auto-balance as you move it to where you want it stored. Take a look at amazon.com; and watch the movie. There are a lot of really good pictures that show you how well every detail was considered. It was built with the elderly and frail as their primary customer.

50 posted on 01/20/2003 12:14:12 PM PST by Hodar
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