Segways on the Burlington Bike Path?

Chapin

Posted by on Nov 04 2009
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800px-4_segways sm802 Segways, a small Vermont company, is proposing to operate guided Segway tours on the Burlington Bike Path and some city sidewalks.  Their proposal can be read here.  The company has agreed to do a number of good things — requiring guides, helmets, and moderate speeds, but they head into uncharted territory with Burlington commissions considering what regulations to impose on Segway use in general — whether in tours or otherwise.

The Burlington Parks & Recreation Commission met on November 17, 5:30pm at Parks Offices (645 Pine Street, Burlington) to discuss the proposal.  About 15 people spoke with feedback split about 50/50.  The Commission has asked staff to bring forward a recommendation to their January ’10 meeting.

What do you think? Is this a benefit to Burlington?  Does the proposal need conditions?  Should it be rejected?  Give us your thoughts!

A couple years ago, due to lobbying from the Segway company, the Vermont Legislature gave Segways “the rights and duties of pedestrians.”  However, the state law also allows municipalities to set their own regulations — even if they contradict State law.  Here are the key provisions:

Section 1: Definition of Electronic Personal Assistive Mobility Devices (aka Segways)

Section 1141a: Required equipment, giving Segways the rights of pedestrians

Section 1132: Segways on sidewalks, setting 8mph speed limit, and age restriction of 16+

Give us your feedback by clicking the comment button below.  Thank you!

90 Responses to “Segways on the Burlington Bike Path?”

  1. on 04 Nov 2009 at 11:01 pm 1.carolyn bates said …

    For me to give a proper comment, I need to see the segways, try them out, experience them on the bike path. As I amble along the path with a dog in tow, we may go 2 miles an hour, so even 8 mpg seems very fast in this tiny path.

    Also, how, what, when are these tours? Please send me more information. Please be sure
    to have Segways and people who use them at the meeting.

    cbates

  2. on 05 Nov 2009 at 12:23 am 2.Jay Furr said …

    I would be VERY opposed to seeing them try to navigate the Church Street Marketplace. It's crazy enough as it is, especially on a sunny afternoon when the weather's nice. When I try to imagine, say, eight Segways moving in file through that crowd … I can see people jumping out of their way and getting trampled by other *pedestrians*. It wouldn't be a good scene. They'd have to be kept to a walking pace.

    I have no problem, on the other hand, with them being on the bike path — provided they follow the rules of the road, same as any other user.

  3. on 05 Nov 2009 at 12:25 am 3.Valerie Ryan said …

    I vote no motorized vehicles on the Burlington Bike Path period. There are plenty of places for them in the city. The tours are a good idea just not in a place reserved for non motorized vehicles please.
    Thank you,
    V. Ryan

  4. on 05 Nov 2009 at 2:08 am 4.mike said …

    No.

    There is already the creep of 'e-bikes' onto the path, and I was passed by a gas fueled monster not too long ago. I kept wondering how the heck a leaf blower was chasing me down… till it zoomed by.

    What the hell is wrong with walking? Or pushing pedals?

  5. on 05 Nov 2009 at 2:11 am 5.mike said …

    And No on the sidewalks. Cycling is not allowed in certain areas, Segways should be limited as well. Using one / riding / standing atop it – its not even comparable to a pedestrian. Even a tall one with built in gyroscope.

  6. on 05 Nov 2009 at 3:10 am 6.Alex Reutter said …

    I would be concerned about motorized traffic on the bike path; it is not very wide. Tourist groups are not going to be in full control of their vehicles, and their momentum (mass + velocity) makes them much more akin to cyclists than pedestrians in terms of the havoc they could wreck.

    Is it possible for there to be a trial period, where they give tours for a summer and the city then assesses whether it worked well? This is the approach taken with other projects like the ferry over the cut, ne?

  7. on 05 Nov 2009 at 11:58 am 7.Kevin J Kelley said …

    Greetings,

    I'm doing a 7Days story on this proposal. Can I talk with some of you — for attribution (name used)?

    Thanks!

    Kevin Kelley
    802 989 1669
    kevinjaykelley@gmail.com

  8. on 05 Nov 2009 at 4:09 pm 8.Roy Neuer said …

    I have read the 802 Segways' proposal and it sounds like a responsible organization; I'm game to give them a special trial period. Some caveats though: allow initial use only during low path usage periods: e.g weekday mid mornings and afternoons; 8 people, max, including guide; users, except guide, should be persons not physically able to do the tour by walking or biking. Note that we probably wouldn't even be having this discussion if a group were proposing motorized wheelchair tours.

    Even now all users must compromise our usage because of crowding or path conditions (e.g. I won't rollerblade south of the waterfront anymore, just too rough). If the trial period works out well this should be additional motivation for 'bike path' improvements such as: widening, pavement repairs, additional alternative, pedestrian only, paths where feasible.

    Our region benefits greatly, economically and with respect to personal health (physical and mental) from improvements and innovations that encourage residents and visitors to enjoy the outdoors and the beauty and charm of our locality. Let's continue to encourage and accommodate appropriate activities, give the Segways a chance.

    I will try to attend the Burlington meeting on November 17th; perhaps hearing what others think may sway my present opinion.

    Roy Neuer
    rnsw1313@yahoo.com

    Roy Neuer

  9. on 05 Nov 2009 at 4:18 pm 9.Donald Thomas said …

    I am opposed to it.
    1) They are slow and will add additional congestion to what's already a congested path
    2) I don't think any kind of motorized vehicles should be allowed on the path (with the exception of those use by people with disabilities). It leads to a bad precedent. If we allow tour groups to use Segways, what is to stop any individual having a Segway to use it on the bike path. If we allow Segways, why not motorized skate boards and the little micro- scooters, maybe even golf carts?
    3) The tour group claims it is 'green' transportation; it's not green; it used electrical power.

    I believe the bike path should limited to those traveling on it under their own power.

  10. on 05 Nov 2009 at 5:18 pm 10.John McMurry said …

    Without an independently-performed, site-specific impact study; I do not think approving this proposal will be a benefit for Burlington.

    The Burlington Bike Path is already overwhelmed with its current population of users. Compounding the issue with an additional group of users, all operating unfamiliar, motorized, machines is grossly irresponsible without knowing impact.

    As such, I argue to deny this application. If 802Segway is seriously committed to this idea, it would behoove them to act responsibly, pay for an independent evaluation of impact to be performed, and proceed with the recommendations thereafter.

  11. on 07 Nov 2009 at 3:04 am 11.Rick Hubbard said …

    Yes, but ease into it with a trial period,

    Let's focus on safe behavior on the path. Three pedestrians walking abreast can completely block the path if they refuse to move for cyclists and others. Similarly, bicyclists can ride safely, or unsafely. So let's focus on promoting and enforcing safe behavior rather than simply prohibiting certain "classes" of users. If needed, as useage increases, perhaps we can work to widen and expand the path as necessary.

    Over time, we'll increase the number of people using and supporting the path system and increase our community support and potential votes for sustained funding of a much appreciated resource.

    Segways, properly operated, can be a part of that useage.

