2 min read
Posted on 02.15.08
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 02.15.08

A somewhat breathless story in the local newspaper predicts that a “battle over Segways looms” in the City.

Segways are battery powered, two-wheeled vehicles. They cost about $5,000 each, and they top out at about 15 mph - twice the sidewalk speed of a jogger and about the speed of a dedicated bicycle rider on a smooth trail. State law treats them as if Segway riders (drivers?) were simply pedestrians. City ordinances are little confused about Segways, leaving it unclear where the gizmos can and cannot operate. Eliminating some of that confusion is one of the purposes of an ordinance sponsored at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen by Alderwoman Lyda Krewson.

I don’t actually care how the matter is resolved - on trails, off sidewalks, with permits, without permits. They aren’t a problem now anywhere in the City, except in Forest Park where free-range Segways and those owned by commercial businesses will have to get sorted out fairly and safely. However, I will make sure that whatever accommodation for Segways that is the least restrictive is also the standard that applies to Segways used as personal mobility devices for people with mobility disabilities. If the Science Center is going to be able to operate Segways on park trails without a permit, so will people with mobility disabilities. Further, if people can walk on the trails, people who need assistive technologies to use the trails will also be able to without a permit.

For the rest of you, just don’t scare the dogs.