Segway: Traffic Reliever or Sidewalk Menace?

On the open sidewalks of America, folks riding Segway Human
Transporters can cruise at speeds of up to 12.5 mph, and roll heads
and shoulders above their pedestrian competition with a
move-it-or-loose-it attitude. It?s no wonder that critics have
dubbed them the SUV of the sidewalk. With the Segway?s release date
looming for March, reports Nick Budnick in Willamette
, sidewalk safety issues concerning the high tech scooter
are being hotly debated in cities from Portland, Oregon, to New
York, and well-financed lobbyists on both sides of the issue are
rallying support. The company that makes the Segway has launched a
$30 million nationwide lobbying campaign to make the transporters
street-legal. But opposition consumer groups have already claimed
victories in several cities, most notably San Francisco, where city
officials banned the Segway from sidewalks in early January, citing
the danger it poses to pedestrians. City commissioners in Portland
are being lobbied to follow suit.
Nick Garafola

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