  12. on 07 Nov 2009 at 3:44 am 12.tim said …

    For a person with a disability this would be a great service. Multiple Sclerosis prevents folks from using the path by foot or on bikes. This would be an idea I would like to see.. A trial period would allow the public to see the impact.

  13. on 08 Nov 2009 at 2:43 am 13.devon said …

    I would agree that a trial period would be the best first step – similar to what Roy said, no peak-use times on Saturdays; the path is crowded enough. OR limit it to the northern sections (up past North Beach) where traffic tends to be more spread out. Initially I was completely opposed to the idea of any motorized use of the bike path. I'm a frequent user who owns a house on the path and uses it to commute; I'm hesitant to say it, but, tourists often have a hard enough time being cognizant of others on the path while they're riding a bicycle or simply walking. Who knows what that would mean to folks operating a more unfamiliar mode of transportation.

  14. on 08 Nov 2009 at 3:06 am 14.Karen Dawson said …

    It might be instructive to know if there are other communities who allow motorized vehicles on their bike paths, and how it works out. No reason to invent the wheel here :-)

  15. on 08 Nov 2009 at 1:30 pm 15.John McMurry said …

    That a practice works elsewhere does not mean it works in every situation. The width and length of the path, the popularity, the users (tourist, locals), the geography, the climate, etc, all play an important role in the outcome. The onus is upon 802Segway to show that it will not negatively impact our resource.

    If given a trial period, in all fairness it should then be given to: battery powered motorbikes, mini cars, go carts, golf carts, etc. There should be no preference given to a company with a patented device with a large lobbying campaign.

  16. on 08 Nov 2009 at 2:47 pm 16.Diane said …

    I didn't notice the cost to use this service. Is it safe to assume 802Segway will be profiting from this venture? Would there be some kickback to the city? The service potentially being motivated by profit would bother me … and while I support people with disabilities having access to the path, I believe the segways do require a certain level of physical ability and sense of balance to operate; obviously a thorough vetting is required on this issue. And hopefully there will be transparency in the process to prevent another disc golf fiasco.

  17. on 08 Nov 2009 at 10:33 pm 17.rsharp said …

    As someone with a disability (I walk with a cane and can't go very far) who recently aquired a Segway, I can tell you first hand how liberating they are to someone in my condition. Although I worked for years to create the Burlington Bike Path in the 1980s, I had never been out to the cut in the fill on the rail line to the Islands until I got the Segway. I could never walk that far and I can't bike anymore either.

    The Segway does require a good sense of balance and a faith in technology, but the skills required to operate it over relatively flat ground on a bike path can be easily mastered by almost everyone willing to learn in 15 minutes. The Segway is as controlable by someone at that point as someone on a bike or a skate board. For tis true that safty resides in the attitude of the operator.

    I personally see Segways as the latest high-tech piece of the movement I have worked on for over 30 years, to get people out of gas-guzzling cars and into alturnate more environmentally friendly forms of transportation. In my opinion the Segway could be a bigger piece of the transportation transition we need to complete this century than the bicycle. It is quiet, cheep to run, does not pollute and involves the transportation of much less wasted weight than a car but can get someone around reasonable city distances in reasonable time. I believe the Segway should be classified with pedestrians, bikes and skateboards to paths separated from cars. I believe we should encourage their use and would support a trial period of use on Burlington and Colchester bike paths, including tours.

    I want to disclose that I was so impressed with the operation of the Segway at our Christmas Tree Farm on Cobble Hill in Milton that I plan to purchase 8 and conduct ecology tours with them. Since we live in Colchester near Airport Park we may also be interested in offering Segway tours of the Colchester fill and areas south of the bridge into Burlington.

    Finally, as for vehicles allowed under a new rule, it is possible to completely ban internal combustion engines due to noise and air pollution. Electric bikes, Segways, and wheelchairs fit with pedestrians and bikes, not cars. There should be a place for Segways in the quest for more environmently friendly ways to transport people. I believe bike paths are that place and the Segway is compatable this these other uses.

  18. on 09 Nov 2009 at 3:23 am 18.Hank Stokes said …

    Bikes are not allowed in city center to be on the sidewalks and for good reason. Sidewalks, no matter where they are, are meant as a safe haven for pedestrians. Feet on the sidewalks, wheels on the roadway. I don't feel that the roadway is safe for Segways though since they are noticeably wider than a bike and the people using them might not be experienced enough using them to navigate safely. That said, I have no problem with them being on the bike path. Plenty of room and visibility make them avoidable by pedestrians.

  19. on 09 Nov 2009 at 6:22 pm 19.Zach said …

    I do not support the use of Segways on the bikepath along the waterfront. I believe that the recreational bike path should be reserved for human powered activites unless someone is unable to perform and requires motroized assistance for mobility due to physical or medical limitations.

  20. on 09 Nov 2009 at 9:43 pm 20.Peter Duval said …

    There is no compelling reason to allow motorized use of the path — period.

  21. on 10 Nov 2009 at 12:29 am 21.Ilse Raymond said …

    The bike path is too narrow to admit more than the current mix of pedestrians, bikers and inline skaters. This is a safety issue. I would also consider it noise pollution. Strollers with babys, YES, Segways with tourists, No!

  22. on 10 Nov 2009 at 1:48 am 22.mike said …

    When the issue of ATVs on public land gets settled will the electric ATV lobby move to have access to the MUP? They are clean, quiet, and offer mobility for those unable or unwilling to walk or pedal. It would certainly give the duck hunters out in Colchester speedier access to their blinds…

    Yes, I am sympathetic to electric assist devices than enable someone to get out and move about. I am not sympathetic to a corporation gaining access to legislators with a lobbying effort to get their chosen vehicle written into our current laws defining pedestrian and vehicular rules.

    Can we get bikes labeled as 'human powered personal assistive mobility devices' and get special status written into the codes? Perhaps Trek and Specialized could meet with some of our legislators in Montpelier…

  23. on 10 Nov 2009 at 1:51 am 23.Danny Weiss said …

    I am very concerned about Segways having the same rights as pedestrians on sidewalks. Who would want to be "clipped" by a Segway moving at the legal speed of 8 MPH, which is 4.5 MPH slower than their top speed of 12.5 MPH. Who is going to be enforce this 8 MPH speed limit, anyway? Having the same rights as pedestrians on sidewalks would also allow the Segway rights on the Church Street pedestrian mall. Why allow sidewalks and not the Church St. Mall? It's inappropriate for both locations. There is potential for injury, especially in the hands of an inexperienced operator, and if approved, it's very likely people will be getting hurt; and the City would bear some responsibility for allowing it.

    Regarding the bike path, I think it's OK for Segways to have access, but, again, not with the same rights as pedestrians. Pedestrians always have the right of way. Bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and yes, even Segways must yield to pedestrians.

    Considering that this is a commercial venture that will add congestion to the bicycle path that will contribute to the need for widening, the City should consider entering into the revenue stream through some kind of licensing or use fee.

  24. on 10 Nov 2009 at 1:57 am 24.bob herendeen said …

    I am totally opposed to nonhuman-propelled devices on bike path. The bike path is based on a strong concept of self-propulsion. The segway would likely be a segue to other motorized vehicles, so I am against even a "trial period". BTW, electric motors are not necessarily greener than internal combustion engines; it depends on how the electricity is produced, etc.

