Segways on the BTV Bike Path? Round Two.

Chapin

Posted by on Nov 24 2012
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In 2009, 802 Segways proposed guided Segway Tours on the Burlington Bike Path. A record 90 people commented on that blog post — and the responses were split 50/50 for and against having Segways on the path.  The business proposal was pulled and the issue remained largely dormant.

Now, Rick Sharp — one of the founders of the Burlington Bike Path in the 1980′s — is looking to bring guided Segway tours to the path for the 2013 season.  The Parks & Recreation Commission will again be delving into the issue of permitted uses on the City’s multi-use paths.  Read the recent 7 Days blog post here.

At the November 27th The Parks Commission at their November 27th meeting decided to solicit more public input on two related issues:

  1. Should the City permit guided Segway tours on the City’s bikepath and
  2. Should the City regulate the use of Segways on the path by the general public

The City Attorney attended the November meeting and informed the Commission that Segways are already allowed on the Burlington path because the State Legislature passed a bill a number of years ago categorizing Segways as pedestrians.  The bill also allowed municipalities to regulate / restrict Segways as desired, but Burlington has not yet moved to do so.

The Commission is likely to vote on the guided Segway tours proposal at their December 19th meeting.  Details here.

What do you think?  To share your input, attend the upcoming Commission meeting or send an email directly to Parks & Recreation Director Jesse Bridges.

What does Local Motion think?  Based on the divided and heated opinions of Local Motion’s members on the last go around, we support what we believe to be a balanced approach:

  • Have the Parks & Recreation Commission conditionally allow the guided Segway tours on a trial, one-year permitted basis. That way we have a controlled way of seeing how these devices interact with other path users.
  • Have the City be prepared to restrict general use of Segways (for others than those with disabilities) if any conflicts with human-powered path users do arise.
  • Urge the City to speedily advance the major infrastructure improvements outlined in the City’s Bike Path Improvement Feasibility Study because the aging waterfront path is currently congested, narrow, and bumpy — all factors that could make increased Segway traffic a safety hazard for path users

For more information on this subject, or to share your input, email Executive Director Chapin Spencer.

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