  25. on 10 Nov 2009 at 2:32 am 25.Hugh/Diane Williams said …

    About two years ago in the small town of Mt. Dora, Florida, a group of ten of us who had never tried a Segway signed up for a Segway tour. We were trained in the company office and then off we went through town on sidewalks, boardwalks, bike paths, unpaved paths and a few streets. We had a careful leader and "tail gunner" and not only did we have a thoroughly good time but from what we could tell we got along fine with with both bicyclist and pedestrians. Also, we observed a Segway tour on the busy sidewalks of Washington, D.C. and they seem to do well interacting with the many people who shared the sidewalks. We recommend that Burlington give the company a chance. The key is careful, responsible people leading the operation.

  26. on 10 Nov 2009 at 4:01 am 26.Dick Bruce said …

    Let's give them a chance. Give them the right to try it out on the southern end of the bike path. One ride on the rutted, bumpy,narrow and poorly maintained path and they won't be back. Problem solved!

  27. on 10 Nov 2009 at 4:08 am 27.Marney Kuna said …

    I would really hate to see Segways on the BikePath.
    The BikePath was meant for people to use their own human energy. Bikes, runners, walkers, roller bladers, xcountry skiing (winter).
    They seem to me as being the lazy man's way of getting around.
    The Bike Path is special just the way it is and seeing a mechanical object on it would be sad.

  28. on 10 Nov 2009 at 12:47 pm 28.Peter Hawks said …

    I am opposed to starting down a slippery slope by letting a mechanized mode of transportation on a pedestrian path. The width of the Segway is a potential hazard in terms of opposite traffic and presents a potential hazard.

  29. on 10 Nov 2009 at 5:09 pm 29.Bill Haller said …

    Segways are equivalent to electric bicycles with speed governors. While I think both are pretty cool, I don't think either should be allowed on the Burlington bike path. They are motorized vehicles, plain and simple (or fancy and high tech), and run counter to the intended use and spirit of the Burlington bike path. There is plenty of Burlington for a tour without including the path.

    Church Street is a more interesting question, but that may be up to the whims of the business association that sets the rules there. Given the Segway riding demographic suggested in the proposal ("riders are over 50 years old with disposable income"), visions of plump dollar signs on wheels will probably rule the day.

    One last point, the water front can still be included in the tour, and hopefully the guide will point out the convenient bicycle rental facility located there.

  30. on 10 Nov 2009 at 10:50 pm 30.Dave Larrabee said …

    If they open the "bike path" up to any motor vehicles, it would be open to any user. Why not ATVs? I've learned from them there are only two speeds, stop and full throttle. Vermonters fought hard for this non-motorized trail; motorized should use their own trail, or road.

  31. on 10 Nov 2009 at 11:20 pm 31.Chip Patullo said …

    I believe the VT Legislature made a mistake in rating Segways with the same rights as pedestrians. With their speed, I would regulate them as bicycles and wheeled vehicles – yielding to pedestrians, calling out that they are passing someone, not riding on sidewalks, using helmets. My thirteen-year-old's first common-sense response was the same. "Those are more like bikes than pedestrians', he said.
    I am concerned about motorized vehicles on the path and have also been passed by gasoline-powered 'assisted' bikes. My concern is that other motorized vehicles would also lobby (and win) access and I do not support that.
    I have been spooked by a Segway tour in DC as they are very quiet. People leap out of the way.
    I agree we should educate walkers to face traffic on left and keep to one side (not 3 abreast), and bikers to the right, yielding, signaling, stopping. Signage would help. Would signage or all-mode education be paid for by the Segway tour group?
    While I support access to parks and sites for mobility impaired, I don't think the bike path is the right place. It is narrow and certain parts and times far too crowded, to add motorized transport.

  32. on 11 Nov 2009 at 1:42 pm 32.rsharp said …

    The bike path was not created just for pedestrians or bikes. I know because I was one of the leaders of the movement that created it, despite unbelievable odds against it, along with Howard Dean, Tom Hudspeth and a bunch of others in the early 1980s. The idea was to preserve a strip of land for public access along the waterfront as it was redeveloped from oil storage tanks and old rail yards to more modern uses such as hotels and condos. We were successful beyond our wildest dreams and the hotels, condos and other buildings were set back away from the water leaving ample space for public uses including bikes, pedstrians, in-line skates, skateboards, etc. When the Alden plan surfaced in 1985 the City Administration wanted to run the bike path behind the dumpsters behind the hotel and condos in a "transportation corridor" with cars and railroad trains. We insisted that the bike path be located in front of the hotels and condos along the lake's edge in a corridor separated from cars and trains due to the obvious danger to pedestrians and bicyclists if forced to compete with cars and trains. Of course Segways had not been invented then.

  33. on 11 Nov 2009 at 1:42 pm 33.rsharp said …

    The question now is where do Segways belong? With cars and trains or with pedestrians and bikes on a separate path. Part of what we were doing was trying to get people out of cars and into alternate forms of transportation on safe separated pathways. In my mind the Segway belongs with the pedestrians and bikes and will result in more use of alternate forms of transportation that are more enviornmentally friendly and don't use foriegn oil for propulsion. Some people are incapable of riding bikes or using in-line skates or skateboards. They should be allowed to enjoy this public space as well. Segways allow them to do so safely. Segways do not represent a danger to pedestrians or bicyclists. They belong on the bike path.

  34. on 12 Nov 2009 at 3:32 pm 34.THengelsberg said …

    Until the City puts serious money into repairs and complete re-build of some sections, segways should not be allowed to use it. The section to the south of the Treatment Plant, along the Barge Canal is UNSAFE for ANY use except careful walking. I ride my bike on this section a lot, and I really have to watch it. I have never driven a segway myself, but everything I have read/heard about them in the media talks about their unfamiliar balance point, tippiness, and potential danger to the rider and others. Just looking at the device, you can see why it might be difficult to operate… One the bike path is repaired, I see no reason to deny access to the waterfront to mobility-impaired individuals. The city should get a piece of the action from commercial tour guides (analogous to rent on city property) and it should go into a path maintenance fund. The city should limit the number of segways allowed on the path to a reasonable number–say 20? Hefty liability insurance should be required of any concessionaire.

  35. on 12 Nov 2009 at 3:49 pm 35.John McMurry said …

    And what of electric scooters, mopeds, go carts, and the like?

    Burlington certainly cannot provide one manufacturer exclusive motorized access to these otherwise non-motorized pathways. It would certainly be a steep and slippery slope.

  36. on 12 Nov 2009 at 4:09 pm 36.beeKayjay said …

    I agree that it was a regrettable decision to give Segways the same rights and status as pedestrians. Had they been given a different status—one that recognizes the fundamental and very sizable difference they have to pedestrians, they could be meaningfully regulated as the machines that they are. Taking the example of bicycles (a form of transportation that I find extremely positive and beneficial): there are laws specific to their use which aim to promote the safety of everyone–the rider of the bicycle AND those in the vicinity of a moving bicycle.
    Whatever their benefits, Segways are motor-powered machines. They are simply not the equivalent of a pedestrian.
    Given that Segways have, however, been granted the rights of pedestrians, the only decision left for our community is the clunky one of “Segways yes-or-no” rather than the ability to address the actual features of this mode of transportation and the effects of its presence in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic that includes children and baby-strollers. I, too, have witnessed Segways in use in D.C., and my observation was that they have an intimidating effect on actual pedestrians. Foot-travelers instinctively understand that they had better make way for the comparatively fast and heavy Segways, just as they do for other motor-powered vehicles. Cyclists, on the other hand, are regulated by laws specific to the features of bicycles as a mode of transportation, which at least helps to attenuate potential safety issues between pedestrians and cyclists.
    What Segway proponents are not addressing here is that we cannot have it both ways: Segways were not given a comparable status to that of bicycles (i.e. meaningfully regulated), but rather exactly that of pedestrians. To say that Segway users have helmets and all the rest is comparing Segways to bicycles (or skateboards). Yet their use cannot be regulated as can bicycles precisely because their legal status falls with that of pedestrians. If Segways users need helmets, does that not tell us a little something about their potential effect also on people nearby in the case of accidents? Nevermind all that, they have the same rights as pedestrians.
    The fact that a tour company has written up a safe and courteous plan for their lobbying effort to win the right to sell tours for profit on our bikepath does not mean that afterwards, having granted them permission to do so, the City will have any recourse when other businesses or groups move in with more Segways on the bike path. If Segways have the same rights as pedestrians, and Burlington has granted their use on the bikepath, then that's that. We will necessarily have to accept all of the consequences of that decision.
    My vote rests firmly with the other voices here who support exclusively human-powered traffic on Burlington's bikepath.
    NO to Segways.

  37. on 12 Nov 2009 at 4:35 pm 37.beeKayjay said …

    P.S. Note that the VT legislature's definition of a Segway-as-pedestrian limits their speed to a maximum of 8 mph. Yet in 802Segway's proposal, they helpfully point out that the top speed of a Segway is only 12 mph, which is lower than the bikepath's speed limit of 15 mph.
    Whoaaa, Nellie.
    Did I read something in others' comments here about a slippery slope? In their proposal to use Segways in our community, this company is referring to mph figures beyond that which is stipulated to keep them in the category of pedestrians. I presume they will alter their proposal… but if the machines have the ability to accelerate to 12 mph, isnt' it simple human nature to make use of that ability…now and then?

  38. on 13 Nov 2009 at 8:53 am 38.rsharp said …

    The Segway has a maximum speed of 12.5 mph. It has a turttle feature allowing a lower maximum setting. Most operators set the turttle at 6 mph for beginners. Segways are easier to learn to ride than a bike, in-line skates or a skateboard. They stop quicker and are more controlable than any of these devices. Before you all condem the Segway to compete with cars on streets, I think you ought to try one out and see for yourself how controlable they are and how simple they are to learn. I would be happy to provide the machines to anyone that wants to try one out so you know what you are talking about.

  39. on 13 Nov 2009 at 3:11 pm 39.beeKayjay said …

    The point I'm making is not how easy or difficult a Segway may be to learn to use. My point is the effect Segways have on the true pedestrians–foot-travelers–in their vicinity. I have already experienced that. I didn't like it.

  40. on 13 Nov 2009 at 10:25 pm 40.rsharp said …

    Top speed for the Segway is 12.5 mph. But the Segway has a turttle feature which will limit the speed of each machine. Most operators use a turttle speed of 6 mph to teach beginers. 802 could set the turttle speed of units used in their tour at 8 mph. Segways are easier to learn to ride than bicycles, in-line skates or skateboards. They are more easily controled also. They can stop quicker. But the most important issue in operating them on a bike path is safty. The safty of each vehicle is really dependant on the attitude of the operator. Thats another reason not to allow ATVs. Their operators almost invariably have a bad attitude. Segway rides will tend to be older and much more restrained. Not maucho like ATV riders. Before you condemn Segways to competing with cars on city streets, I suggest you try one out. I would be happy to make some available for Local Motion folks on this blog free of charge. Get back to me if you are interested.

  41. on 14 Nov 2009 at 11:01 pm 41.Jeff said …

    As a Burlington resident who uses the bike path on a daily basis, I am EXTREMELY against allowing Segways on the Bike path.

    NOT SAFE- novice users using these in a crowded area (moms with strollers, little kids biking) is extremely dangerous.

    NOT ECO friendly – take A LOT more energy to produce than a bike or a pair of shoes. Use electricity produced from coal burning fossil fuels.

    DOES NOT OPEN UP ACCESSIBILITY – geared towards lazy tourist. I know people with disabilities and they use a wheel chair, not a Segway.

    NOT POLICED – bike path is not policed well now: dogs off leashes, dogs at Leddy beach, etc. How will these be patrolled.

    SMALL BUSINESS IMPACT – small numbers of people, ruins Burlington's reputation as being a fit city, crap their PO box is in ESSEX and the guy proposing it lives in Underhill. Go use one of their bikes paths. Stop exploiting are resources.

  42. on 16 Nov 2009 at 5:49 am 42.Paul Smth said …

    I believe 802 Segways should be allowed to use the multi-use recreation path in Burlington, with the restrictions listed in their proposal. Their proposal is well thought out with numerous public safety measures, they have identified a market and researched the experience of co’s in other cities, they are willing to invest $s into the venture, they will pay their share of taxes and fees to the city and state and will provide summer jobs. No doubt, the Parks and Rec dept will receive many comments on the proposal from LocalMotion. While many of those comments are well reasoned – such as one from someone who wrote, the Bikepath was established with a broader vision than just pedestrians and bikes. However, the proposal as set up by Executive Director Chapin Spencer is anything but objective.

  43. on 16 Nov 2009 at 5:51 am 43.Paul Smith said …

    The introduction of the Segway proposal by Chapin Spencer and the request for comments reveals his bias. Clearly, he is against this proposal as he writes “Is this a benefit to Burlington? Does the proposal need conditions? Should it be rejected? ” My thoughts are as follows: Yes – anything that tourists spend money on in Burlington will benefit the city. No- the proposal already has adequate conditions – you would prefer to pile on more so the company is not viable and fails? No – it should not be rejected – 200 cities, many more conservative than progressive Burlington, allow these – and Local Motion doesn’t get to block the entry of a potential “tourist recreation dollar” competitor. Hopefully 802Segways will not be forced to disclose its entire business and marketing plan to its competitors at the hearing.

  44. on 16 Nov 2009 at 5:52 am 44.Paul Smith said …

    As far as Spencer's comment on Segway and lobbying the state – all modern modes of transportation had both co’s, and eventually the public, pushing for reasonable state laws and regulations. Historically, it’s cities and towns who are notorious for making ridiculous restrictions – automobiles driven at night must have person walking 100’ in front with a lantern, or this one, in some towns bicycles traveling more 10 mph were subject to a $10 to $50 fine or up to 30 days in jail. Mr. Spencer’s introduction of the proposal smacks of yellow journalism, self interest, anti-competition and anti-modernism. Hopefully the Parks and Recreation Department will take any input he, other members of LocalMotion or owners/employees of local bike rental companies may give with a large grain of salt.

  45. on 16 Nov 2009 at 5:54 am 45.Paul Smith said …

    As far as other comments I’ve read in LocalMotions blog – everybody is allowed an opinion and many were well reasoned, but some – LOL:
    Avid bicycle elitists who objected to inline skaters on their bikepath in the past, now get another shot preventing another defilement of their bikepath by Segways. Or the same bicyclists who blow past you at 25 mph on their hi-tech bikes and raise the issue that the Segways might go too fast and injure pedestrians or exceed the bikepath’s 15 mph speed limit. As far as placing restrictions on where and when the Segways could operate – these appear to be suggestions to guarantee this company will fail. Send them past the sewage treatment plant- a great first impression, or effectively bus them to a starting point at North Beach. Another set of restrictions – Have the city get of piece of Segway’s action, place day and time of day restrictions because the bike path can be too crowded and too narrow, or keep Segways and electric bikes off the bikepath completely and let them only operate on streets.

  46. on 16 Nov 2009 at 5:56 am 46.Paul Smith said …

    Does Local Motion or Skirack have to give the city a piece of their action or have such restrictions on their bike rentals? (NO), and newsflash – most bike paths are the same width as Burlington’s and many similar bike paths in Europe everyday easily handle 3-4 times our peak Saturday traffic. And as for allowing Segways and electric bikes only on streets – yes, let’s restrict them to roadways where over 80% of all serious bicycle accidents happen. Let’s see how many middle-age tourists we can injure. Let's disenfranchise anybody with an allowed electic bicycle by kicking them off the bike path 7 years after the DMV indicated they should be treated like any other bicycle.
    I hope the Parks and Rec hearing on this proposal is fair,balanced and makes a decision based on facts rather than the opinions of narrow minded bicycle elitists or stuck-in-the-past purist who would have us rejecting all modern inventions and have us riding horse and buggies or the lightly veiled objections of companies who view 802Segways as a potential competitive threat and use a public forum to stifle competition.

  47. on 16 Nov 2009 at 9:39 am 47.John McMurry said …

    So what if the author isn't perfectly objective? This isn't the NYT. His bias may be towards human-powered activities, as the non-profit's mission statement suggests.

    Please share the proposal that was "set up" by Chapin? There's certainly no mention of it in this blog post.

  48. on 16 Nov 2009 at 9:45 am 48.John McMurry said …

    Anything that tourists spend money on in Burlington will benefit the city? Seriously?

    Your objections to any hesitation with this proposal appear rife with rhetoric with which there is no logic.

  49. on 16 Nov 2009 at 9:59 am 49.John McMurry said …

    You continue to smokescreen with slander of individuals, cyclists, and disregard the concerns of pedestrians. If you were to eliminate this from your argument and focus more so on logic, you may gain a larger audience.

  50. on 16 Nov 2009 at 10:20 am 50.John McMurry said …

    Oh, please tell.

    Show us the data, Paul, of similar multi-use paths in Europe that easily handle 3-4 times the Burlington Bike Path's peak Saturday traffic.

    And please, do reference the data you researched of bicycle injuries. I believe you're terribly mis-informed:

    http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/25000/25400/25439/DOT-HS-8

    And halfway through this last paragraph you finally make your point, You'd like to allow electric-powered, motorized vehicles onto Burlington's pedestrian/cycling pathway.

    What then, is your opinion of allowing electric-powered scooters, ATV's, motorcycles, and go-carts access to the multi-use path?

  51. on 16 Nov 2009 at 12:52 pm 51.mike said …

    Paul –

    The name of this blog, and of the organization is LocalMotion. Note the mission that fits under the name "Building a culture of walking and bicycling in Northwest Vermont" – Also note the logo – bike treade and footprints. Chapin and many others who read here are interested in shifting away from motorized (electric, oil, machine powered) transportation. Why are you so surprised that there seem to be comments pushing back against this proposal? This is an 'active' transportation based website. Active means you have to do more than turn a lever, push a button, or plug it in.

    Yes, there may well be a place for Segways in the transportation mix. But operating tours on an already crowded MUP seems the wrong place to start.

    And I agree with John McMurry – anything tourists spend in Burlington is good? You may want to rethink that. Should we open up a casino in the Moran? How bout a NASCAR track down where the 189 terminates? Maybe we can import some of the 'adult' businesses from Montreal – surely these bring in $$…. (coupled with alcohol sales!)….

    I just don't agree that we should open this up for 'tourist $$'. Aside from the safety / crowd issues – it puts outside money over the interests of local, everyday users.

    Mike Beganyi

  52. on 16 Nov 2009 at 6:07 pm 52.1Susan said …

    It is not that I doubt that the company running the Segways tours is responsible and
    reasonable. They may well be. It's that a good % of the public isn't. Once motorized 2-wheelers appear on the bike paths, people will get ideas that it's ok to have Segways
    and scooters. And they will ride them, unsupervised. We really don't have any
    City force REGULARLY, FREQUENTLY enforcing laws on the bike path. As people
    become less dependent on their own muscles to use the bike path, they will
    flock there. As it is, weekends are dangerous because of so many people
    walking/riding without obeying rules of the bike path: stopping in the middle
    of the path without noticing traffic around them, walking/riding 2-4 abreast,
    using cell phones and not watching where they're going. Unfortunately, human
    nature argues against Segways on our bike paths–and sidewalks.

  53. on 17 Nov 2009 at 8:04 pm 53.Karen Freudenberger said …

    I agree with comments that the Segways would be disastrous downtown. But I think that they would also cause major problems on the bikepath which, as so many have said, is already overcrowded on the nice days when Segway tours are likely to want to use it. It would open the doors to many other forms of motorized transport… a real slippery slope where it would be hard to refuse future requests. If there are people who need to use these types of devices because they are physically unable to walk or bike, they should be allowed to get a special permit from the city so that they can enjoy Burlington's treasures on a personal Segway, motorized wheelchair, or other adapted device. Everyone else should be encouraged to walk or bike

  54. on 18 Nov 2009 at 4:59 am 54.Guest said …

    I understand your point…however, I have experienced almost being knocked over by bike riders (clearly not going the 15mph) that didn't have the common courtesy to say "On your left" before they went by…

  55. on 18 Nov 2009 at 5:27 am 55.Guest said …

    After reading all of the comments posted, I have to say ignorance is bliss. As a former resident of NYC, I have experienced crowded streets that make Church Street look like a pasture with grazing cows. Segways were becoming a popular mode of transportation on NYC streets, going very smoothly with the day-to-day "traffic" of a busy sidewalk.

  56. on 18 Nov 2009 at 5:28 am 56.Guest said …

    I see absolutely no problem with allowing Segways on the Burlington Bike Path or the downtown area. Let's face it, if we're talking about injuries, I'm more likely to get plowed down by an "experienced" bike rider that is going well above the 15 mph speed limit, who conveniently forgets to say, "On your left" as they zip by me and my beautiful daughter (who is in her stroller)…and as far as getting "hurt" on Church Street or the downtown area, I'm more likely to get cancer from all of the second hand smoke that we allow to crowd around every entrance and exit, not to mention the insane noise pollution of hearing people yell profanities to each other across Church Street…and we're worried about guided tours of Segways?

  57. on 18 Nov 2009 at 5:30 am 57.Guest said …

    Let's get some perspective…we have a small business trying to offer people the opportunity to try something new, have a good time, enjoy the beauty of Vermont (rather than zipping through it without warning or suffocating it with profanity and cigarette smoke), and maybe even earn a living while they're at it (god forbid). If people are worried about this "opening the doors" to other forms of transport, then we need to make things specific as far as what is allowed. I fully support 802-Segway's mission, and my hope is that the city of Burlington sees it as I do. I mean, is it safe for me to assume (and yes, I know "what happens when you assume"…I'm not 12, we're all adults), that the same people that are opposed to Segways, not only support "experienced" bike riders with no courtesy and air/noise pollution, but also are ok with the fact that there are several restaurants in downtown Burlington without handicapped accessible entrances or bathrooms?

  58. on 18 Nov 2009 at 1:44 pm 58.Randy_Rowland said …

    Motorized devices do not belong on the bike path. Possible exception: those who are mobility challenged might be allowed to enjoy the path with the aid of a Segway. How you certify someone is "mobility challenged" then becomes the issue. The path was never intended to allow those with a fair degree of mobility to use anything other than their own power to enjoy the path. otherwise it would have been called a "recreational trail", not a bike path.

  59. on 18 Nov 2009 at 2:41 pm 59.BenMac said …

    Given how well the city of Burlington enforces the laws concerning bike lane use on its streets (which is to say, not at all), I find the idea of the city regulating and enforcing rules concerning motorized traffic on the bike path entirely laughable.

    As Randy stated above, motorized devices do not belong on the bike path (with the exception of those with health related mobility issues).

  60. on 18 Nov 2009 at 6:22 pm 60.Another Guest said …

    Reply to Randy: The Burlington Bikepath for all practical and legal purposes, is a recreational path. The original proposers were bicycle enthusiasts but they recognized that it would and should be used by more than bicyclists and included those usages in grants and proposals even as the Bikepath moniker was used in the official naming. Using your logic, they would have indicated the path was to be used only by bikes, their proposals and requests would have been rejected out of hand by Federal, state and city officials, no funds would have been awarded, and a pair of abandoned RR tracks would still run from the Burlington waterfront to the Winooski River and beyond. We can only be thankful you didn’t write the proposals and grant requests.

  61. on 18 Nov 2009 at 6:38 pm 61.John McMurry said …

    Why the personal attack? Regardless of the appropriate legal language, Randy's opinion is clear.

    What is your opinion? Do you feel that it is appropriate to allow motorized vehicles on the Burlington Bike Path? With what logic are your feelings based upon?

  62. on 18 Nov 2009 at 4:28 pm 62.Tweets that mention Local Motion Blog » Segways on the Burlington Bike Path? -- Topsy.com said …

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by amanda catherine and susie floros, SF Boater. SF Boater said: RT @amandawormann: If you enjoy bikerides and walks along the lake , please don't let this happen Parks Offices toni.. http://bit.ly/1edDUL [...]

  63. on 19 Nov 2009 at 1:13 am 63.mike said …

    BenMac – Lets hope you mean CARS being in the bike lanes… as bikes have the use of the full lane when required for safe passage.

  64. on 19 Nov 2009 at 1:17 am 64.mike said …

    Yup, I find it humorous that you can smoke on Church St. as well… but bikes are required to be walked for good reason.

    As to the 'on the left' and such – there are times when I wish to pass someone just by taking the dirt path and gliding by… I use a bell, have called out 'on the left', clicked my brakes, and shouted good morning. Regardless – there are some folks who turn, look, move the direction I just called out I would occupy, and stand stunned in the center of the lane. I've given up using the path to get anywhere quickly by bike during rush and nice days (and weekends, festivals, etc…) Too many people, too much varying speeds, and too little regard for other users.

  65. on 19 Nov 2009 at 1:21 am 65.mike said …

    No, I don't support the racer guys and gals who tear up the bike path. If you are racing, a multi-use path is not the place for it.

    The path(s) require respect, care, and good sense. There are times and places to go fast – but those times and places are early mornings, late nights, and in the fouler weather.

    And you might find that some folks who ride to work and to play are against noise / air pollution – as well as some new fangled gadget that is $$$$$$$$$$$$. And they are probably all for fixing the access issues at local schools and businesses.

    But this isn't about access… this is about special status to a device that was heavily lobbied and in my opinion does not deserve the same rights as a pedestrian.

    Imagine adding Segways to the mix when the waterfront festival is happening, or after 4th fireworks… or any weekend when the sun is out, temps are mild, and the lake is calling for a swim…

  66. on 19 Nov 2009 at 6:00 pm 66.bob herendeen said …

    Electric wheelchairs are probably OK for the disabled. If we really want all folks, including the slightly infirm, to use the bike path, let's use human powered jitneys-some version of a pedal-powered rickshaw. That would accomodate the demand and maintain the pace and relative serenity and safety of the bike path-by keeping motors off.

  67. on 19 Nov 2009 at 10:29 pm 67.BTV Crew said …

    The biggest question is just where to start ??? I say yes to the Segways on the bike path. One comment that seems to be continual in this discussion is the speed of the Segway. The top rated speed is 12.5 MPH's and in the proposal it is said that they would only travel at 8 MPH's. Some say ohhh this is much to fast. I'm a frequent user of the bike path. I use it as a training facility for my leg of the VT City Marathon. I run a relatively slow pace of about 6 MPH's. I'm constantly passed by bikes who whizzzz by me at well over the 15 MPH limit. If any of you have ever ridden a Segway you will also know, for a fact, that a Segway will stop much faster than a bike traveling at 15 + MPH's. Don't even consider arguing that point unless you have ridden the Segway and can prove me incorrect. Another area of discussion is the physical footprint of the Segway. It is virtually not much wider than your shoulders. It is about 33 inches from one side to the other. How wide is a baby carriage or that baby carrier you tow behind your bike ?

    There has been talk about the congestion it will create on the bike path. I suspect that Henry Ford heard that same argument all that many years ago but somehow we pushed ahead with technology. We did manage to get rid of all those horse and buggy folks once and for all. How many years ago was it that we didn't have a place on many of our main roads specifically for bicycles and now we have places on the road designated just for them. Are we OK with that ???? In a very best case scenario 802Segway may …. MAY put 5000 additional people on the bike path per year. With a population of over 150,000 per year the additional MAXIMUM of 5K is a mere drop. Again that would be if he ran three full tours per day and just ask any tourism business and I'm sure you'll see that not every tour is booked solid and we all know that VT weather is seldom co-operative.

    Permitting specific places on the bike path as suggested by one poster would be a waste of the Parks & Rec Commissions time. Yes … make him operate on the worst part of the path. It isn't his fault the path is in its current condition. As a matter of fact he is willing to pay a user fee unlike so many of the other business's that utilize the path. Is that a bad thing ??? By allowing him use of the path it will grow his business and increase revenue for the Parks & Rec Dept.

    Some have suggested that there will be no control of those who rent the Segways for the tours. You obviously have not ever experienced a Segway tour. He has trained personnel who will abide by the rules set up in the proposal. It will only benefit everyone involved. It will make for a safe and enjoyable experience for the tourist, it will prove to all the naysayers that Mr. Snyder will abide by his word. Another view of this is that in speaking with Jeff I learned that up to 12 people could be employed by his company. That's probably 12 people right now who are looking for work. How can that be bad ?

    No doubt there are obstacles to cross with this proposal. Henry Ford heard the same complaints. Where would you be without your car, truck, SUV, motorcycle … today ??? If nothing else offer up the trial period which would prove one way or the other that this is a plan that can or cannot work.

  68. on 21 Nov 2009 at 3:01 pm 68.mike said …

    I can't tell if this is for real, sarcasm, or delusion. But it is a funny read on a Saturday morning! The reference of a certain industrialist and his machine is fairly apt, intentional or not, as they have choked the life out of many of our cities, added to congestion, created the model for sprawl, etc. etc.

  69. on 22 Nov 2009 at 8:55 am 69.Lea Terhune said …

    No segways on bike path until the path is widened and increased maintenance costs are covered by user fees. The path is narrow and congested, and breaking down in some areas. Enjoyment and safety depend on regular maintenance, and taxes weren't raising enough to cover maintenance of roads, sidewalks and bike path in recent years so last year we had to increase taxes. Sometimes it seems like the Parks Commissioners aren't very familiar with the path. They certainly weren't familiar with the walking trails in Leddy Park when they approved an 18 hole disc golf course there, and they didn‘t know much about disc golf either. This segway idea seems like more of the same ignorance of the realities of current use, consequences of the proposed new use, and public safety. They turn the issue into a popularity contest, but it's not about whether we like disc golf or segways, it's about safe use for everyone. I wish the Parks Commission would use common sense and not create these divisive issues that tear the fabric of community at a time when we need to hang together.

  70. on 23 Nov 2009 at 3:49 pm 70.mike said …

    Lea –

    Let's just hope that it doesn't go the way of the ANR's response to allow ATVs on certain public lands after OVERWHELMING calls against it.

    RE: user fees? Can we set up an EZ Pass for the bikepath? Tolls? Would early morning dog walkers pay more or less than a cyclist getting to work or heading in for groceries? Can we do congestion pricing – esp. when the inebriated college kids take up the full width of the path from North Beach all the way into town?

    What if I ride / walk more than I drive? I'm still paying a hefty chunk of taxes for roads I do not use as much as someone who commutes 30-40 miles every day… I think I'm overpaying into the system and I still have to fight for a safe intersection @ North Ave and 127, proper maintenance on the lakefront path, and pedestrian signals that work without standing around for several minutes in the rain and snow while the folks in metal and glass boxes out of the elements units cruise by unimpeded with home entertainment systems, coffee, and creature comforts!

    I agree on the popularity contest stuff. Disc Golf at Leddy seemed a failure of having a proper vetting process in place for new uses… and that turned into a circus of sorts for the NNE. Hopefully a new vision and leadership at Parks will help future uses and proposals go through more smoothly…

    And speaking of Leddy… lots and lots of off leash dogs running about. Even spotted a certain former councilor president hastily calling his pooch to his side on one of my early morning sojourns! Flying discs and uncontrolled dogs – I'm not sure which I would choose as the more dangerous element!

  71. on 23 Nov 2009 at 6:28 pm 71.JJ said …

    When looking at this debate, I tried to do sopme research.
    1) First of all the business is not even located in Burlington and the owner lives in Underhill. What income is BURLINGTON going to see from this????
    2) Segways are not environmentally friendly when you compare them to biking or walking. The amount of fossil fuels to produce a Segway is A LOT more energy than it takes to produce, not to mention the hazardous chemicals in the battery and used in production. They also run on electricity which is not environmentally friendly when we look at how we are producing it (coal power plants, nuclear plants, ect).
    3) The bike path is extremely crowded on nice days. Parks and Recs cannot even police it properly now, so adding more traffic is just increasing the chances of an accident. If went to Leddy Beach in the summer time this past summer, you would see dogs on the beach, open alcoholic containers, people smoking pot, etc. It is extremely crowded now, but they are not charging admission to it.

  72. on 23 Nov 2009 at 6:30 pm 72.JJK said …

    4) Segways not safe on bike path. Didn't George Bush wipe out on one? Do you really want novice (beginner) Segway riders riding around near mom's with strollers, young kids, etc.
    5) Segways are not going to be a big tourist draw. SERIOUSLY, how many people are going to come to Burlington for a Segway tour?

    Accessibility- I am all for having electric wheel chairs on the bike path to provide accessibility, but I am not in favor of able bodied people riding Segways.

  73. on 23 Nov 2009 at 6:38 pm 73.JJK said …

    As for disc gold, why not set up certain hours and a portable course at certain parks with fields already cleared. Why clear/widen trails in a wooded area? I see our park fields sit empty a lot. Why not do a portable golf course with certain days/hours of the week designated for it?

  74. on 30 Nov 2009 at 11:12 pm 74.Suzanne said …

    I'm opposed to motorized use of the bikepath. It will get very crowded, and even more unsafe than it is during summer weekends. I don't think, given budget constraints, that there will be enough policing, and there is already much irresponsibility (cell phones used by clueless bicyclists/pedestrians, pedestrians walking 2-4 abreast, cyclists not bicycling single file, people stopping suddenly without looking around to see whether a bicyclist is behind them). Also, I foresee motorized scooters streaking along and other motorized vehicles on the increase, because of the PRECEDENT of Segways.

  75. on 01 Dec 2009 at 12:48 am 75.Deb said …

    I find the Burlington Bike Path already crowded and dangerous, particularly around the Waterfront Park area. Many users seem to have no idea of trail etiquette or even common-sense safety! I've experienced many near-miss encounters with roller-bladers, dog-walkers with long leashes, and other bike riders. Putting segways into the mix is asking for more trouble. It would be better to focus on trail safety and common rules of trail use.

  76. on 01 Dec 2009 at 2:18 am 76.evenkeel22 said …

    For years, my wife and I have traveled from NJ to vacation in the Burlington area, mainly because of the magnificent bike path that runs along and into Lake Champlain, bike ferry and all. And as a rail trail advocate, it has always been my opinion that such trails are designed ONLY for non-motorized travel (wheel chairs excepted for good reason). Whenever I read about the benefits of railtrails, number one is usually exercise and good health. And I can't see the benefit of having people avoid those benefits by getting on a machine on what is supposed to be a SAFE, OFFROAD path. And, of course, motorized vehicles shouldn't be on rail trails for safety reasons. So, no, I don't think segways belong on rail trails, just like ATVs don't belong on rail trails. Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?!

  77. on 01 Dec 2009 at 2:41 am 77.Gerry Malavenda said …

    Hey Kevin.

    I would be opposed to Segways on the bike path. First, the business that wants this to occur is talking about operating on weekends when the path is most crowded. Secondly, the operators of these Segeays would be novice/first time users that would make them more accident prone. Thirdly, a majority would probably fit the defination of the Ugly Americans i.e. yahoos with too much money and body mass. Put the segways on the road where they belong.

    Gerry Malavneda
    South Burlington VT
    802 651 0502

  78. on 01 Dec 2009 at 3:28 am 78.Becka said …

    Segways should be permitted only for people who need them for accessibility. Segways should be treated akin to motorized wheelchairs, which are permitted on non-motorized facilities as a matter of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Segways should not be permitted as a hedonistic recreational experience for those who could just as easily walk or bike!

  79. on 01 Dec 2009 at 2:45 pm 79.George Webb said …

    I think the Burlington bike path should not be open to Segways, or to any other devices that aren't human powered, with the possible exception of powered wheel chairs for those who need them.

  80. on 01 Dec 2009 at 5:32 pm 80.Phil Hammerslough said …

    The Segway is an innovative and useful vehicle. However it is not human powered or human assist powered. Additionally, it weighs a lot more than the average bike, or trike. As such, it should be subject to certain limitations in its use.

    With regard to the bike path I like the idea of a trial period for the machine,, and would limit it to weekdays during peak weekends and holidays. The company is using a public resource to make money, and as such should pay a fee for the privilege.

    As for Segways on the sidewalk, they don’t belong there any more than bicycles do. Their speed and weight make them a hazard to pedestrians.

  81. on 02 Dec 2009 at 12:26 pm 81.rsharp said …

    Most of the Burlington Bike Path was built on a former railroad bed. That railroad bed was wide enough to accomodate railroad trains. Surely there is enough room there to accomodate pedestians, bikes, in-line skates, skateboards and yes, even segways. If the path needs to be improved and widened, do it. The fact that this path gets that much use is good. Its great to see the evolution of the use of this right-of-way from railroad to bike path to include the brand new technology of segways, all within a 30 year period. Segways belong on the bike path. We should all be embracing this new technology as another step toward moving from a society that depends far too much on the internal combustion engine to alturnate forms of transportation.

  82. on 03 Dec 2009 at 7:43 pm 82.mike said …

    RSharp –

    Alternate forms of transportation – how about bikes and feet and anything 'human' powered. How about we say Segways are OK as a mobility device akin to wheelchairs, walkers, and personal jetpacks and helicopters.

    How about we use existing technology – proven technology, democratic technology that most Vermonters can afford – bikes and shoes are cheap – and they don't need Vermont Yankee to charge them up!! Segways are greenwashing at its best… they need power, high tech electronics, specialized service, top down fabrication, control, etc..etc. etc. etc… add in that the company lobbied legislators to gain favored status for its device… not very democratic, for sure.

    If they are powered they belong with all the other powered vehicles… why not widen the path to allow electric smart cars? e-ATVs, and Prius' only running on battery juice? Surely these are 'alternate' forms of transportation.

    Lets work on several problems at once: obesity, transportation, and greenhouse gas emissions. Bikes and feet work really well here.

  83. on 03 Dec 2009 at 5:08 pm 83.Huck said …

    It think it all comes down to number of users/ party size per each group of tourists. 1-3 per group not worreis, but ten to a dozen lazy [people] loitering and making passage slow/ impossible for traffic. It creates issues. GeT oUT of mY Way ….

    Might as well let them do it for a season and tweek it to make it blend in and not stand out. as part of a greener VT earnign my tourist $$. Capitalizm and all.

  84. on 12 Dec 2009 at 3:46 pm 84.bob herendeen said …

    Just got my Local Motion Annual Report. A stunning list of accomplishments by energetic people. Congratulations….another reason to be proud to live in Burlington.
    In that report, I note that Local Motion's logo shows people biking, walking, running, roller-blading, and skiing. It shows NO non-human propulsion. I also note that Adele Dienno starts her column by saying "Our mission is [to] get people of all ages active." To me these features of the Annual Reports say: NO motorcycles, ATVs, dune buggies, motor scooters, rider mowers, snowmobiles, half-tracks, power sleds, electric scooters, segways, or as-yet-unthought-of and -unmarketed terrestrial motor craft. Let's spend 30 seconds firmly nixing segways, and get back to the vision of Local Motion and the great things it is doing and planning.

  85. on 13 Dec 2009 at 5:43 am 85.Zeke said …

    I agree. I don't think segways belong on the bike path. The path is meant for non-motorized use, and it can already be pretty crowded. Aside from being motorized, they seem fairly wide compared to a walking person or a bike.

  86. on 12 Jan 2010 at 12:26 pm 86.Rick Sharp said …

    In 1996 I broke my spine and spent four months in a wheel chair. So I know firsthand the difficulty and indignity of having to roll around in a seated position and talk to people with my eye balls at their crotch or butt level. Fortunately my spine healed and I was able to walk again and look people in the eye when I talk to them, even if I need the assistance of a cane and walk with a severe limp. I cannont walk more than a hundred yards without great difficulty.
    Consequently I was never able tom enjoy the extension of the bike path I worked so hard to create in the 1980s out onto the causeway in Colchester. Not until I purchased a Segway last year that is. Riding the Segway is a truely liberating experience that allows me to travel miles on the bike path and talk to people I meet eye to eye. It provides me and other disabled people like me that can stand the dignity that a wheelchair never will.

  87. on 12 Jan 2010 at 12:40 pm 87.Rick Sharp said …

    So to Robert Herendeen and other fellow Local Motion members that would ban Segways from the bike path, I say try spending four months in a wheelchair and then tell me whether you would prefer the indignity of a wheelchair to the dignity of a Segway before you forever condemn disabled people to wheelchairs in order to enjoy the bike path.
    The ADA (Americans with Disablities Act) requires municipalities to reasonably accommodate people with disablities. I submit that condemning disabled people that can stand to the indignity of a motorized wheelchair in order to enjoy the bike path is a violation of the ADA. Under the ADA, we, the disabled have an inalienable legal right to enjoy the bike path on a Segway. As a lawyer who helped create the bike path, I'd be happy to be the test case that proves that point.

  88. on 12 Jan 2010 at 2:59 pm 88.Suzanne said …

    I would suggest that the use of Segways on the bikepath be limited to the disabled, and a "Disabled" flag provided, as is the case for tags on cars at "Disabled" parking places.

  89. on 13 Jan 2010 at 9:48 pm 89.mike said …

    actually, you are taller than most people on a segway, and i think others would agree that actually using the device as an aid to mobility – truly as a powered wheelchair – would be welcomed.

    but this isn't about ADA access to the bike path. i thought we were talking about tour groups?

    and in all my 3x+ (more in the summer) weekly use of the lakefront path from NNE into town and back – i can count on 1 hand how often i've seen a powered wheelchair.

    and i've never seen a segway.

  90. on 04 Oct 2010 at 1:44 pm 90.Susan said …

    No-way, Segway! Wheelchairs are one thing–for the rest: feet, skate, or bike (under your own power)! It gets crowded enough on weekends on the Burlington Bike Path. There are bound to be more accidents, and more serious ones, with Segways on the Path.